Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sitting Under The Swamp Cooler

It has been a very hot summer, which has made me remember back to a hot summer when I was a very, very small child of about two years old. I actually have a few memories of being that age and they mostly entail getting into trouble, which I did A LOT. I was kind of a handful, as I understand it. I still am. Haha.

Anyway, when I was a small child, my family lived in Sacramento, which is like hell in the summertime, temperature-wise. And back in the day, there was no air conditioning, so there was in our house what was referred to as a "swamp cooler." I have no idea what the thing really was or how it worked, but I remember that it was in the ceiling of our hallway. And it dripped. A lot. I don't think it was actually supposed to drip, but it did. So, naturally, in my two-year-old wisdom, during a summertime that was as hot as hell, I decided to sit under it. It was wonderful. I remember sitting under it and being so refreshed, as the cool water drip-drip-dripped onto my head.

My mother had told me not to sit under the swamp cooler. I have no idea why, but it was against her house rules. If you knew my mother, though, you will remember that she was an exceedingly neat, tidy person, who did not abide utilizing things for purposes for which they were not designed. And I suppose that the idea of her two-year-old daughter, all dressed in her cute summer outfit, with her hair neatly combed and held in place by a darling bow-shaped plastic barrette, sitting under a malfunctioning swamp cooler, just totally rubbed her the wrong way.

Even at that age, though, I had my own mind. And dammit if I wasn't going to sit under the dripping swamp cooler when the house was a fucking 104 degrees, or some nonsense like that. I, of course, did not know the word "fucking" at two years old. I did know the word "dammit," because that one was popular with my mother. But my toddler brain formed thoughts that definitely included the sentiments those words imply. Also, it was fun to sit under the swamp cooler and get wet. So, I would sneak into the hall and plant myself under the forbidden treasure, cooling myself off and having a grand old time until my mother inevitably found me. I knew she would find me, but I didn't really care.

I did care, though, about the spanking I got, but it was not enough to dissuade me from my mission of sitting under the swamp cooler. My mom was big on spankings, so I kinda learned to ignore them, especially when I thought The Rules were lame. I always had big and very self-confident opinions on The Rules, as I still do. If you know me, you know this about me. Fear of punishment is not an adequate motivation to keep me from disobeying The Rules, if I think they are lame.

When I grew up, my mom apologized about the spankings. She also apologized for "stifling" me. She would say, "We probably stifled you too much. But, I had never known a kid like you and I didn't know what to do." It's okay mom, I know I'm sort of a weirdo. ;-)

My dad must have fixed the swamp cooler, eventually, thus causing me to find some other way to get into trouble, which I inevitably did.