When I was a kid, my parents sent me to camp for the entire summer. It's not that they didn't love me. Rather, it's that they loved me so much that they wanted to share me with the wilderness, so that I might bring joy to all the flora and fauna and the hormonal counselors who were charged with keeping me from drowning and getting kicked in the head by a horse.
Anyone who has ever been to camp, knows that your sense of self -worth is exponentially related to the amount of mail that is received from home. My parents sent me letters written by my cat, Baker. Baker wrote about all the antics that my parents were up to since I had been away. He would include kitty treats and hairballs that he had yakked up on the rug. Baker was a visionary. He wrote that in the future, cats everywhere would have journals accessible via the internet. I thought his prophecy was rubbish and I wrote him letter telling him so. I am sure that he is looking down at me from Kitty Heaven now, licking his a$hole and thinking I told you so.
Recently, I asked my parents where they got the idea to write letters from the cat. I figured that they must have spent all year crafting letters from the cat. I can't fathom the amount of planning involved to orchestrate the precise schedule of a daily letter (minus Sundays). "I don't really remember those letters, Honey. You have to keep in mind that those were the days when your father and I were still experimenting with recreational chemicals and knew nothing of 12-step programs," Mom said. She paused and then said, "I'm glad that you enjoyed them, your sister didn't get anything like that when she went to camp. We just sent her money."
Mom still sends me care packages. She sends fancy pens and journals, whimsical flip books, trail mix, sardines and cocktail napkins all packed in perfumed confetti. Yesterday, a package arrived at my door. Inside was a copy of Watership Down, one of my childhood favorites. There was also a very used baby doll with bright blue eyes that open and shut and a tuft of fire red hair on her head.
Memories of playing with the doll came flooding back. I called Mom and she told me that when I was a kid, they bought me lots of dolls in different colors so that they would look like our family. A friend of the family noticed that I didn't have any Caucasian dolls. One day, she brought me a doll that her daughter had grown tired of. A little white baby doll. I named her White Baby.
I looked at White Baby and told Mom that it sure looked like I loved that doll. "No, she was pretty worn out when you got her."
I should have named her White Trash Baby.
PS: Thank you to all of you who voted for me for a Really F*cking Stupid Blog Award. This is an honor that I'll remember for as long as I can.