There are quite a few “triggers” that immediately bring bile, fury, exasperation, etc. to me. We (my family) can actually laugh sometimes about them now. Tickling and whistling are both triggers for me – isn’t that a bummer?
While most families enjoy a little bit of good old-fashioned fun with a little sly tickling here and there, it’s nightmarish to me. My father used to think he was oh so funny by tickling me to the point where I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t catch my breath. His face betrayed his enjoyment of control. I would try to kick and writhe my way out of his grip but to no avail.
So for something as simple as tickling, it’s a shame it’s never, ever been allowed in my house! Our kids have missed out on it. Or have they?
Whistling is another no-no in our house. When my father would start whistling, the rest of us (four kids and Mom), would look at each other with knowing-wide eyes and run like the wind for cover. ”Time for bed,” we’d all say. Lights out! Because this meant he was on the war path – he’d always whistle some song “Living on Jacks and Queens”? Marty tells me it was the theme song to “Maverick”. This meant he was in a good mood. But this good drunken mood would change so fast, which is why we’d run for bed, even if it was just 7 pm!
So you can imagine when I’m in a bookstore, the grocery store, THWIV, or the airport, and somebody starts whistling – I cringe. I think it’s rude, actually. It’s sort of like smoking in my space. Don’t whistle in my space, man. You might even go so far as to say I “flip out” a little. If Chris, Andrea, or Marty forget, and give a little whistle, I scream, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Then they feel awful. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. You should pay attention while you’re out and about, you’d be surprised how many people freakin’ whistle. I think I actually hear it almost every day somewhere.
So while my dear father left me these things to remember him by, these freaky triggers, I have oh so many fun things for my kids to remember me by, right? I’m hoping the word “blog” will be a trigger for them. Hence, this year-plus-long blog. I have made them promise to read some funny ones at my eulogy (along with other specific directions, such as to bury me upside down so the world can kiss my ass).
I hope I haven’t left them with any fingernails-on-the-chalkboard-triggers….hmmmmmm. Scary thought. I think Stromboli will haunt Chris forever. Or rolls of hockey tape. (I’ve been known to throw them at him in fits of anger.) Maybe my cupcake with a bite-out-of-it hairdo (late 80s – early 90s that her friends mocked) will haunt Andrea forever. Who knows.
But it won’t be tickling, and it won’t be whistling!