|For my brother, that day at the beach was no day|
at the beach. Image copyright Teece Aronin.
I was the youngest child and only girl. I had two brothers, one 10 years my senior, and the other, seven. As a result of the gender ratio and age differences, I got my way - a lot.
"Ow, my feet! My feet are burning!" I howled as soon as one toe touched the parking lot blacktop.
"Well, put on your sandals," my mother advised. She and my father were busy pulling the picnic basket, cooler, and lawn chairs from the trunk of our sky blue '62 Pontiac Tempest.
"I don't know where they went," I pouted. "I need to be carried."
"Honey," my mother nodded at the oldest of the siblings, "carry your sister to the sand."
"Ah, but Mom . . . " my brother trailed off, knowing this was the maximum level of protest allowed under Mom's Law.
He shoved some beach towels into the arms of his giggling little brother and scooped me up. Immediately, in my mind I was Kay Lawrence, the bright and beautiful scientist played by the great Julie Adams in last night's movie. Then, my eyes closed, and I went limp.
My head dropped back as far as my stumpy neck allowed, my short limbs dangling as much like a freshly fainted heroine as possible. This isn't easy when you're 4'2" and fat. Being carried under those circumstances, one's arms point up in a V, squeezing one's head, and the body folds at the waist like a clam snapped shut. It doesn't go all free-flowing and drape-y like Julie Adams' body did.
My brother had watched Creature Features last night too, and he knew the deal.
"Mom! She's pretending I'm the Creature from the Black Lagoon!" Then he jammed my upper and lower halves even tighter against each other as if I were an accordion he was mad at.
My mother gave him the look. "Oh, for Heaven's sake. Just carry her to the sand and put her down. Nobody thinks you're a creature."
"Nobody except every cool girl on the beach," my other brother whispered.
A few minutes later I was rump-dumped in the sand. I don't remember the creature dropping Julie Adams on her rump. But as far as my brother was concerned, I wasn't Julie Adams, I was the creature.