Thursday, March 3, 2011
I used to be.
When I was in fourth grade I had an overripe curiosity about crime. I attribute this to my obsession with Nancy Drew novels. I still remember my first experience slipping away into the world of Nancy and Ned, of hidden stairways and lockets and notes that all were clues to solving the unimaginable. I remember the smell of those books, like stale paper and library all packed in one box from a garage sale my mom dragged me to. I remember looking at those yellow hardback covers skeptically when she told me I would love them. But when I settled into my first read, I was hooked. Not only did I devour Nancy's tales, I found I had to have more. Soon I had collected the Nancy Drew Cookbook, and was making "Scary Nests" for breakfast in the mornings. But that still wasn't enough to sate my appetite. I wanted to BE Nancy Drew. Wanted it so bad that I looked at my permed hair and unfortunate teeth in the mirror dreaming up ways that I could get that 1960's bob and perfect smile. Before I knew it I was finding crimes to solve. Everywhere I went was a piece of trash that must be a clue to solving the most recent kidnap case (whatever the case was at the time). I collected litter like a socialite collects sapphires. I cherished broken pieces of glass and random shoelaces like a bag-lady clings to her ten cats. And it wasn't enough I embarked on my mystery-solving, crime-fighting sprees alone. After all, didn't Nancy have a posse? I dragged my sister and friends along with me. It got so bad I even started the "Nancy Drew Club" at school.
There were rules. Not just anyone could be in the "Nancy Drew Club." You had to read a Drew book a week, and make at least one meal from the cookbook a week as well. And if you weren't bringing us new trash to comb through...well...you could forget about staying in the club.
Little did I know that starting the Nancy Drew Club would land me in TROUBLE. And not the good, crime-solving kind.
One day my beloved fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Cruiser, took me aside.
"Jennifer, I heard you started a club."
I grinned. "Yep."
"That's not allowed. Clubs cause division in classes. I've heard some students feel left out."
What? I was getting scolded for fighting crime? For ridding the world of litter? My oversensitive, never want to let people down heart started quivering. Along with my lip. And tears started coming down my cheeks. I WAS IN TROUBLE?
Nancy had let me down.
The club was abolished.
And I was left to find trash on my own, to solve all the worlds problems alone.
But I didn't let Nancy down. I continued re-reading my bibles in mystery fighting and secretly continued my efforts.
Things I witnessed while "spying"
1. A naked grandpa walking across his living room.
2. A lady who liked to kiss her cat on the mouth. Alot.
3. The kid who practiced piano excessively.
4. A whole lot of white space.