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Merry Mattress!

An undated photo of the author and the biggest present she ever got

See the festive wrapping. Note the  shape and size which  might lead one to believe one was receiving a giant Sponge Bob, a white board, or a flat screen TV except  none of these were invented yet. You can’t quite read the scrawl on the front which anyone in my family knows says “MERRY MATTRESS”. This is what Christmas memories are made of.

Look, no snow whatsoever. I remember those socks, they are striped with three colors of pink. They were NOT toe socks. I may not have been hip but I NEVER wore toe socks. I totally thought I was sexy in those farmer pants although I must admit I had not experienced the actual act of intimacy at the time this photo was taken. Now that I am older I would have said to my younger self “Take those baggy pants off girl and stuff yourself into some jeggings.  If it’s warm enough to go outside without shoes, it’s warm enough to get rid of that ugly turtleneck.  While we’re at it could you stand up, who cares if your head gets cut out of the picture.”

We took the photo outside because the flash wouldn’t work on the camera.  I was at that age where I really didn’t get presents anymore, although I believe 20 years old is now considered the new 15. I got gifts which helped the house, like this lovely twin pillow top. When I would come home in the summer to work, I would sleep on this, or so I thought. What really happened is that my youngest sister slept on it as she was still in high school. I did get to use it for a few days before I went back to college for a track meet.

Such a time of transitions. I liked being home. I was not that good of a runner, but my friends ran and there were young men that ran and that was exciting.  I learned how to pass a baton and jump, (not really hurdle) over hurdles.  At home, I had fallen behind in my learning how to deal with my family. I brought home treats and presents but I was now an tolerated intruder in the pecking order of all things Cullinane.

My favorite presents now are the ones that remind me of when I was younger. Things weren’t simpler then, they were just as silly and slippery as they are now except I was a bit more clueless about them. My brother just sent me some chocolates from Nichol’s Candies on the road to Gloucester. This was considered an “adult” candy shop. I don’t mean chocolate genitals, it’s just we were relegated to the penny candy store not a fancy place like Nichols. The closest we got to anything besides squirrels and bazooka was a trip to Tuck’s candy in Rockport and a couple of places in Salem where they made the candy in the window. My mother kept a chunk of marble in our basement that my father’s mother used to make taffy. I love making candy for the holidays but last year I made way too much fudge and shipped it everywhere. Do you know it costs around $50 to ship fudge to France?  I didn’t know when I went into the post office but I knew when I came out. Fudge is heavy, next time ship marshmallows.

So Happy Solstice, a time of transitions. I was driving home thinking, am I old or am I at my prime? I guess I might have thought I was at my prime in this photo but now I see so much unrealized potential. I still see that in myself. Time is a concept which is also slippery. I have a high school reunion  coming up and it may be that because we remember the same songs, the same people and places that we actually time travel.  I like that idea, if only for a few hours and then I back to wondering who I am and where I’m going. Perhaps a little more light will help me see.


About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

4 responses »

  1. My wife would be very happy if I would get her a mattress for christmas, but if she thinks it would be a twin, I am afraid I would have to disappoint! Every year on Christams eve after I go to bed I spend some time trying to remember all of the Christmas eves I can remember over the past 50 years now. Somehow it ties my experiences together and reminds me that all of the different memories are me and it’s not all about how I am feeling right now, and its not all about how I felt then. Time is a strange thing.

    • Which is exactly why I love Doctor Who. I bought the last season for myself for Christmas. I may have just finished all my brother’s candy but I haven’t opened the sacred Doctor Who. I will watch some this weekend, maybe Christmas Eve. Now to find someone who has BBC America so I can watch the Christmas Special….

  2. I love this. I’d like to give the girl I was so long ago some suggestions too. 🙂 And I know she’s still in me, and there is still potential not met yet.

    And Doctor Who! 🙂 Great post. Happy, happy Solstice!


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