|Navajo child photo by Neeta Lind|
When I was four, I remember being downtown shopping with my mother. After much whining on my part, she bought me candy cigarettes. Hey, this was the fifties: smoking was cool. My mother only allowed me one. I was very miffed about that. I got my revenge ( totally unplanned, I swear) in the elevator of the only department store in Austin. As the doors on the elevator closed on a full elevator, I turned to mother and said "Give me my cigarettes." Mother did not flinch although the elevator was now silent. She looked at me and said "No." She did not explain the situation to a bunch of strangers. I did learn she had felt some consternation when she told my paternal grandmother what had happened. I did not get the "cigarettes" until we were home. I never remember having another pack.
I was a smart kid, but it took me a long time to realize that. I always expected to fail the next test in school. I never did. I just thought I was lucky but weird. As an adult, I know I am just weird. Most days that does not bother me.