Monday, January 27, 2014

Growing up with Booger Man

Ice cream was a sumptuous luxury when I was young. Most evenings before bedtime, Mom allowed my older sister Lee Lee and I to dig out a bowlful of this tasty treat. Then, we’d scramble up to the kitchen table, pull out a chair, and sit with dangling legs to consume our cool, creamy delight. Over ice cream we chatted, giggled, and swapped stories that would bond us for a lifetime.
            Lee Lee’s obsession for ice cream was infamous. Mom lured my big sister into doing her chores, homework, or getting ready for bed with the promise of ice cream. When she had ice cream, she wolfed it down like a starved animal. I, on the other hand, slowly and daintily savored each chilly spoonful.
            One evening, the two of us were at the kitchen table eating our ice cream when I noticed – Lee Lee once again had downed hers. Now she was ogling mine. I glanced over at my big sister’s
empty bowl then back at my mine. I looked up at her spying eyes then back to my melting mass. Tension mounted with each spoonful lifted to my lips. I tried to quietly swallow. In the charged silence, I sensed Lee Lee’s envious stare at my ice cream like a starved lion waiting to pounce.[Tweet that]
            I also sensed a third person – Booger Man. And he was spying my ice cream! I knew because he was my sister’s imaginary companion who came out at convenient times – for her. In our home, his presence calmed her during thunderstorms, aided her when she wanted something, and was the target of Mom’s punishment when Lee Lee made a mess. But, Booger Man had an ally in Lee Lee, because she always campaigned for his rights.
            That night – during the silent stalking – Lee Lee finally whispered, “You want to give Booger Man some ice cream?”
            “No,” I honestly answered.
            “Booger Man wants some.”
            “It’s my ice cream!”
            “But you don’t want to disappoint Booger Man, do you?”
            “I don’t care,” I said and continued eating.
After a few more unbearable moments, Lee Lee pointed to a corner of the kitchen and exclaimed, “Look!”
            “What?” I asked.
            “Over there!” pointing to a corner of the room.
I glanced away, seeing nothing, and then returned to my treat. It was gone! “Where’s my ice cream?” I demanded.
            “Booger Man ate it.”

Did you grow up with an imaginary playmate or nemesis like me

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