Does anyone else love Judy Bloom the way I did growing up?
When we were little-ish, my mom used to read to the Gaffer and I before bed, and our favourite soon came to be Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Superfudge! (you have to type the exclamation). We loved it because it was so funny, and so much fun to get so wound up and silly before sleep. The Gaffer used to do this thing (up until quite recently, actually) where he would use the tips of his fingers to brush rapidly at his cheeks whilst grinning ear-to-ear when he was excited. Though we probably should have recognized it as a pre-homocidal nervous tick, we all thought it was cute, so we pretended not to notice. Now he’s channeled it into a rapid palm-on-palm rub, which is probably more suited to a man of his impressive stature.
The Gaffer makes me remember who I am, and where I come from. He’s a grounding force, and one of the few people in the world who really “get” me. We have the exact same sense of humour, and completely delight in making each other laugh. When he laughs at my jokes, I KNOW they are funny. We have the same taste in books and movies, and we both share a deep-seated love of Led Zepplin. Judy Bloom is something I’ll always associate with him, and likewise Richard Scary, Guns and Roses, Hulkamania, The Dukes of Hazzard, The A Team, blanket forts, snow forts, my early experiments with wigs, makeup, and my mom’s discarded 60’s baby doll lingerie from our tickle trunk (I think the Gaffer was the first Coquette!), and any and all good-old-fashioned butcher knife chases. Can you guess who was the knife wielding maniac?
*Let me pause for a moment to remark that there is a Silence-of-the-Lambs sized moth fluttering frantically around my apartment, and I can’t get rid of it because if I leave the patio door open, the raccoons who live in my wall will come in for a visit. I’m not killing the little bastard because it will make a horrific mess. One of the limitations of single hood is that there is nobody else around to deal with the really gross bugs. If it lands on me while I’m sleeping, this will be my last entry. It puts the lotion in the basket…*
Anyway, my point in all of this is to say “Chin Up Gaffer.” Life is all about the leap, and the often painful crash to the earth when you get too close to the sun. Remember, without this particular brand of heart ache, Axl would have never welcomed anyone to the jungle, Robert Plant wouldn’t know how to wail, there’d be no reason to say your prayers and eat your vitamins, B.A. wouldn’t have anyone to pity, and the thrill of narrowly escaping with your life as the the bathroom door slammed shut in my face wouldn’t taste so sweet.
Judy Bloom introduced me to menstruation, masturbation, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and scoliosis, all of which have become a big part of my adult life. Imagine how different I would be if we had been hooked on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.