Okay, so I wrote and posted four–FOUR!–times last night, so I didn’t think I would be writing again so soon, especially not on a Friday, because I hardly ever post on Fridays, because 1) who reads shit on Fridays? Y’all are watching the clock ’til time to head home or wherever after work to start your fabulous weekend plans, and 2) Hellbaby comes on Fridays, so I’m usually running around trying to baby proof the house and do laundry and vacuum up stuff before she gets here. But NotBlessedMama
basically came right out and called me liar on the twitter yesterday, and I let her know in no uncertain terms that I would be proving the veracity of my claims in a blog post TODAY, and I just remembered that today is today (I know, you’d think with as little as I have going I’d have less trouble keeping my days straight, but alas, no) and fuck, I am supposed to be writing something that will Clear My Name.
It all started when I tweeted this
and then @EchophobicEricka* tweeted me some sympathy (she’s a sweetheart, that one is). And THEN NotBlessedMama had to go and horn in** on our conversation and that’s when shit. got. real.
My integrity has been maligned! Where’s my dueling pistol?
So I told them I would explain why I have such an aversion to canned peaches. Specifically THESE canned peaches:
UUUUUUWUHHHHH. I shudder just looking at them. Nasty, mushy, slimy things. And that heavy syrup? Gaaaaaag.
And even more specifically THESE:
Except they weren’t in a bowl. They were on a plate. On a lettuce leaf. I know. FANCY.
I’ve tried to figure out why these things give me the willies so bad. I mean, I like every other kind of fruit in the world, although I am not a fan of anything canned, ever. But I can’t bear even the thought of fresh or frozen peaches, and that seems really stupid, because I adore nectarines, and what is a nectarine but a shaved peach? I don’t have a problem with cottage cheese or even lettuce, except iceberg, that shit’s nasty, but it doesn’t make me throw up in my mouth (ahem. By. The. Way. Is there any other way to throw up? As long as I’ve been throwing up, it’s always been IN MY MOUTH. I have never, to my knowledge, thrown up, say, in my ear. I think I know what people mean when they say this, though. You know when you maybe gag or burp and that nasty acrid bile comes up in the back of your throat but it’s not enough to spew out your mouth hole or even to spit out? That.). I have come to the conclusion that it might have something to do with a subconscious association I might have with the time my dad left us when I was, oh, about six or so.
I don’t remember what we had for lunch that day he came home on his break (which he did every day, we lived in a very small town, very Beaver Cleaver, and back in those days it wasn’t uncommon for people to get A WHOLE HOUR for lunch, so he always drove the short distance home from work to watch All My Children and eat lunch with us. Which now that I think about it, maybe I was younger than six, or I probably wouldn’t have been home, or maybe it was summer. I could have been five, because I didn’t go to kindergarten [I’M SO OLD THERE WASN’T EVEN A KINDERGARTEN AT MY PUBLIC SCHOOL WHEN I WAS FIVE. There was Head Start, but while we were poor, we weren’t poor enough to qualify for Head Start, but it didn’t matter anyway, because my mother made sure we were all well prepared for school, but that’s another story] [also, totally unrelated, I just had to go to the bathroom, and as I sat down I saw A FLEA FALL OFF ME, WHAT THE HELL??? I smushed it. DIE FLEAS DIE], but it very well could have included that godawful canned peach-cottage cheese-lettuce leaf concoction because that was just my mom’s idea of an appropriate lunch time “dessert.” Such blasphemy!
On this particular day, my dad had no sooner sat down at the table than SOMEBODY said SOMETHING, I am to this day clueless at to who or what, but it had to be my mother or one of my brothers because I knew, even at that tender age, that I was my dad’s FAVORITE, and hardly anything I ever did or said pissed him off, not until I was a teenager and expressed an interest in boys, anyway; and my dad jumped up from the table and yelled, “That’s it! I’m sick of this shit!” or something to that effect, which was startling enough in itself, because while my dad could have an outrageous temper, he rarely displayed it in front of us (that privilege was reserved for Mom, whoo boy <note: As I was proofreading this, I realized this could be interpreted in two ways: 1) Dad reserved his rage displays for Mom, or 2) Mom was the more likely one to exercise the privilege of rage displays in front of us kids. Both are equally accurate>) and he hardly ever cursed in front of us unless the Cowboys were playing especially badly.
And then he stomped out of the house, got in his car, and drove away. I didn’t know where he was driving away to, but I knew it was AWAY, like, not just back to work and he’d be back for dinner, because I can still remember standing between the curtain and the huge picture window in my bedroom that faced the street in front of my house and watching his car go down the street and I can even still feel the huge rock poking me in the throat that was the tears that I was trying not to cry and my heart beating so hard in my chest and the whole “what the fuck just happened?” bewilderment swirling around me. And now that I’m writing this I realize that maybe he also grabbed some clothes and bathroom stuff, or else I wouldn’t have had time to get to the window before he got out the front door and drove away. I also remember my cousin Georgia, who was older and drove her own car and was also considered very wild and kind of the black sheep of the family until she got married and had a baby and then she got decapitated in a car accident with a drunk driver, that was SO SAD, came over a couple of days later and she asked where my dad was, because he was a big favorite of hers and she his, he always liked girls better than boys and I have a theory about that too but you’ll have to read that in my memoir I’m going to write one of these days, and my mom told her he left, and she said, “Bullshit,” right in front of us little kids, which was very shocking and thrilling but just the kind of thing she did all the time that pissed all the grownups off, and my mom said, “He really did. Go look in the closet,” and Georgia did and she kept saying, “I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it,” because anyone could see a big gap in the closet where my dad’s clothes weren’t anymore. And no one could believe it, because everyone, I mean EVERYONE thought my dad was absolutely fucking crazy in love with my mom, and I think he was, but I think he was having a midlife crisis or something, or my mom was being especially bitchy at that time, because she could definitely do that.
I don’t know exactly what the hell was going on, but as an adult [SHUT UP!] looking back on it, I can see that day at lunch whatever he reacted to was just a pretense on his part. He was just looking for an excuse to leave, because during the time that he didn’t live with us, he was living with another woman. I never met this woman, but I have a vague memory of going into a house with him and there being what I now know is called a “negligee” lying on a counter but we were only in this house, like, a second. I have clearer memories of my mother interrogating me about it afterward, like was there a woman in the house? what did the house look like? how big was it? was it clean? (cleaner than our house, if truth be told, but even then I was wise enough to know that some truths didn’t need to be told) And I told her about the pink fluffy thing I saw on the counter, and I remember saying it “had sort of feather things on it,” and then her lips got so thin they like to have disappeared and it looked like she didn’t even have a mouth, just a drawn on line that couldn’t open for anything, and she might have rolled her eyes.
The thing on the counter looked EXACTLY LIKE THIS. In fact, I might have even referred to it as “You know, like one of those things the lady on Green Acres wears” while trying to describe it to my mother. It was certainly not like anything my mother had ever worn. I even thought of my dad’s mystery other woman as the “Green Acres lady” and I imagined her to look like Eva Gabor as Lisa Douglas.
Whatever was going on, it worked itself out, because before too long my dad was back, coming home for lunch and All My Children like nothing had ever happened. I wish I had thought to ask my mother for the grownup details of this episode before I stopped speaking to her forever (another story, buy the book, dammit), and I can’t ask my dad, not that I think he would have ever told me, since he died when I was seventeen, but there you have it. Canned peach aversion.
ARE YOU CONVINCED NOW, NotBlessedMama and @EchophobicEricka*???
*I can’t link to EchophobicEricka’s twitter because it doesn’t exist anymore, and I don’t know if she wants her alias advertised. So tough nuts, stalkers!
**Totally kidding. I LOVE when you
horn in include yourself without being invited graciously join our twitter conversations. So social and awesome of you. Hugs!