It isn’t nice and fuzzy and in technicolor majesty.
It isn’t even whimsical.
My earliest memory involves me getting angry at the television set.
Which, if you really know me, is quite fitting.
I get upset at inanimate objects often, so this is a full circle moment for me.
I am quite proud actually, that little self-was pissed off at something and THAT is the first thing I can remember.
Disappointed would probably be a better way to describe how I was really feeling.
The wizard behind the curtain was being exposed.
Only it would be years before I would learn about that movie tragedy.
One of many letdowns to come, I suppose.
Two of which were Mr. Rogers and Julia Child.
Now, you might be thinking that it is peculiar that a toddler would be watching Julia Child.
But really, it isn’t when you think about it.
Her voice, her actions and HELLO, her name….duh.
I was fascinated with Julia Child when I was….well, a child.
When it wasn’t Julia, it was Mr. Rogers.
Even though she was like seven feet tall.
A seven foot tall, oddly voiced child.
Let’s just say she was my version of Big Bird.
I tuned in to see my real live Big Bird make fancy French dishes in her cool kitchen with her amazing voice.
And I thought she was talking to me with every teaspoon of this and dash of that.
He was jolly and lovely; he played with puppets and made me feel like I could do anything I wanted.
His hair was perfect, his little cardigan zipped sweaters, and even the act of him changing into his shoes……it was all so sterile.
I mean that in the best possible way because when you are a toddler, sterile is good.My earliest memory is little me talking to the television screen in the family room of my parents home in suburban Chicago Illinois.
I can visualize the yellow walls, the small television set on wheels, and me in my little pajamas innocently asking Mr. Rogers, “why aren’t you answering me?’
Oh, it started out nicely.
But then, louder and louder it grew.
HEY, MR. ROGERS!
DON’T YOU LIKE MY PAJAMAS?
WHY AREN’T YOU ANSWERING ME????
When my mom came into the room and gently soothed me to the effect of ” they can’t see you, honey. Only you can see them” , it was then that shit got real.
Apparently, I was just beginning to realize that my so-called “friends” were ignoring me.
I had been talking to the television set for some time, having deep conversations with my “friends”, telling them my secrets about my stuffed animals, how my baby brother was cramping my style and how I really hated my bell bottoms but now, I was realizing that it was a one-way friendship.
They weren’t really my friends.
It was all a lie.
IT’S ALL A LIE???
DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT FRED.
I feel so dirty.
Okay maybe I didn’t say all of that but that is what I can put into words now from the emotions I distinctly remember feeling that day, some 42 years later.
THAT’S BULLSH$% .
Only in toddler speak.
I am still recovering from the Mr. Rogers/Julia Child scandal of 1973.
I think I still have trust issues with television because of this.
I still can’t watch an episode of Pioneer Woman without yelling at the screen STOP LYING TO YOUR AUDIENCE! YOU ARE NOT REALLY TALKING TO US!
Maybe I need some help.