If It Weren’t For Pizza and Cannibals

I’ve been in one of those grumpy contemplative moods today. So this is just me rambling thoughts about life down and  probably isn’t funny or uplifting or about Harry Potter …. but um anyway…

I have a little sister named Becca who will be 8 on Tuesday, and we live about an hour away from each other so hardly get to hang out, except on Saturday when my mom has to drive up through my area.

I work a late shift (6 pm to 3 am) which usually means I’m not going to sleep until somewhere around 5-6 in the morning. It’s not ideal, trust me, but it’s how my life is. Anyway, when mom comes through town its 9 in the morning, so I have to get up on around 2 hours of sleep to hang out with my sis. I don’t mind it, it’s usually one of the highlights of my week. I always take her to breakfast at Chick-fil-a, where she orders chicken nuggets and a chocolate shake, and I let her because I’m her big sister and big sisters are awesome like that.

Except today she was so grumpy for some reason (I think she might have felt a little under the weather, but she didn’t say it). She yelled at me so many times I got to the point that I just stopped talking to her. I was even trying to help her with a school project on President Clinton, but only got my head bitten off. Then she told me to just leave (and I took her advice and just left).

It made me feel so crappy I laid on my couch crying for 20 minutes. That might be due to the fact that I’m a complete girl, overly sensitive, and cry at the drop of a hat anyway. I realize I’m literally 20 years older than she is, and kids can be a pain in the butt sometimes and probably didn’t mean to be horrible to me. (Mom later called and said she cried from feeling bad about being mean to me… I guess it was a crying kind of morning for these sisters)

Anyway, all that sadness got me to thinking, how funny it is the way things turn out. Becca, shouldn’t even be here really. Where did she come from? For years it was just me, my sister Kelly (who is now 21), and mom. Then one day mom got a job at a pizza shop where she met this man and …. well all that lead to Becca. She and mom almost died during labor, too.

But then, I got to thinking a lot farther than just Becca being here.  I mean, we owe our lives to our grandparents and their grandparents and their grandparents and so on and so on. How funny it is that the puzzle pieces fit together to make what is life.

I mean, my maternal grandmother’s father left her and her mom when she was 12. Due to this, my great-grandmother sent my grandmother to a boarding school to be cared for (this was a long time ago when divorce wasn’t the norm like now, and women really did do nothing but care for families. So when my great-grandfather left, my great-grandmother didn’t have a job and stuff). After going through junior college at boarding school, my grandmother decided to go to university in western Kentucky, where she was a baton twirler in the band (that seems like it has a technical name to it, but I can’t think of it). My grandfather was going to study business, but then went with biology so he could become a dentist. One night he went to a football game and saw this really pretty girl twirling her baton… and that sealed that deal.  And that is where my mother came from.

My paternal grandfather happened to be an extremely brilliant man (and one of the best humans that has ever graced this planet). He owned some property in a small town, where my grandmother had just moved. She rented a small apartment from him, not really knowing him. One day, though, a fire broke out, and my grandfather actually rescued my grandmother! He was such a handsome man too, I can’t blame my granny from swooning over him. Well, that’s where my father came from.

My mom and dad both love to sing, and in high school were both accepted into a choir called All Festival. I want to think it’s something that is held all throughout the country, but I’m not sure. Anyway, that is where they met, singing in this choir composed of the best high school singers from south-eastern Kentucky. At the ripe old age of 19 my mom married this guy, who wouldn’t have existed had there not been a fire in an apartment all those years ago..

And so, that is where I came from. All of these elements (and SO many more) played out in just the right way. Had there not been that fire, I’d be somebody else. Maybe if my great-grandfather hadn’t left his family for his secretary, my grandmother wouldn’t have gone to college where she did and never have met this handsome soon-to-be dentist.

Then even with my own life, I can recognize the cards going into place to cause an outcome. My husband wasn’t born in Kentucky, he came here from Boston, Mass. when he was 7 years old. His mom decided to make the move down here, and they happened to live about 20 minutes from my home town.

I met him when I was 19 through my best friend Monica. Now, Monica and I have an interesting story as well. We were friendly in school, I would talk to her in classes and stuff, but we never hung out. Until one day this group called Upward Bound, which helps poorer kids get into college, decided to open a chapter in our high school. Monica and I were two of the first four students to join that group at our school. The stipulation for joining was we spent the summers on a college campus taking refresher classes and getting prepared for college.

Well, Monica has a bit of a funny sense of humor, that’s why we get on so well. She thought it was funny to say that Hannibal Lecter (a fictional cannibal) was her hero. Another girl in our group had a set of tarot cards with her. Well for some reason the leaders of Upward Bound found both of these things a bit disturbing and got the whole lot of us kicked out (at 1 in the morning no less!)

It was a really crappy thing and I had never in my life been in trouble, and honestly I had not done anything. I asked what I had done, and they literally told me “You didn’t say you were afraid of them.” Well, bloody hell, Monica and I were in girl scouts together for crying out loud, I was not afraid of her, so why would i say I was? At any rate, there we were, 16 years old and kicked out of a school program in the middle of the night. I was mortified, and Monica felt bad for getting me in trouble.

She then apparently spent the whole summer contemplating coming to tell me she was sorry. But one day, my mother, product of an abandoning grandfather and a baton twirling mother and a father who liked football…and a baton twirling girl… drove past Monica’s house, where she just so happened to be sitting outside. Mom stopped, and told Monica to come by, that I’d like to hang out.

Monica took my mom’s advise, and soon, we were spending every day together. I had found my soul mate of a best friend. I don’t know Monica’s grandparent’s story, leading to her eventual place in life, but there she was sitting on her porch that day my mom just happened to go by her house… and that sealed the deal. Now as adults we live about 2 minutes from each other… but anyway, I digress.

Monica had this boyfriend in highschool who knew this guy named Woo (his name is David but everyone called him Woo, which is his last name). One day Monica invited me and Woo to go to the movies with her and her boyfriend, and I accepted. He was such a funny guy.

I know I’m bouncing around all over the place but bear with me.

I’m 19 years old at this point, when I met Woo. That just so happened to be the same time that mom was moving in her pizza shop boyfriend, and with him starting to plan a family. I had just finished my first year of college, and so had no place to live because my room was now someone else’s bedroom at home. I was sent to live with my (baton twirling and dentist) grandparents. I decided to get a job at McDonald’s to fill my days, but my nights I got pretty bored. One night, I logged online and got this message on MSN messenger from Woo.

We spent the entire summer talking.

That fall I went back to college, and spent my nights talking to Woo. By New Year (2003), we were official. And now my name is Woo, too.

So if it weren’t for batons, family abandoning great-grandfather, football games, apartment fires, all festival choirs, cannibals, mom randomly driving down a random street…. all these random things, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now with a wedding ring on my finger. Well, if I did have a wedding ring on my finger, it wouldn’t be for Woo.

I don’t know, it’s just interesting to sit back and really think about all these life events that lead to …well, life!

I’m sorry that was a long and rambling post, just what’s been going on in my head today after getting grumped on by  a sister who wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for pizza.

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12 thoughts on “If It Weren’t For Pizza and Cannibals

  1. I love this post Laura! I hear you on the sibling front! My 10 year old sister is getting to that grumpy nearly teen age, where she’s constantly picking fights! Last time I was there, she punched my brother full in the face (he’s 7) and I was standing inbetween them trying to prise them apart.

    When did they stop being little babies that wanted to cuddle us??

    I was thinking about this the other day, how random choices that our ancestors made, led us to where we are today. Totally freaky!

    • Thank you Beth! Punched him in the face?! Oh my gosh I don’t know what I’d do if I saw my sister punching anyone. Though she did throw a steak knife at me once…. but she was 2 so I try to forgive her for that (Woo is still terrified of her though!!)

      My sis can sense when she’s getting to be bit too mean sometimes, because I can see her change her facial expression to this would-be-sweet-if-I-weren’t-being-so-terrible type deal, and she sweetens her voice and says “Please sissy”… I can sense it, the animals get quiet and the sky goes dark! haha.

      It really is totally freaky how everything someone who knows how long ago did, lead to things today! Or just imagine what you’ve done to cause some future outcome in 100 years….or prevented some sort of event from happening! It’s like when those tragedies happen, like 9/11 over here, where folks say they would have died if they hadn’t lost their keys that morning.

      • Yeah, they were super violent. She never used to be like that, but the past few months she’s gone all angsty. Not cool. I was very angry, trying to separate them. Wow, that’s a bit intense, lol.

        Haha, oh wow. It’s crazy how they can get to you isn’t it!

        Ahh don’t! I’m going to be all freaked out if I think about this kind of thing too much!

      • Well apparently today my sister exclaimed “I’m growing on the inside and the outside…I’m so smart!” … And humble it turns out! Crazy kids.

  2. Oh wow! Loved reading this post! Sat with a cup of coffee at work, trying in vain to make my brain work and saw this in my e-mail inbox. Wonderful! Fantastic bit of escapism for me, looking at your life and imagining how it all went down for you.

    Funny how the whims of fate, if that is something you believe in, ties so many random things together to make you. It sort of underpins how we are not just the product of DNA or even our upbringing, but countless generations of people coming together. How fragile are our futures?

    I have a kid sister who is 13, who I see very rarely because of problems with my mother. I envy your relationship with Becca, I must say.

    Fantastic read, see? This is why I follow your blog! It’s ace!

    • (sorry for the delay in reply, my Internet has been out all day and I’m not a big fan of phone blogging but I thought waiting any longer would be rude ) thanks for your comment! 🙂 I figured folks would see a long post, begin to drool and move on lol!

    • I really didn’t know how my granny and pap met (my paternal grandparents) but about 3 years ago, right before granny got bad sick she had me come visit. I half grew up at her house, she was almost like a mom to me too. Anyway, we sat up one night going through pictures and telling stories, and I asked her then how they met and I just thought it was a really great story. How many folks can say they met their husband because he saved her from a fire! lol

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