I guess I was ornery from the womb. I was born a day early because I thought I was a gymnast and had turned myself doing somersaults and cartwheels and wrapped the umbilical chord around my body and twice around my neck. If someone had told me not to, I still would have done it. It wasn’t the best of times for my mother. I didn’t care. I was a baby who dreamed of Olympic gold achieved by perfectly landing the dismount from the crossbeam.
Thus began the Chronicles of Don’t, as I like to call the bad decisions I’ve made in my life.
Another example of this was when I was a baby and tried to put a fork into the electrical socket. I did not heed the warnings of Grandpa Paul. I did not care. I most likely had no idea what he was saying, as I firmly believe that babies can’t understand English. I think they can only understand tone and expression, like a dog or a man in an argument.
Then there was the Christmas morning that brought me a beautiful silver jackknife with my initials engraved on the side, and an apple. We had let the parents sleep in and I distinctly remember deciding to cut my apple with my knife, and then standing in the hallway outside the first floor bathroom bleeding, probably not as profusely as I thought, and knowing that I would have to go upstairs and wake up mom and dad. I was so sure they would take the knife away, and I think that was most of the reason that I cried.
Surprisingly they did not take away my knife, but told me to never ever cut something towards myself. I have always remembered this piece of wisdom due to the little scar on my hand above the webbing between my thumb and pointer finger.
Now, when I decided to call this thread the Chronicles of Don’t it came from a certain thought that occurs when I remember something that I did, experienced, or chose in the past: Ugh, don’t! Junk, already did. That was the WORST!
I’m sure that quite a few people understand this cringe inducing effect our memories can produce in us. Some refer to it as shame or regret. I try not to dwell on these words because they are so negative sounding. I don’t want to feel shamed by my memories, even if I do! I don’t want to regret anything I have or haven’t done, even if I do! I want to think of myself as a girl who can whip her hair over her shoulder at the past and walk on in complete confidence that her life is exactly as she wants it to be in the past, present, and future! But this girl does not exist outside of fictional television. And so, instead of pretending everything went the way I wanted it to, I thought all these occasions of Don’t would be better suited as writing material. After all, I can always remember a Don’t, which means I will always have something to write about.
And if you think these stories don’t sound too bad….. just wait. It gets worse.