Thursday, November 7, 2013

Childs play

I was never a normal child. This is a statement that I know for a fact that my mother would endorse. Actually I am pretty sure anyone who knew me as a child would wholeheartedly agree with this assessment. My weirdness in childhood is what made me who I am today, so it is not something I look back on with any shame.

I know you are thinking that most children are weird. Children are always pretty quirky. They make up weird games, say strange things, and do stuff that makes you turn your head to the side in confusion. It is a skill that I think children are born with.

Even at that I still think I was not a normal child. I actually tend to think I was weirder than most kids were. At least I was always rather acutely aware of the fact that I was weirder than all of my friends were. It didn't bother me that I was weird, it was just something I always knew.

I never was much of a joiner. I never had a lot of friends. I mean I had friends that I played with often. The thing was that I really preferred not to go play with my friends. Sure there were times that I would spend hours with the other kids on our block running around playing freeze tag or some weird made up game like Adventurer (because seriously who wants to play house?). Those times fill my memories, but there were so many more times when my friends were not in the picture.

My favorite thing to do when I was a kid was to play by myself. Yea I know lots of kids are loners and just play with their My Little Ponies or GI Joes, but I actually wasn't that kid. Don't get me wrong, I had a ton of toys that I played with because I was a spoiled rotten little brat. More often than not though the thing you would find me playing with was a collection of old nail polish bottles.

Yes you read that right; old nail polish bottles. I probably had two dozen barbies and an entire stable of Ponies, and there I was playing with nail polish bottles. If you are thinking that I was just painting my nails for hours on end you would be wrong. I am pretty sure I never really opened the bottles (mostly because I wasn't allowed to). Besides I hated having my nails painted.

What I would do was play with the bottles like they were people.

My grandmothers bathroom counter was huge and had a chair at the vanity spot. I would pull out all the bottles and divide them into families by brand names. The colors would determine if they were boys or girls, though since most of them were reds and pinks it was always some arbitrary decision on my part as to what constituted a boy color vs a girl color.

Darker colors tended to be evil, while lighter colors were good. The clear polishes and the white (for French tips) were typically some sort of outcasts along with the bottles that were some weird off brand. Yes my nail polish people had a caste system.

I would build houses out of shoe boxes and cold cream jars so that my polish bottles had places to live. I would take tissue and hair bands and make the bottles clothes to wear (costuming even as a child). I would even get cotton balls out to make hair for the bottles when I was feeling especially industrious.

Most of the time there was some sort of Romeo and Juliet star crossed lovers thing going on with my polish people. There was always a feud raging between the Revlon and the Maybelline (there were never enough Almay bottles to be a clan but sometimes they were adopted) clans. Sometimes it would be one of the clear polish bottles trying to be accepted into a world of colored polishes. Whatever the story in my head was it was worthy of any day time soap opera.

My mother would also probably tell you that the nail polish bottles were an upgrade from my original favorite toy; pot holders.

So like I said; I was never a normal child. All I can say is I was having a damn lot of fun and now as adult I find that I can be easily amused which is a blessing in a lot of situations like meetings at the office.

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