Sunday, November 12, 2006

That Which Made Me Me

That dirty ol’ bugger Sigmund Freud believed that adult thought processes and behavior are formed in childhood and adolescence. I won’t bore you with all the details of Freud’s theories. Instead, here’s the condensed version: human development centers around penises. Girls are jealous because they don’t have them. Boys are afraid they’ll fall off. If these feelings are not resolved in childhood and adolescence the result is a completely screwed up adult.

Am I telling you all this to impress you with my vast knowledge of psychoanalytic theory? Well, yes, but also because I needed a titillating opening paragraph to introduce the response to my latest tagging. See, earlier this week, the Crankster tagged me to list nine weird things about myself. Technically I (sort of) already responded to that one, but proper blogsphere etiquette dictates that I not ignore the Crankster’s tagging.

So, as I have been known to do, I am changing the meme up a bit. It will now, with a nod to my bud Siggy Freud (and apologies to all poets everywhere), be:

Three by Three
Childhood Experiences
That Made Me Me

I. Infant and Toddler Years

1) I lived in a hotel during my toddler years, like my childhood heroine Eloise. I wasn’t as bratty as Eloise, but I did pull the fire alarm and dump out the salt and pepper shakers in the dining room. I figure I did my parents a favor by giving them a few good stories to tell.

2) My best friend back then was this kid named Timmy. We did absolutely everything together. My mother was mean, though, because sometimes she refused to give Timmy cookies at snack time. When I whined, she spouted some crap about him being imaginary. Clearly she was delusional.

3) At age four I used up 2 of my allotted 15 minutes of fame being photographed by Life Magazine. My mom had a ruffley dress picked out, but the pics were snapped before she could doll me up. With short hair and scruffy overalls, I was immortalized for all eternity…as a boy.

II. Elementary School Years

1) I murdered countless insects during elementary school. I lived in the backwoods of NH by that time and my favorite past-time was catching bugs in jars. (It takes great skill, I’ll have you know.) Even though I pimped out their jars with all sorts of twigs and leaves, the stupid little creatures all went on hunger strikes and died.

2) I got in trouble in first grade for getting upset when my team lost in gym class. I had to sit out several gym classes as ‘punishment.’ Of course, it’s not really punishment when you get what you want: a guarantee of not being on the losing team.

3) My parents shipped me off to an out-of-state, sleep-away camp every summer. This exposed me to many great things not in abundant supply in NH, like Black people and Jewish people and other sorts of non-WASPy people. If not for camp I would have grown up to be (*shudder*) a stereotypical WASP for sure.

III. Adolescence Years

1) My first real kiss came during a movie date when I was in sixth grade. After totally surprising me by laying on a wet one and sneaking in a booby squeeze for good measure, the dude suggested we sneak out the movie theater’s side door. In my naiveté, I told him no. (Who wants to miss the end of a movie?!) Needless to say there was no second date.

2) In high school my parents let me have co-ed, sleep-over, beer bashes. (The rule was you drink, you spend the night.) Sounds like a lawsuit in the making by today’s standards, but back in those days most parents were just happy to know their kids wouldn’t be out on the roads after hitting a kegger.

3) I did the deed for the first time senior year in a jeep in Bolivia where I was as an exchange student. It was consensual, but I’m not sure why I said yes. Maybe because the guy had a nice jeep? Or maybe just to get it over with already? It was not especially memorable, but I do remember his name. I’m guessing he can’t say the same. (De todas formas, llegué a descubrir que su amigo sabía joder mucho mejor que él lo hizo.)

Wow, you are still reading this? Amazing, since my childhood was really just slightly to the left of completely blasé. I hardly exhibited any penis envy at all! Clearly a psychoanalyst would have very little to work with here. But just in case, I don’t think I’ll subject myself to professional scrutiny. After all, I’m perfectly happy for my repressed memories to stay repressed.

Now, since I was tagged I am supposed to tag five others but, at the risk of having seven years bad luck or some other terrible curse come down on me, I’m going to be bad and not officially tag anyone. If, however, you are inclined to replicate this little exercise and post your childhood experiences on your blog, let me know and I will happily add a link to your post. Not only that, but I’ll also read your post and let you know if your childhood suggests phallic conflict. I’m not sure, but I’m thinking that’s a deal few will be able to pass up.

Update -- November 16, 2006

Two brave souls have subjected themselves to scrutiny. I am happy to report that neither appears to suffer from phallic conflict. I've linked their posts below so you can check and see if you concur with my Freudian assessment.

Minerva and the Muses
Familiarity Breeds Content


Vive42 said...

roight on fer not taggin anyone, luv. foight the power and all that rot.

(i decided to turn a typo into a british accent)

Blondie said...

My contribution: I was raised on a farm. I learned that if you pull the butts off of fireflies, they glow for a long time. You can then squish them onto your fingers to make pretty glowing rings. Also, pulling locust shells off trees and attaching them to your clothing is fun. Until you grab a live locust on accident.

Lizza said...

You know what they say about how serial killers, when they were kids, tortured and killed helpless animals? :-D

My friends and I used to have sleep-over beer bashes too--pretty much for the same reason that your parents let you have yours. Ahh, those were the days.

This was a fun post!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Interesting post, Eloise. (Repeat 2 more times.)

While I have never suffered from penis envy, I had convenience envy. It seemed unfair that I should have to go inside and peel off a whole snowsuit, leggings and all, plus 20 or 30 layers of clothing underneath, to pee, while my boy playmates only had to unzip and water a tree.

As far as I know, first times are always unmemorable at best.

ShadowFalcon said...

Hey I'm gald we can pee sitting down. Wow your honest, I don't think I could do this tag!

Barb said...

I don't think I could do this one, either. Thanks for being brave :)

Michael C said...

Very interesting childhood. Thank you for sharing. A lot of my memories as a kid center around health and the huge zipper down the middle of my chest from heart surgery. At camp or around the pool, I was always amazed at how many elementary kids were not familiar with open heart surgery ;-)

Jill said...

WASP? I always thought that you were Latina!

slaghammer said...

Where can I get one of those watches? I checked Amazon, nada.

eddyquette said...

Cool stuff! I'll do the tag some day if or when I find the time, but thanks for yours - what they (shadowfalcon and barb) said. BTW, according to Siggy Freud the male equivalent of penis envy, as you probably know, is that us men are supposed to be jealous of you're ability to have children. Personally, that was what clinched my decision to not take my shrink serious any longer...

eddyquette said...

*sorry - that was "your" ability, not "you're", of course*

Isabella Snow said...

Hmm. Dunno if I'm jealous of them, but I've often wondered what it would be like to have one.

I'd love to write my name in the snow!

Crankster said...

Thanks for playing. And for the daily dose of Freud!

Lee said...

That rat Crankster hit me up too! You did a much better job. And I've often had dreams where I had a penis. I always woke up when I became traumatized when I couldn't figure out if I should use the Mens or Ladies restroom. Wonder what Freud would think of that.

Mom of Three said...

I lost mine to basically get it over with and because all my friends had already lost theirs. Que romantico!

menrva said...

I did the meme!

eddyquette said...

Me too!