04 March 2013

Twisty Straws

Twisty straws are fun, right? When we have a twisty straw around, I can tell my daughter knows we're in for a good time. And I'm totally good with that. I love fun, and I love seeing my daughter expecting and having a good time.

But underlying the fun, twisty straws make me (and I'm sure it's just me) feel a little guilty. That's my own memories creeping up, and I know it and shove it aside. Maybe it's time to tell the harmless tale...

I remember years ago going to Cedar Point (a rite of passage, for anyone growing up in/around SE Michigan or Ohio) with my parents, probably my brother and my older cousin Linda. The funny part is, this ends up being a two-part story, but it really may have happened over a couple years, since we visited the amusement park at least once every summer when I was growing up.

We went up to one of the beverage vendors with a stand around the park somewhere so we could get a refreshing juice. My cousin ordered hers, and then it was my turn. I ordered the drink I wanted, and then asked for the fancy twisty straw. I remember immediately feeling like I'd done something wrong, when really all I'd done was state what I wanted. It was before I realized the value of things, apparently. I said exactly what I wanted and it never occurred to me that this would take more of my family's hard-earned money, but the drink would taste just the same. Just thinking through it again makes me feel wasteful and greedy. Who was I to demand a fun, twisty straw?

As I said, I don't even know if the second incident was part of the same trip, or I've just piled them together to put several unpleasant memories out of the way in one trip. We had lunch at an actual restaurant (instead of getting something at the outdoor food stands and eating it at the readily available picnic tables. The waitress brought us our beverages (I can actually picture this part and think mine was lemonade) as I noticed the table was wobbly. My ten-year-old (or so) self wanted to know WHY the table was wobbly, and I picked just the wrong moment and angle to investigate. As I leaned over the edge of the table to take a peek, one of my pigtails caught on my drink, and dumped the whole thing to the floor. Somehow, I'm still mortified, 30-some years later....

Why do these trying memories still haunt me? Such random moments, and I'm probably the only one from the day who remembers them. Yet sometimes just the sight of a twisty straw, or adorable pigtails, make me worry about unpleasantness surrounding them.


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