I was in 3rd grade and my book bag had broken to the point that I couldn't use it at all. Back in those days, 3rd graders didn't have much homework, if any at all, but a cool backpack was a status symbol. It couldn't be those babyish ones with the cute little sparkly pics on them anymore because when you're in 3rd grade you're so grown up that you are practically old enough to vote! It also couldn't be those boring one tone brown or green colored ones that the college kids (who also happened to be my sisters) used. I still haven't figured out what the hell was wrong with those people, and why in the world would one choose such a boring style for their bag when they could have a totally kick ass New Kids on the Block bag or something as equally cool. Anyway, mine was broken and I had nothing. You might as well have thrown me out on the streets and made me eat from dumpsters for as low as I felt. I was positive that everyone would think I was homeless. I couldn't even afford a bag, or at least I was convinced that is how it appeared to my fellow classmates (who actually never even noticed that I didn't have one and no one really cared, but that's beside the point!!). I begged my parents all weekend to take me book bag shopping. I don't remember exactly what the excuses where that came out of their mouths, but in reality, they would miss out on some killer episodes of Gun Smoke (boooooriiiiing) or M*A*S*H* (which I secretly loved because I wanted to be "Hot Lips" Houlihan) and some quality quilt making time.
|"Hot Lips" Houlihan ~ My secret 3rd grade idol|
At least if it was this cool, I could just pass it off as being awesome and like I totally meant to use a briefcase as a school bag.
But, nope, it was similar to this. Even the Internet was too grossed out to put a pic of the real thing on it.
What's NOT hot about this?! Dad came home Tuesday evening and went through the same comforting routine that he did every night when he got home. *vuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupp and ta-piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing* "Punky, I got you a real school bag this time!" Excited again, I raced to the same looking unassuming bag as yesterday and opened it up with joy because surely he wouldn't do it to me twice in a row. . . even though I never apologized for my previous day's behavior because I totally wasn't even remotely sorry for freaking out. I should have already known, but you know what they say about hind-sight. I pulled out the same freaking fake plastic, pleathery looking, set it on fire and it'll instantly melt to whatever is closest to it, diamond pop open briefcase. ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS WITH THIS CRAP?! I just looked at him and cried and dropped it on the floor again. This time his face was more demonic looking as he smiled. He was teaching me a lesson, and I sure as HELL was going to learn it before I was getting anything that even remotely resembled a real book bag! The same crap happened for about 2 more days until he finally announced that I was ungrateful and bratty and most definitely couldn't take a joke. I'm still not sure which was the worst offence out of the three. I felt like a dumbass for my bawl baby behavior and at the same time still appalled yet humored by the thought that he threw his own man sized temper tantrum by making me relive the briefcase experience for so many days in a row to teach me what? I should have said, "Oooooh an awesome, plasticy, flammable, briefcase!! I LOVE IT! There are starving kids in Africa who will never have a plasticy, flammable, briefcase! I'm so grateful for mine! I'll love it and pet it and cherish it always!" If I only would have known that saying that was the key to a REAL book bag that first night *head shmuck*! I apologized for being a dramatic, ungrateful, bawl baby, and I seriously meant it. I felt soooo stupid for my behavior. Thank goodness the only people who saw it were my parents! I got a super cool book bag after my apology, and I have no memory of what it even looked like. It must have been awesome though because I didn't throw any tantrums about it. I remember those briefcases though, that's for sure!!
My dad was a wonderful, loving and super funny man who also had a tendency of throwing weirdly unique, big daddy tantrums if you rubbed him the wrong way which usually only happened when someone was being an ungrateful, wiener, bawl baby (adults included). He would HATE Rush Limbaugh because he's king of the whiny wiener fan club! Anyway, as hard to believe as it is, I most definitely learned some lessons from this episode. First, don't take life seriously. It would be super funny for a 3rd grader to use a plasticy, flammable briefcase and definitely don't throw a tantrum about it if it isn't your bag, baby. Second, be grateful for what you have. It could be taken away from you in a heartbeat. I'm not referring to my super cool briefcase collection (which is still somewhere at my mom's. . . stay tuned for pics! I WILL find them!). I'm referring to my dad. He's been gone for 18 years, and I still miss him like crazy! Third, be respectful to others. You never really know what their motives are. Fourth, toughen up! Nothing is worth storming through life being angry or tantrumy plus it makes you look like a wiener and a dumbass! I could write a novel on all of the lessons my dad taught me in life. I am truly blessed to have the family that I do! Miss you loads and love you tons, Dad! Catch ya on the flip flop!