Old Childhood Things

  • Kristen: When I was younger, I had a much stronger passion for music than I do these days. In elementary school, I struck with chorus, but quit band. I attended almost all of my Dad’s concerts (He’s a drummer). Britney Spears was my idol. I played her video game, bought her CDs (even when CDs were going out of style), and watched documentaries involving her at the delicate age of eight. I had books full of songs I had written, had two guitars (which I never really learned how to play, but gave a good shot), and drew pictures of myself on the red carpet. As I got older, I kept trying to dabble with different instruments, but nothing ever stuck. I eventually quit chorus in high school because I didn’t like how it was run, and I really wanted to take music theory instead, where I got to compose for a little while. Since that class, I really haven’t done anything with music except for listen to it. It only feels sad to me when I put it in a condensed form like this.
  • Lana: When I was little, I was so timid that a lot of people actually thought I was mute. I spent most of my time reading and playing house with one or two close friends, never getting in trouble. I was also a gymnast, so when a few of my early passions were joined in a book called “The Little Gymnast,” by Sheila Haigh, I was obsessed with it. I would sit in the mini kitchen in my kindergarten classroom, reading The Little Gymnast or playing with a pair of tiny purple cooking tongs that I thought were the cutest things I’d ever seen, at the time. For months, I was satisfied with just playing with these two small things in the classroom, but as time went on and my first younger sibling was born, I became a little greedier. One dreadful day, I gave in to my desires and stole the purple tongs and the book from my classroom. I stored them in my backpack, panicking on my way out the door. I remember just how scared I was, because it was such a dramatic thing for shy lil ol’ me to do! Even when I got home, I didn’t really relax. I was too afraid to use them outside of the school, fearing that someone would somehow know that ah, yes, these were stolen from an elementary school. I took the things out of my bag and hid them on a shelf in my closet, where they lay to this day. This is the first time I’ve confessed.
  • Sarah: When I was young, picky, and demanding, I’d only eat and drink food items from my exclusive, hand-picked menu: fried eggs with toast, all kinds of cereal, Pop Tarts, and “Hershey,” (which was just what my Nigerian mom called warm milk with Hershey’s chocolate syrup; hot chocolate). Everything else was simply too flawed for me. I didn’t like Jollof Rice (forgive me my Nigerian and Ghanaian brothers and sisters. I was not living right) because the pieces of meat in it freaked me out. I had to pick out every single speck of beef in order to eat the rice, which by the way is delicious! Chicken wings were only fine until I bit off enough of the crispy skin to see the veins—then I was out! I couldn’t pop an entire Nacho Cheese Dorito into my mouth because I didn’t understand what all of the brown dots were (until a light flickered and I realized I was eating a Red 40-laced tortilla chip)! Before that life-altering discovery, I’d just eat around the dots with carefulness and precision.

When I entered my Pop Tarts and “Hershey” phase, my mother and older siblings knew that getting me to eat even those favorite foods of mine came with a catch! They’d have to scare me in order for me to even consider drinking my beloved chocolate beverage. When I heard the microwave beep, I knew my warm drink and processed pastry were on the way. Yet, if they didn’t say “boo,” I wasn’t gonna chew!

  • Helen: When I was a kid I used to LOVE wearing dresses and skirts. I was also a small child and super “unladylike,” so my mom used to dress me in skorts. Those things were honestly a godsend. That way I didn’t have to worry about teachers being like “sit like a lady!” but I could still look hella cute. Shoutout to whoever invented skorts. (I also used to really like sporks – to my four year old self, these things were genius inventions.)
  • Julia: I, too, used to be a tomboy in elementary school. I only wore plaid, knee-length shorts and new balance shoes, with whatever polo I thought matched my shorts that day. I also picked at my bug bites all the time, which drove my mum mad, because I would pick them until they bled and scabbed over; thus leaving my arms and legs covered in a variety of scars and scabs.

During my elementary school years, I also stole peanut butter from our pantry all the time. It was my favorite thing to do after school. My mum wouldn’t let us snack until dinner after the school day was done, so I’d just wait till she was out of the kitchen/my sight for a period of time. Then I would slowly open the Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter — the best one! — dip in two fingers and eat the peanut butter off. To “cover my tracks”, I would smear my two slobber-covered fingers over the top to erase my dip marks. I thought I was really slick for that one; really I was just disgusting and unsanitary. My poor family!

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