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The Fletcher House is the 2015 Garcia Family Project. We will be designing, building, and decorating a Second Empire style dollhouse in 1/12th scale. This blog will chronicle our successes, our failures, and general chaos and pandemonium.....

24 January 2013

Jerry's Kids

When I was eight years old, my parents divorced. I remember a year later I was pawing through my mom's jewelry box, trying on all of her sparkling baubles, when I came across a lapel pin (remember those? who wears those anymore?) that said "Help Jerry's Kids" on it. Well, my dad's name happens to be Jerrie, and my world came crashing down. You see, when my parents divorced, a lot of people from my mom's church helped us out. They babysat for me and my younger brother Jason, took the two of us on shopping trips to buy Christmas gifts for our mom, and generally fawned and clucked over us like mother hens at church every Sunday. When I saw that pin, (because when you are nine you think that surely the world revolves around you) I automatically thought that those pins had something to do with me and Jason. I honestly thought that people in the church were passing them out and that Jason and I were a charitable case now. That there was some sort of secret society behind the scenes that pitied us. Remember, this was 1981, when divorce wasn't nearly as common as it is today. At church the following Sunday, I remember studying every adult I came across, searching for someone, anyone, who dared wear that pin around me and my brother. I had some sort of half baked plan to kick some ass if I saw it. I was enraged, embarrassed, confused, hurt, and ashamed, that there were pity pins floating around encouraging the world to help me and my brother. Thankfully, I never saw anyone wearing that pin. I harbored this anger, this resentment, this embarrassment for a good four years before I found out the truth. My mom was getting rid of some of the junk in her jewelry box (another crushing disappointment learning that most of her "baubles" were fake), and she came across that pin. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Mom, why did people pass those pins out about us?
Mom: What are you talking about?
Me: "Help Jerry's Kids" why did people pass those out for me and Jason when you got divorced?
Mom: (starts to laugh)
Me: It's not funny.
Mom: (starts to laugh harder)
Me: (getting really pissed at this point)
Mom: Jennifer. Those pins had nothing to do with you. They were from Jerry Lewis's telethon- the one that raises money for kids with Muscular Dystrophy. I don't even remember getting it, I must have made a donation or something.
Me: (sudden realization that the earth does not revolve around me) Oh.
Mom: (laughing so hard she is about to cry)
Me: Nevermind.

I carried that shame for four years. For nothing. I'm an idiot.

07 January 2013

Those Pearls...

Dear Wal Mart check out girl:
I applaud you. You are young, efficient, and a (abnormal for Wal Mart) polite check out girl. Our transaction was smooth and quick. But I saw in your eyes, that beaten down look that has haunted me all weekend. I wonder how many times a day you must ask, "Would you like your milk in a bag?" and shudder. In my mind, you are a college girl, just working at Wal Mart temporarily (I hope). Because I usually don't pay much attention to who checks me out. But you, dear Wal Mart girl, you are different, because of those pearls. While standing in line, I couldn't take my mind off those (obviously real) pearls around your neck. Unlike most employees at Wal Mart, your navy blue shirt fits perfectly, and you are wearing the obligatory khaki pants, but they are NICE pants, not the too skinny butt crack or fat roll showing pants, but pants that are appropriate for work. But it's those pearls around your neck that caught my eye. Those pearls tell a story. They tell me that you care. They tell me that you want to make some attempt at being chic, stylish, and posh. They tell me that even though you work for a company that treats it's employees like dirt under a worn out shoe, you want to make an effort. A difference. That you are going places. I like to think that those pearls are a family heirloom, passed down to you from an old grandmother who used to bake you cookies and teach you how to sew when you were a little girl. I like to think, that because you wear pearls around your neck while making minimum wage and probably don't get health insurance, that you will rise up, that you will eventually have a career that doesn't involve retail or conveyor belts or weighing produce. Keep wearing those pearls, Wal Mart girl. Let them take you places. Let them remind you that there are better jobs out there, that there is a lot to be said for a strong work ethic and pride in appearance. I applaud you, Wal Mart check out girl. And don't take those pearls off. Ever.