Monday, May 30, 2011

(Yet Another) Flashback Post

As my parents continue to plow ahead with their ridiculous plan to pass the house I grew up in to people who neither deserve to live there nor appreciate the history contained therein, I am daily faced with challenges the likes of which I could never have foreseen and thus find myself emotionally unprepared to deal with.

Like my dad saying to me, "Becky, you know those VHS tapes upstairs?  You need to go through them."

Among those tapes is my 33-volume Beatles video collection (yes, you read that number correctly; if it aired on VH1 in the nineties and had a Beatles spin, I taped it) and my original Disney movies.  And, of course, there are the family tapes.

The family tapes have already been put aside for inclusion in climate-controlled storage, but in a fit of nostalgia, I have watched several of them in the past month, and in a fit of less-impressive nostalgia, I went back through my MySpace blog entries and found this post, from 2006, referencing my favorite tape of all:  the one I labeled (at age 10) "Becky and Her Golden Years."

One volume in our family's extensive home video collection covers several moments in the life of a very young Becky. We start with my first Xmas and end with me performing "Love in Any Language" in American Sign Language with my 4th grade APEX class. Last night, I found myself thinking of this tape and wondering if any of that sign language had been retained in the 15-year interim. I started singing the chorus and, sure enough, as if possessed by the spirit of my 9-year-old self, my arms and hands clumsily started going through the motions. I didn't get very far, but the fact that I knew any of it is a grand testament to the memory power of the muscular system.

Also on this tape is a segment in which my pre-school self and two childhood friends, Jill (9) and Sarah (7) are telling the cameraman (my Uncle Mike) jokes. Jill and Sarah knew lots of jokes. They would say things like, "What's green with red spots? A pickle with the measles!" which would be followed by three sets of high-pitched girly giggles.

I, at the tender age of 4, didn't know any jokes, or even understand the concept of jokes. When it was my turn, I would invariably turn around and search the backyard for inspiration, resulting in several jokes about grass and cats running away and being adopted. Toward the end of our show, I finally at least picked up on the format of the jokes and came up with, "What's black and white with eight stripes?" 

Clearly, I hadn't come up with the punchline before I opened my mouth, so I hestitated for a second, "It'''s TEN BABIES!" We all fell over laughing because things that make no sense are usually funnier than things that do and to this day, every time I envision myself triumphantly declaring, "TEN BABIES!" I laugh out loud. Even Uncle Mike was stifling laughter as he said, "You'd have to be pretty good friends to laugh at a joke like that."

Filled to the end with such quality images, the tape had to be retired when I was about 10. A label-er even in youth, I got out a Sharpie and neatly wrote "Becky and Her Golden Years" across the top.


  1. LMAO!! I think that's a brilliant joke! I mean, people obviously laugh, so it must be a good joke :-D

    My, soon-to-be-three year old daughter's concept of a joke is calling me "daddy". For SO many reasons I do NOT appreciate that joke.

    TONS of HUGS for all the emotional stuff!!

  2. Thank you! :) I will one day stop bringing up the move in every single post, but it seems to be dominating my life right now...

    And I shouldn't have laughed as hard as I did about the "daddy" thing but that's SUCH a little kid kind of joke!! ;D I guess our sense of humor isn't refined until later in life. You'll have to remember that and then remind her when SHE has a daughter one day. :D (As an aside, WOW on her being almost three!!!! Time flies... :))

  3. LMAO PG :) and soooo cute


  4. She has a new one! She asks me to switch the names of the characters of her two favorite books, and when I do, she giggles all through the books :-)

    Much better joke! Switching names is OK, not just with me and her dad - that's just pure insulting.

    And yeah - almost three. How did that happen? And how come I'm still the same age as when she was born?! ;-)