The Hysteric Minding the Klutz.


I swear, I promise I’ll get to the “Dear Slushkitty” advice chunk o’ blog, but first…

Image Maurice Sendak died on Tuesday and I am heartbroken about it. A lovely little chapter of my childhood gone gone gone…sigh… big big sigh. Sigh. For the past few days, all I’ve done is watch “Really Rosie” (circa 1975) on youtube ( and, all weepy and sentimental. Oh Rosie, Really Rosie! “I am a star! I’m famous and wonderful and everybody loves me and wants to be me! Who can blame them?”. And Alligator standing behind Rosie, making fun of her by holding up signs that say “Horrible” and “Nuts” – this was definitely the part of her story I identified with most. “You better believe me! I’m a great big deal! BELIEVE ME! BELIEEEEEEEEEVE ME!”. The heels! The hat! The feather! Allll the feathers! The confidence! The imagination! Carole King! Oh Rosie Rosie! I love you so much! If Rosie was alive today, I think she’d be in her early 40s, like me. “The enchanted one – that’s me!”. I bet she’d still be enchanted. I bet she wouldn’t be selling dial-up modems. I wonder if she ever had a drug problem. I bet she did. A lot of off-beat personalities with their kooky imaginations do. And then they get better. And then they resume Life with their off-beat personalities with their kooky imaginations, but now they have real friends, not just imaginary ones, and not just convenient ones. It happens, we all get better if we really try, and isn’t that just tops, just the grooviest? Wheeeeeeee! Finding an outlet for said imagination is another story – a girl can get only so much mileage out of pretty dresses and pretty make-up…

I don’t remember playing Dress-Up as a child. I also don’t remember having an opinion either way on clothes, which makes absolutely no sense – you’d know why I say this if you saw my closet(s). Now, make-up? Now we’re talking! Kids are quite the orangutangs, and I was no different. I don’t know if my mother just kept her make-up and nail polish on the very top shelf of her closet or if that’s just where she hid it from me, but I wanted it, so I came, I saw, I climbed, I conquered. I managed one time to shatter a nail polish bottle with my bare hands. My mom was a hero for running like hell to me when she heard my blood-curdling screams from her bedroom, and saving me from blindness from the toxic “Cha-Ching Cherry” goo and glass that were splattered on my eyes, face, and hands – the horror! The heroics! Actually, I just broke the top of the bottle by turning the cap the wrong way, and probably got one drop on my Strawberry Shortcake t-shirt – I have always been a hysterical, nervous wreck, even at age, like, 5. My mother wasn’t angry, she was just awed that I managed to break the bottle with my bare (and tiny!) hands. But soon enough, I would become known as “The Kiss of Death” because I managed to break everything I touched. This hasn’t changed. Back then it was Christmas presents (it was Glo-Worm one year – ripped the zipper right off the back, then it wouldn’t light up when I hugged it. I’d have to hug it with one arm and squeeze the glow stick with the other. Sad, right?), now I break electronics, which is another valuable skill I bring to the electronics company I work for.

Anyhooters, back to Rosie. In the past couple of days, I’ve been consumed by some funny, some disturbing memories that “Really Rosie” sparked. There was an animated special made of the book (links above – watch!!! It’s brilliant! Carole King!), and it was showing at the library. My sister “Bachel” and I went one rainy summer afternoon – I remember it was rainy because the rainwater at the bottom of the hill didn’t drain properly, so there was an ocean of a puddle by the back entrance of the library. Bachel, on two separate occasions, tried jumping over the puddle for fun but landed instead with a big splash on all fours, face-first in the middle of the puddle – soaked, crying. Did I mention that she did this on two separate occasions? I don’t think I thought it was funny at the time – but now it is. (Payback is a bitch, eh Bach? Cheers to telling our entire high school that I spent a few hours in the ER getting a shampoo bottle cut off my finger. So there!!! How does it feel??). At the time of the splash, I was a hysterical nervous wreck (as per usual) over how much trouble I was going to get in because Bachel fell in a puddle. This was a pattern. Bachel slid down the banister once, fell off sideways half-way down, and landed face-first onto the first floor. Always calm and rational in a crisis, I ran upstairs and hid in my room. I got in trouble. One time, Bachel was riding her bike and skid on some sand on the road, and fell face-first onto the pavement. Always calm and rational in a crisis, I ran home and hid in my room. I got in trouble. Now that I think about it, I don’t even know what “trouble” meant! My mother has an award-winning hairy eyeball – maybe that was all the “trouble” I got in (suffering the hairy eyeball) and all it took for me to be remorseful, so very remorseful for things my sister did. The hysteric minding the klutz. Oh dear.

Ummm – this might all sound kinda depressing, but I’ve been delighting all day! I haven’t thought about this stuff in 30+ years! So fun! It’s funny that I always thought of myself as uncoordinated and clumsy – getting stitches in my head three times doing the same thing and all. But Bachel? What a mess! Always soaked, bleeding. One summer she broke both wrists. She was a failed orangutang and flew off the monkey bars and broke her wrist, got her cast off, then two weeks later (2 days later?) broke the other wrist falling while roller-skating. I guess I wasn’t around for those accidents because I would have been in BIG trouble. Haaa. I must have been hiding in my closet, blossoming into a hysterical nervous wreck. Haaa! I was probably hiding in the closet, yes, but only to apply the forbidden nail polish. “I am a star! I’m famous and wonderful and everybody loves me and wants to be me!” but for the love of God, don’t ask me to babysit.

I thank you so so so much for Really Rosie, Mr. Sendak! She got this girl through some tough times. Rest in Peace. Sigh… big big sigh. Sigh.




5 responses

  1. Hi Cara,
    Dude, you’re really starting to hit your stride with your writing… it’s seriously great.
    Slushkitty should be syndicated nationally, cause you’re a star, wonderful, and
    everybody wants to be you.
    The only reason it hasn’t happened yet is cause you’re way ahead of the curve.
    Not to worry, my magic 8 ball tells me there’s an army of slushkittens in the near
    Maurice Sendak was (and still is) the man,

  2. Holy hairy eyeballs! I totally missed this post, and went straight to “Dear Cassie!” What an awesome, late afternoon, bonus! Woohoo! You Are Famous AND Wonderful. And I know I want to be you, like, most days! xoxo

    • I don’t know where I was, but I’ve never even heard of Really Rosie (and I love Carol King, not to mention Mr. Sendak – check out his last interview with Stephen Colbert – hilarious!) I am going to watch this on YouTube. Thanks for letting me know about something I missed! Great writing, as usual!

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