Pearl Among Swine

When I was ten, my parents got divorced, and, as a result, I became the only girl in attendance at the 24/7 Sausage Fest.

Now, I’ve always maintained my girly girl attitude and never really had a tomboy stage like many a child of the 90’s.  I was raised on high ponytails and glitter folders and the scourt was about as boyish as it got.

However, there are certain – shall we say, tendancies – that come with being the only source of estrogen in a simmering stew of vagina jokes and football grunts.

For one, I became Mother #2.  As Mother #2, I made sure my brothers and father always wore sunscreen (this directly followed an unfortunate incident where my father accidentally forgot to coat my youngest brother Jonathan Casper during an all-day stint at the beach in the middle of July.  Let’s just say the result involved blisters and an ER visit).  As Mother #2 I also took the liberty of wearing my Bitch hat and putting my brothers in timeout whenever they so much as looked at me the wrong way.  It was the greatest power trip of my life.  And it lasted for quite some time until my middle brother realized he was being played and took it upon himself to forever install “Bitch” and “You can’t tell me what to do” in his vocabulary.  Jonathan soon followed.

To be clear, three to one is a bit of an unbalanced ratio, and soon after my stint as a pre-pubescent fake parent, I began to notice the effects of living in a house where the only pink in sight was on my bedspread.

I had become immune.  Suddenly everything was funny.  All things that girls anywhere and everywhere sneered at became the norm.  And the habits began.

The Hawking of the Loogies:  When it came to hawking loogies, my father taught me all I know.  I get it, when someone hawks a loogie, the sound is enough to make you want to gag a little.  That grating gurgle of sound and liquid mashing together to force mucus out of the recesses of the throat isn’t exactly what you’d make love to.  However, it’s something that just has to be done from time to time.  Who wants to keep re-swallowing something you can easily get rid of in a few noisy seconds?  Not me.  Really, I don’t understand what the major stigma is. He perfected the art of getting a big one ready, rolling down the window and spitting it at least a foot away from the car – all while traveling 75mph down the interstate.  I unfortunately still haven’t quite mastered that one.  The other day, I went to let one loose on the highway and instead of clearing the car, I managed to spit it right in the onslaught of wind, sending half the loogie back at me and the other half right on the door handle.  But it’s a good thing I was still hungry because that meant I had a snack for later, just in case.  

My best friend growing up was particularly repulsed by my behavior and would scream bloody murder and call me “gross” and “revolting” and all sorts of names when I’d do my little loogie dance.  But rather than getting down about it and feeling like a scolded puppy, I decided to channel my inner padre and exploit the situation to piss her off even more.  I’d hawk a big one and do a little extra theatrical gagging to make it seem like the biggest mucus mass on the planet – then I’d spit it right in her walking path and watch with pure satisfaction as she jumped back and let out a blood-curtling howl.  I was what one might call “disgusting.”  

The Expulsion of the Gas:  Farting is basically a competition at my house.  Though, over the years there have been some numbers that will be hailed forever as champions – one of which belonged to yours truly.  I never escape this story’s retelling at every single family gathering, so I have absolutely no shame in telling it to you now.  I was about 11 and we had spent a whole Saturday at Chuck-E-Cheese playing games that had been licked, peed on and pooped on by millions of children across America – just to win tickets to exchange for a slew of shitty plastic toys that would be forgotten in one week’s time.  So, naturally, I was exhausted.  Playing fake basketball is a freaking workout.  As soon as we got home, I climbed onto the top bunk and passed out like a homeless drunk.

At this point in our lives, we were living in a large studio apartment, so I was sleeping in the same room where my family counterparts were eating/playing video games/attempting to train our two parakeets.  All was well – a scene straight out of Goodnight Moon, when midway through a particularly intense round of Mario Kart, there erupted from the corner a sound that rumbled the floor and shook the walls.  From what I’ve been told, the sheet poofed up a few inches.  My dad & brothers turned to me in horror.  But there I was, sound asleep with a slight smile draped lazily across my face.  I wish I could say that moments such as this were far and few between.  But, I would be lying.  And I’m not a liar.  Most of the time.

The Partaking in Daily Vulgarity: Those who know me know that on any given day, I am armed with a good woman joke, dead baby joke, Helen Keller joke, and vagina joke to toss around at any given moment.  Also, I swear like a sailor.  My mother is contantly telling me it makes me unattractive, and I guess she has a point (slowly reflects on dating mistakes and everlasting singledom).  But you’ve got to admit, there’s nothing better than a joke about nuns and bicycle seats (I wish it was as funny in writing as it is in person).  And Jesus jokes.  Jesus jokes are the greatest.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Jesus.  But let’s be real, He would probably laugh at those jokes.  My grandpa is a pastor and he laughs at Jesus jokes.  They’re hilarious.

Beyond the day to day excretions and overall inappropriateness, as a pearl among swine, I learned to throw a decent spiral with the pigskin and play with the best of ’em.  But my balls didn’t drop quick enough for me to join the high school team.  So I gave that dream up.

But alas, I’ll always have my dirty habits.

Now, who wants a date?

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