Wednesday, March 10, 2010
My grandparents used to live in Florida. Every year my parents would pack my brother and I in their van (This was the 70's.) and we would leave the Snow Belt, heading south and stripping our layers as the asphalt grew hotter. It was a long trip and we seldom stopped. My parents were young and broke so hotels (and plane tickets) were out of the question. I'm sure it wasn't easy for them. And since this was pre-seatbelt/carseat times, we bounced around in the back like popcorn in a scorching pan with an ill-fitting lid, bickering with each other and trying to get the semi-trucks that passed to beep their horns. Naturally, every 45 seconds we'd whine "are we there yet?" The carrot dangled in front of our little eager selves was pretty mind-blowing: Grandparents and Disney--a kiddie jackpot.
So when Arlene asked me to do anything Disney for a client who was taking her daughter to The Magic Kingdom, I could only think of Minnie. She was my favorite. The one I most wanted to see at the entrance to the park. The only souvenir I wanted was a Minnie head with a zipper in back to insert and store my pajamas. Of course my grandparents made sure it was mine. And although there are few childhood memories that are really crisp in my mind, I distinctly remember spending the majority of the car ride back North with Minnie in front of my face. I was her. I had the helium high pitched voice. My parents weren't allowed to call me Tammy. And I refused to eat at the rest stop. I only took her away from my chubby cheeks when I was able to stuff my PJ's in and put her at the head of my bed. Minnie was in my home.
And I became Tammy, once again.