Tuesday, August 9, 2011

By the End of This Post, My Credibility Will Be Gone

I knew I'd get a lot of mileage out of confess this one day, that's why I did it.  Please keep in mind, it was 30 years ago.  I've never done this again.  I am so serious.  NEVER again.  Not even when someone said I could.  Seriously.

We went to a small, Christian school all through elementary school and it was a good thing.  The only drawback was the size which meant that we didn't have a lot of friends to choose from like we would have if we had gone to public school.  Oh, and the sports thing.  We didn't have much access to sports and therefore, we are not really athletic.

We are not holy rollers or super religious in my family.  My father just didn't know what else to do with 3 girls who were very impressionable young ladies, and we didn't have a convent in town, so this was the next best thing.  When people asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, he'd say "NUNS!  None of this and none of that!"

And well, only one of us is married and it took her 31 years, so there must have been some message we all took in....

But that's not my point.

We also went to a youth group that many of my readers will recognize called AWANA.  Because I am lazy and don't feel like going online to check, I think I remember that it stood for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed.

We had fun.  I only went for a couple of years because the older kids didn't really go in my time.  My sisters went longer and my sister a-ster even make a car for the Pinewood Derby that they had one year.  My opinion on that is an entire other post.  Upon asking k-ster if it's called a Pinewood Derby (because it's the lamest name and I couldn't remember just now) he said it's because I'm jealous that I never did the Pinewood Derby.  I am sure I had much better things to do like watch the sink drain or something.

Anyderby.  Awana met at night and as with all of the things in my childhood that have now been stripped out of today's children's lives, there was some healthy competition.  In the way of learning Bible verses.

As a youngster in Awana, you were a Sparky.  You got a red vest.  It was very like Girl Scouts and Brownies and their ugly brown or green vests.  Just like Girl Scout troops, there were Awana troops, which I know now because we had certain numbers sewn onto our vests.  But we didn't think of them as troops back then.  And boys were allowed too.

Before I go any further, for anyone who is a scoffer, I'd like you to stop reading now.  The further I go, the more it sounds like this was some kind of cult or pre concentration camp and I assure you it was not.  We liked it.  There was nothing mean there.   I mean, we got Bazooka gum at the end of the night and yelled YOUTH ON THE MARCH!!!!

No, it was NOT Hitler's Youth Camps.

But there was meaning in some things that not everyone finds meaning in, because they aren't religious.

But as I reread some of this, it really sounds like it might all have been a joke.

It was not.  It was fun.  It got us out of our parents' hair for an hour after supper.

We got gum and we got to YELL in the basement of the church!!

Back to the vest.  So, there was some  badge that had to be sewn on by the mothers and the numbers had to be too and then you got this pin thing that was in the shape of a flat crown about 2 inches wide by 1.5 inches tall.  And as you learned your verses, you got JEWELS!  Each thing you passed in the book earned you a jewel.  And Mrs. Thyng would glue, with special smelly glue, these magical jewels onto your crown.

I don't think there is anything in this world I would not do if it meant I could earn something.  Especially if you broke it down into segments and allowed me to earn something as I passed each mark. There's a name for this condition, I am sure. 

You can see where this is going.  I REALLY liked to earn jewels in my crown pin.  And I was REALLY good at learning Bible verses.  And if we had memorized and practiced the verse at home, we had to get it signed and then could earn our jewels.

And one time, I might have forgotten to get my mother to sign it.

And I REALLY wanted that jewel.  I even think it might have been pink and you know about me and pink.  Even then.

So I signed it for my mother.

I have no idea how Mrs. Thyng knew my mother didn't sign it.  I mean I spelled right and everything.  I signed it just like I was sure my mother signed everything.

In very large first grade print:  Kathy. 

In pencil.

I don't know if my mother was more mad that I forged her name or that I did it in the name of memorizing a Bible verse.  I was a disgrace and it was only first grade. 

How the whole family was not hit by a lightning bolt that very night, I do not know.

Some day, I will tell you about another disgraceful thing that occurred in first grade and you will surely drop your jaw if you didn't already.  It was not a good year for me.

But then I straightened out and I've been so straightlaced ever since I think some people might still be ruing the day I got into so much trouble for these two events.

Lesson learned.  I've never written Kathy as a signature ever again.

I held up an old signed paper on the window and traced over it from then on.

I'm KIDDING.  I didn't even learn about that trick until like 5 years ago.  And I didn't need my mother's signature anymore by then!


  1. Yes, you're right, you're credibility is entirely gone now...Kathy! hahaha!
    Now I'm going to your other blog so I can see you in jewels!

  2. Hilarious! I definitely did some questionable things in elementary school, and I got caught every time. I think that nipped my life of crime in the bud, really. I'm so straight-laced, I got yelled at by my OB for not renewing my pain pills after having a C-section. I go "it said no refills" and she just slapped her forehead.


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