Monday, April 06, 2009
CONFESSIONS OF A NERDLING – PART 3
I was the only girl in my neighborhood until I turned eight when blond-haired, blue-eyed, six-year-old Cindy moved in next door. I had prayed for a girlfriend, someone to share secrets and dolls with, someone to run through the fields with, someone brave enough to jump off the end of the dock with me and not get all squeamish about the muck and lilypads. And then one day I saw a construction crew pull into the empty lot next door with their trucks and start building a little square house. Looking back, I thought that house was big (every house was bigger than mine), but in truth it couldn't have been more than 800 square feet! Everything about that house was compact, from the teeny little bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, and the little living room with the picture window overlooking the lake.
At any rate, when Cindy moved in, trouble just seemed to move in with her. We found more things to get into, and somehow the naughty part I'd been hiding most of my eight years found a way to get out whenever I spent time with her.
One beautiful May day, out of boredom, we decided to remove all of Mrs. Dennis's beautiful blooming tulips, which she'd planted in neat rows against her house, and "replant" them in the sand down at the beach. We reasoned they would look so much prettier down there where the sun could catch their rainbow colors. So, I ran into the house for a pair of scissors, and one by one we clipped off each and every blossoming stem (a couple dozen at least) about an inch from the ground, leaves and all, and carried them down to the beach. We dug holes with our hands and carefully set each stem with its brightly colored, fragrant bloom in the moist sand. My, they looked lovely all standing in three neat rows. Never mind that some of them were starting to lean. We were certain Mrs. Dennis would thank us for our thoughtful gesture when she got home from her errands.
In fact, she marched over to my house that evening for a chat with my parents. It was difficult for Mom and Dad to figure out how to right the situation, and when it was all said and done, Mrs. Dennis shrugged it off, saying she was thankful we didn't pull up the bulbs. (Hmm. We hadn't thought of that, and it's probably a good thing.) They would come up next year, she said. I believe my parents were hard-pressed to know what to do with me most times. I wasn't evil, after all, just mischievous. My actions didn't warrant a spanking, but they did deserve a good scolding, which I'm sure I got. Unfortunately, or not, I don't remember the outcome, only that I never did it again. Hmm. I tried lots of things once.