Another stage I liked was the altar at St. Alice church. Once you reached 5th grade, the nuns and priests would let students read aloud at mass. I have to be honest, I don’t’ know what I was reading, if it was passages from the Bible, or Psalms or what. I don’t even know the difference. I guess the Bible? The point is that I didn’t care what I was reading, I just liked being on stage. The nun would ask the class who wanted to read in church and my hand was up first every time. That was the only reason I liked church. If I wasn’t reading, I HATED going to church. Catholic Church is so long and boring, and all of that ridiculous kneeling and standing and kneeling and sitting and kneeling….Jesus Christ! Is that shit really necessary? What’s the point of being bored and uncomfortable?
I used to love to look up during the reading and see all of those crazy church goers paying attention to me. I think some of my love of performing came out of a need for attention. I’m not sure about that, but it’s my theory. Everyone in the house competed for attention. It was so hectic because of the business, and even though we were my parents’ priority (kind of), we were always competing with the business. Let’s face it, the funerals were paying the bills, the kids weren’t. And when you have a problem as a kid that you think is big, it’s quickly put into perspective by a family whose loved one died. THAT takes precedence over your problem every time….so a few extra toys would’ve been nice.
I also got attention by wearing weird clothes, although that wasn’t intentional. I just liked to wear stuff that made no sense, like my mother’s swimming cap. I looked like a mental patient and apparently that was fine with my mom because she let me dress myself, unless I was going to a function and had to look normal. I remember going on a field trip in first grade to some dairy farm. She made me wear a plaid dress that had been worn by both my sisters. Being the third girl sucked because a lot of the clothes I was forced to wear were hand-me-downs, but I managed to put my own style on that ugly shit.
I used to like wearing one of my shirts and then would put one of my brother’s shirts that was way too small for me, over that. I wore rosary beads around my neck on a regular basis, which, by the way, was long before Madonna ever did it. I also had a shirt in 5th grade that said “Praise the Lord,” that was clearly from some weird religious function my parents went to. But I didn’t care, I liked the colors and didn’t give a shit that I probably looked like some weird little Bible thumping creep.
I don’t like leftovers either. Leftovers are the hand-me-downs of food. I like fresh clothes and fresh food. A lot of people like to shop in “vintage” stores, and I just see them as other people’s old clothes that probably stink.
We had a lot of leftovers growing up because my mom didn’t want to cook every night. I understand that, but maybe that’s why I hate them. Three nights in a row of spaghetti? Oh yeah, it happened. And then there was cube steak! This was my most hated meal. Mom would cook the meat with peppers and onions and the flavor was good, but the meat was this chewy, low-grade bullshit. She’d make it on Monday and we’d still be chewing it on Wednesday. It was so gross and I’d often gag from it. Luckily, as the business started growing, the meat got less chewy. By that I mean that as my dad made more money, my mom’s meals got better. She’s a great cook and everything, but if you’re gonna buy meat, you should only have to chew it for one meal…don’t you think?