“I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say, bounces off me, and sticks to you.”
Karen Craven, over at Table for One, wrote the above quote in one of her posts and it really struck a chord with me. Next thing you know, we are exchanging ideas with Marc over at Sorryless and two prompts were born. The second one is: “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys”. Since we have no designated word count, nor any designated time frame, we each have gone with the one that inspired us first. Karen has gone with “Rubber” and Marc, “Circus“. Do go and check out what they’ve written. They are both brilliant writers!
Rubber vs Glue
We visited Auntie Lou in Hamilton, a.k.a. Steeltown, quite often. Sometimes without even planning it! Like that time when there was a party at our house and there was lots of laughing and drinking and smoking and we were sent to bed but no one checked up on us so we snuck into the hallway and listened in on what was going on. Daddy decided to call Auntie Lou just to say hey and before we knew it, we heard “Pack up, girls, we’re going for a ride!” It was 10 o’clock at night! Driving to Auntie Lou’s was a six-hour drive and we showed up on her doorstep at 4 o’clock in the morning. Those were some crazy times.
One of the best times we went though, was when my cousin, Matt, Auntie Lou’s son, got married and we were all invited. It was so cool. We three sisters had matching long dresses but in different colours. We were so pretty. So was Mommy in her long dress and Daddy so handsome in his tux. I can’t remember much of the wedding itself except those dresses.
Since Hamilton was so close to Niagara Falls, the next day we piled into our car and some aunts and uncles and cousins piled into theirs and we all took that one-hour drive. I loved going there. Got to go up to the top of the CN Tower, had our picture taken by a weird printer-thing and of course, saw the Falls. They were so loud. Like thunder. And we could feel the mist on our faces. We weren’t allowed to go on the boat that goes right up to the falls but that’s okay. Maybe next time.
As we were walking along, Daddy turned to me and said: “Kiss me, Babe!” And with a big smile on my face, I ran over to him and gave him a big smooch right on the cheek. He then said: “Nothing makes me sick!”
I stepped back, my eyes filled with tears and I just stood there. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Daddy saw my face and said: “Aww, come on now, Honey. I was only joking.”
I let him hug me, laughed it off, and pretended to let the whole thing bounce right off me like a rubber ball.
Except it didn’t. For years I pushed that part of that memory aside. Or I thought I had. I was convinced I had let it go. But years later, “Nothing makes me sick” would pop back into my head. Stuck like glue to a part of me. Reminding me I was not good enough. I was lacking. Chipping away at what little confidence I did have in myself.
Years later, I confronted my father with it. “Do you remember, Dad, that time in Niagara Falls when you told me to kiss you and then you told me nothing made you sick? Do you have any idea what that did to me? How much that hurt me and made me feel so ‘less than’?”
“Oh come on. You can’t be serious. That was just a joke. You can’t still be thinking of that today.”
He never understood that someone, who already believed she was an ugly duckling, could find such a supposed joke hurtful and he never did apologize for saying it.
But on his deathbed, I forgave him. For myself.
And now, whenever I feel someone is throwing something at me that I don’t deserve, I repeat: