Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Tom-Boy and The Princess

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TODAY’S MEMORY JOGGER: “Were you responsible for any household chores? What were they? Which did you enjoy the most? Which did you hate the most?”

I’ve always thought I started helping with the dishes when I was around eight or nine years old.  My mom says no, I never did dishes that young.  So maybe my memories of standing on a kitchen chair with my hands in a sink full of soapy water are not of times I was washing dishes, but just of times when I was playing at washing dishes.

By the time I was in junior high, though, I KNOW I washed dishes, and often.  I didn’t mind too much, and I still don’t mind washing dishes.  I didn’t like the clearing up part; the moving of dirty dishes from the table to the sink, putting away bottles of salad dressing and the salt and pepper, and wiping down the table.  But I’ve always kind of enjoyed washing dishes by hand.

When my family moved to Woodland Hills in early 1973 for the first time we had an automatic dishwasher.  It’s a story in Hansen family lore now of the first time I ever used the dishwasher.  My mom wasn’t home and I was babysitting.  I had also been told to clean up the kitchen and wash the dishes.  Well, I naively squirted liquid dishwashing soap into the dishwasher’s soap receptacle and turned it on.

A half hour later I came back to find the entire kitchen floor 6 inches deep in sudsy water!

As a teen I did a lot of babysitting of my three younger siblings.  Steve was no problem; he was a laid-back easy-going little boy who played quietly with his trucks or building set or watched t.v., or just dug in the dirt:

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Denise and Lisa?  Whew, different story!

Denise and Lisa were close in age, only around 15 months apart, but they couldn’t have been more different in personality. 

Denise was a tom-boy:2010-Old-Photos-0089-cropped  and Lisa a little princess:2010-Old-Photos-0091-croppedThose two didn’t agree on anything, fought about everything, and always chose any occasion when I was babysitting to have a knock-down, hair-pulling, screaming-banshee battle. 

Sometimes I wished they’d just kill each other and be done with it!

I have to admit, babysitting those two was probably my most hated chore!

A close second would be vacuuming.  Not sure why I didn’t like to vacuum.  It was just so boring pushing that heavy vacuum cleaner around on the carpet, including the difficult stairs, and sometimes my mom would find spots that I’d missed.  I still hate to vacuum!  I do enjoy the result of vacuuming, the clean carpet, but I heartily dislike the actual task.

Chores that I enjoyed, believe it or not, were the ones that took place outside.  I enjoyed yard work.  I loved to mow the lawn, and weed, and wash cars.  I was jealous of my brothers because they were usually the ones called upon to do the outdoor tasks while I was mainly relegated to the inside chores, in the traditional male/female roles of those days.

But sometimes, on a Saturday, the whole family would team up to attack the lawn and weeds, clean out the garage, or wash the family cars.  I especially enjoyed washing my dad’s fancy lime-green Mangusta: MangustaWhenever I needed extra money I’d ask my dad if I could wash and wax that car and he would always give me $5 for the job.

FOR NEXT WEEK: “Talk about your favorite uncle.”

1 comment:

Jeri said...

Loved your comments. I especially like the pictures. Those were taken at a scout beach trip, I believe. The one of Steve is great, and he looks very cute. Thanks for sharing and bringing back memories. I remember that day well. Love, Mom