I’ve already told you about all the quiet time we were forced to spend because of the funerals downstairs; a lot of whispering and tip-toeing. Well, this was my mother’s creativity at work once again. We had a sign in our living room that said “Love One Another.” We had it from the time I can remember and the whole time we lived in the funeral home. My sister Kris has it now.
When we were really young, even if there was funeral going on, sometimes a fight would break out. It could be over anything from what we wanted to watch on TV (at a low volume) to who’s turn it was to set the table. My mother’s solution? She made whoever was fighting, stand in front of the “Love One Another” sign and hold hands. We weren’t allowed to talk or look away from the sign. This was supposed to magically transform us into liking each other again? Meanwhile, we would be pinching, squeezing and trying to break each other’s fingers while staring at her message of love.
If we got mad at each other during dinner, we’d make faces at each other and kick each other under the table since we couldn’t talk. We would also purposely do things to try and make each other scream so that they would get in trouble, like kick them really hard, but this rarely worked. We usually all got in trouble together when it came to making noise.
But making faces at each other was also used for fun when we had to be quiet. Sometimes when a funeral was going on, and if we were bored, we would stand in front of the mirror and try to make each other laugh by making the ugliest faces we could. We liked it so much that sometimes we did it even when there wasn’t a funeral going on, and if my dad walked in while we were doing it, he would do it to. Everyone would get in on it, except my mom. That kind of silliness is beneath her. But she would laugh at all of the weirdos making faces at each other. I know it’s an odd form of entertainment, but it definitely makes you laugh.
This continued on until modern age. When all of us got Skype so we could talk to each other, the first thing everyone did (except my mother) was get up close to the camera and make a stupid face, which evoked the desired result, a laugh. I was Skyping with my mom one day and my dad walked through the kitchen and saw me on Skype and got up to the camera and made a goofy face, and of course, I did it back. He did the same thing with my sisters and brother. Meanwhile, my mother was sitting there saying, “Excuse me, is this what we’re going to use modern technology for? To make silly faces at each other?” To which we all responded, “Of course.” My brother and I do it every time we Skype. Yeah, I know it’s childish, so what? I never said we were mature.
Back to the fights. As we got older, the fights would basically turn into “whisper fights.” We knew we couldn’t yell at each other, but you try and stop a couple of teenage girls from fighting over whose turn it is to clean the bathroom. You might just get some hair ripped out. But when you combine whispering and yelling, it sounds a bit demonic. I’ll wait while you try it out. Go ahead. See? And a lot of time, it would get heated enough to where someone lost control, and the whispers quickly broke above normal volume and it got loud. Of course, once that happened, it basically stopped the fight because we knew Dad might have heard it and if he came upstairs, we would get in trouble for fighting and yelling. After that, it became a lot of flipping each other off and mouthing curses and insults at each other without making a sound. Where was my mother during a lot of these fights? In the kitchen, on the phone, with a glass of wine in her hand while teenage brawls were happening just a few rooms away.
You’ll hear more about our fights as we go along…like the time my sister threw a jar of pennies at my head or the time my mom and I got into a slap fight, and my brother had to break it up. Oh yeah, there’s more where that came from. I love to hear about family fights because no one can piss you off quite like your family can!
Have a great Monday if that’s even possible….