This is a special memory from my own childhood.
I was a very naïve child. I grew up on a farm and I knew about animals – especially dogs but at age eleven no one had explained he facts of life to me.
It all happened one afternoon when the teenage daughter of one of Dad’s very close friends was babysitting us. It was her Mom who used to give me those perms! Either mom or Dad had dropped us off at their house and she took us and her little sister for a walk downtown.
We stopped at the dime store. I don’t remember the name of it but they had rows of parakeets and canaries in cages. I loved going to that store. You could spend hours with those birds. They also had a huge nut counter. I think they must have had candy, too but I only remember the nuts. I bought some warm cashews and my sister bought pistachios. I never could understand why she liked green nuts. I still don’t like them! In the aisle behind that nut counter were the “45s”. I remember spending a lot of time standing there and going through those records!
We walked all over town that day and at some point one of us had to go to the bathroom so, we headed to the gas station. All four of us piled into the large bathroom and took turns. Margie went last.
What I saw then scared me to death. I guess she just assumed that I knew about such things because her little sister who was years younger than me knew. I was terrified but I said nothing. I was sure she was dying!
I went home and asked my mom if she knew that Margie was dying? She seemed so annoyed and asked me how I had gotten that idea. I explained to her what I had seen in the bathroom. I don’t know if she was glad to find out Margie wasn’t dying or panicked because now she had to explain things to me. I don’t know if I was relieved to find out Margie was OK or terrified to find out what I had to look forward to.
It was very traumatic.