A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Random Childhood Memories

Most of this blog is produced in tongue in cheek fashion. I'm incredulous that I have to explicitly point this out, but I want to make sure that the authorities don't come knocking on the door one day because they think that my garden gnomes actually talk to me, and I talk back, etc. Suffice to say though, outside of stories involving garden gnomes, everything else is factual (to the best of my recollection), maybe occasionally embellished for storytelling purposes, but factual. I bring this up because the tale I'm about to spin about childhood trauma that is triggered by a certain citrus fruit is absolutely true.

Backstory. When I was about 13 or 14 I started getting migraines, bad ones. For those of you who get them, you know what I mean. They weren't terribly frequent, two or three times a month, but that was often enough to cause significant discomfort, and pretty much knock me on my ass for a few hours. Keep in mind I'm not trolling for a pity party here by any means. During my childhood I shared a room with my little brother who was a year and half younger. As younger brothers are wont to do, he was none to sympathetic to my migraines and seemed to think it funny to listen to loud music instead - his favorites around that time being Wolverine, Jackyl, and Megadeth. Not exactly headache friendly fare, so my room was not a fortress of solitude where I could escape. More often than not I would throw back some over the counter pain medication and try to sleep it off on the couch in the family room. This is often where my Mom would find me and try to "help".

Additional backstory. My dear sweet Mom, very intelligent and well respected in the community, but like all parents, she had some bizarre ideas about cures to common ailments. In her case, anytime I was feeling unwell, be it a headache, runny nose, sprained ankle, or blood gushing wound, it was because I was constipated. And the only cure for constipation (in her mind) was eating a grapefruit. Often would I have a splitting headache or disagreeable innards and be forced to eat a bitter, woody, pithy disgusting grapefruit. Oh the humanity. Through all the years, and despite my best efforts to produce concrete scientific evidence to the contrary, she still believes in the mystical healing power of grapefruit.

The other funny (funny now, not funny then) aspect was because the grapefruit was held in such high esteem it was a sin and personal affront to God himself not to completely eat the grapefruit. Yup, I'm talking all the way down to the rind, every last bit of flesh out of there, and every last drop of juice squeezed out too. I discovered that an "incorrectly" or "improperly" consumed grapefruit would actually be fished from the rubbish bin, rinsed off and force fed to me. Good times.

Soon I reached the age where I felt empowered to become angry enough to argue back and refuse to eat them, which of course caused a yelling match or argument that became tantamount in aggravation to actually eating the grapefruit itself. So the choice became which of the lesser of two evils would be the least painful to endure. Good times, good times. Years later I discovered that other mothers would coddle their kids with hot chicken soup, tea, or other niceties when they were ill. I begged to a higher power to reveal why I had been tested so, but alas, no answer came.

All the madness of this storytelling was motivated by my very sweet girlfriend who does most of the grocery shopping. She eats a very healthy, diverse diet, chock full of fruits and vegetables, that unfortunately includes grapefruit. Though she won't admit it, she chuckles a bit when I open up the shopping bag to put away the weekly provisions and come face to face with my citrus arch-nemesis, which often cause me to let out a growl or other sign of displeasure. Not many folks in this world have an arch-nemesis that also happens to be a well respected and appreciated fruit, but I do.

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