As a very young child, my family’s abode was not governed by the rules of modesty. My mother had to argue with me to wear pants, and it was never a big deal when one parent or the other strolled nude from the bedroom after a shower. This didn’t last forever, though, and I have a feeling the following story will explain why I am responsible.
NOTE: I do not recollect these events personally. It is from Mom’s retelling that I am able to share this. I mean, I can trust Mom to tell the truth, right?
If you saw a loose string hanging from someone’s shirt, how strong would the urge be to pull it off?
Well, at the innocent age of 3, I prissed my sassy ass down the lengthy central corridor of my childhood home in a t-shirt and white briefs. I’m sure my intent was to catch a repeat of Sesame Street or The Electric Company, but when Mom casually walked out of the nearby bathroom holding a small towel to her chest, something unusual grabbed my attention.
Driven by sincere concern, I placed my itinerary of puppet-viewing and educational animation on hold to address a sudden compulsion to yank off a loose string that dangled between my mother’s legs.
“Hold on a second, Mom,” I said as I reach for the space between her thighs.
She turned in time to catch me reaching for her crotch, and squealed, “What are you doing, Cary?” With a quick swing of her arm, she batted my hand away.
“You have a loose string between your legs. I’m trying to grab it.”
Mom held me back by my forehead. Desperate and embarrassed, she shuffled backwards toward her and Dad’s bedroom as my hungry hands struggled to reach the loose, white string. The towel turban on her head collapsed onto her shoulders as she danced back and forth, jutting her hips away from my reach.
“No, Cary! Go away! Git!”
“Hang on, mom. Just..let me get it.”
“I said stop it!”
“Just be still.”
Finally, through the threshold of her bedroom, she gave her youngest child a hard shove. I stumble backwards, twirling my arms for balance, and she slammed the bedroom door shut.
To this day I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if I had grabbed ahold of that string and given it a good tug.