My mother has been rifling through some of her prehistoric belongings lately.
Old birthday cards. Old Valentine’s Day cards. Old Mother’s Day cards. Old Christmas cards.
From overpriced Hallmark Signature greeting cards to good ole’ fashioned handmade masterpieces, that woman has somehow managed to keep every single thing I’ve ever given her since I first learned that it was socially unacceptable to ignore your parents on holidays. So, she’s been harboring a lot of junk for a really, really LONG time.
I have no idea how she’s managed it. Her closet is like an extension of the Smithsonian, only instead of it being full of valuable relics of the past, it is full of complete garbage that her only child gave her: Me. You are most welcome, Mom.
Well, today she ever so graciously passed along two bits of antiquity that I gave her back in 1994. She thought I would find them “funny”. I then decided to share it with you guys, but please do not judge what you are about to witness. It’s sincerely a crime against humanity, but what’s done is done.
The first item was a Christmas card with this haphazardly drawn holiday scene covering its inner flap (the photo above).
There I am with ice skates (and freakishly short arms), getting ready to jump onto a frozen pond. In the background, there is a messily decorated tree with two measly presents (“Remember, Christmas isn’t about the presents, Christmas isn’t about the presents…Christmas is about the presents…”).
Suspended above my peaceful winter wonderland are… various models of alien aircraft. Sure, they were supposed to be snowflakes, but I’m pretty sure they look more like alien aircraft. So…that’s what they are now.
Next, my mom gave me an old envelope that I had addressed to her from my grandparents’ house. I am assuming I was spending part of my summer vacation there when I got bored and decided to post some correspondence.
The postmark revealed the date: June 3, 1994. The words, “Returned For Postage” was stamped across the front in red lettering. I did put a stamp on it, and it was quite a nice one too— it had a bushel of lilacs on it. I’m guessing it wasn’t the sufficient amount of postage still. Boo…
Inside the envelope was a tiny folded piece of notebook paper which I surely pilfered from my grandmother’s nightstand. Without even unfolding it, I noticed that I’d written something on the outside of the note. It was an urgent message for Pickles… my cat. LOL! I actually told my mom to make sure she read it aloud to her. I was dead serious too.
Unfolding the note, I could see that I was still extremely concerned about “Pickels” and her supposed unruly behavior. I’m not sure why I was so worried though. Pickles was a very sweet, well behaved pet.
I do, however, understand wanting to be briefed on the state of my video games. I loved video games at that age… and still do, really. I had to have been referring to a wonky NES cartridge that probably just needed someone to blow the dust out of it. Anyone who is old enough and dorky enough to have been into NES totally knows what I’m talking about right now. Ahh…memories.
Not only was I mortified by the impossibly crude manner in which I once drew, I nearly croaked when I saw my poor spelling and glaringly incorrect punctuation. Had I been my own child I would have probably sent these items back with corrections marked in red ink. I am that particular about proper spelling, punctuation and overall grammar.
Scowling at the notes, I sat there trying to do the math to see how old I would have been in June of 1994 (boy, did that take far longer than necessary). I was seven.
Now, I realize that I was only a mere child at the time; I get it. However, I can not fathom ever having had such crap penmanship. Similarly, I was personally offended by my grossly improper usage of the standard comma. How dare I put that chicken scratch down on a piece of scrap paper and actually put it in an envelope as though it was of legitimate letter quality. BAH!
How could this even be possible? Me? Bad with punctuation? It simply couldn’t be true. I mean, wasn’t I always a human thesaurus with the punctuating capabilities of a grammar god? It was a devastating blow to my clearly inaccurate memory, I’ll tell you that! If my early artistic and writing skills had been anything to go off of, I would have assumed that I’d grow up to be half illiterate!
Such progress has been made since the days of me not knowing where the heck a comma goes, writing “Pickels” instead of “Pickles”, and spelling “you” with a simple “u”. I’d like to think that I’m quite a good artist now (despite the deliberately simplistic doodles I typically post on here). Heck, I’ve even mastered the Oxford comma. We’re really moving up in the world…haha.
I guess that really just goes to show…you should never give up on yourself. No matter how terrible you might be at something now, just keep at it.
With practice comes proficiency.
Thank you for that little life lesson, seven-year old, clueless me. Maybe you aren’t half bad after all. 😀