Has everyone stopped their maniacal arm flapping and anticipatory shrieking? Good, then I shall move on.
Sidenote: I want to state for the record right now that as far as I was concerned there were absolutely no perks to being a wallflower. I used to tell myself that the fact that boys didn't notice me just gave me more time to read and that I was happy. But in reality I was a desperate piece of work that spent two hours learning how to tie a Windsor Knot and then volunteered to tie all of the debate boys' ties before tournaments. Yes, THAT desperate.
Ok, so yes you're probably thinking "As much as Lauren claims to read the dictionary, she certainly does not know the definition of the word exciting." But there's something you do not know about owning a grocery store...it almost always involves extremely tiny Race Cars, or more specifically, Go Karts.
True dat, Blogstalkers.
So I know I've mentioned briefly at some point that during the early part of my childhood my dad owned and ran a grocery store. It was actually one of multiple stores in the Chicagoland area. The others were owned and run by his brothers and before that his dad, my grandpa.
What I have not mentioned is that when you own a grocery store, vendors sometimes present you with awesome themed gifts around the holidays. And when the vendors find out that you have five small children at home, the gifts get even better....or worse I guess, depending on who you are. In this case, I was one of the children...so it all worked out in my favor.
Who needs a Barbie limo when you have this to transport Bride Barbie and Groom Ken (or in my case, Bride Barbie and Shaved-Head-Pretending-To-Be-A-Boy Groom Barbie) to and from the church on their wedding day.
|With this gift Kraft earned itself a lifetime customer.|
Brilliant Idea: Next time I have a party I am probably going to hire a cheese truck, a cracker truck and a beer truck and just have them open the doors and back up to the park across the street. Best party ever. You are all invited.
My sisters and I also had this lovely contraption, emblazoned with the words TIDE! and DOWNY!
We almost never used this to pretend-wash clothes. It did serve other useful purposes though. The dryer was where we hid secret snacks, like Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies and the washer (since it actually had a removable blue basin) was excellent for filling with ice and secret bottles of Nestle Quick Chocolate Milk that we swiped from the place my dad hid them in the fridge.
And then my dad would be like "GIRLS! Where is my Nestle Quick Chocolate Milk!?" And we would be like:
Jordan: Huh...now THAT is a stumper.
Lauren: Yeah, where on earth would one put something that needs to be kept cold?
Jordan: Maybe check the dog's crate?
Lauren: Or the washing machine maybe?
At which point my dad would just be like "I am raising the most sarcastic little girls on the planet," and retreat to the computer to play Risk. And we would giggle and run downstairs to our playroom and drink stolen chocolate milk out of the washing machine.
The very best thing that we ever got as a result of my dad owning the store though was a Go Kart. From Nestle because my dad's store had sold over a certain level in Nestle products (probably because of all the replacement chocolate milks my dad bought over the years.)
It was magnificent. It looked exactly like this:
Obviously this wasn't actually something that could be operated by a small girl child. Even though I had operated much more dangerous machinery at a much younger age. (Remember The Machine Gun?)
So my dad was all, "YES!!! Finally a man-present. Something that can not be ruined by mischevious little girls!" (My dad was probably only like 32 when we got the Go Kart.)
But we begged and begged for a ride and finally he gave in "JUST THIS ONCE GIRLS, OK?"
So my dad drove the tiny car around the block countless times with one of us sitting between his knees wearing a tiny helmet and screaming "FASTER DADDY!"
Eventually the neighborhood children got wise to the fact that we owned a Go Kart (probably because my sisters and I were always like "Hey, did you know we have a Go Kart?") and when my dad would pull it out on Sunday afternoons in the summer a line of children would form literally all the way down street. Scads of seven year olds vying for their chance to get a ride in the car that copious amounts of chocolate milk had bought.
Parents were consulted and to my dad's disappointment I'm pretty sure not one of them said no (this was the early 90's after all.) So my dad would then spend his day chauffeuring sticky chalk-covered children around the block and back to their individual homes.
And a wonderful time was had by all. And for some reason vendors never again bestowed upon us any more adult gifts.
And that, dear Blogstalkers, is the story of the only summer in my life when I was popular.
Any fond childhood memories to share?