Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guest Post: Stephanie Sparer


Hey, I'm Stephanie Sparer. I blog for Hello Giggles but I can be seen at StephanieSparer.com and on twitter. I'm currently looking for a job, so feel free to hire me. Special talents include: knowing the lyrics to Miley Cyrus' song "Party in the USA" and being addicted to Earl Grey tea. Oh, also I can write really well. Just ask my mom.

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I’ve always been a night owl. Even as a kid I was fond of staying up, what I considered late at the time, and watching Letterman’s top ten list. I always felt like an adult watching Letterman even though I must have been all but nine. Something about his gapped teeth and movie star guests screamed mature to me. And at ten, that’s really all I ever wanted to be. A movie star. Not so much mature. “One of my special talents is staying up all night,” I used to tell people. To me this felt special and unique; something a lot of my friends didn’t do unless they were at one of the sleepovers Tiffany Billings threw that I wasn’t invited to.

My mother wasn’t entirely thrilled with this special talent of mine. To keep me on a regular schedule and to keep me from fighting it, my mom put out a little lie to me, “Letterman only does the top ten on Fridays,” she said. And I believed her until a few years later when I was sick and up later than usual and Letterman had a top ten list. On a Wednesday. “Must be a repeat,” my mom tried to cover her tracks, but by then, I totally knew how to check our TiVo guide and get the facts.

This wasn’t the only thing my mother lied about. As a young kid, maybe six, I decided that I didn’t like chicken anymore. I only wanted to eat duck. Seemed reasonable at the time. This of course was brought on after a 20/20 special where someone got sick from eating chicken. That was kind of my thing as a kid. I wouldn’t watch Fraggle Rock, but I’d watch 20/20 every Friday and scare myself into thinking I was going to be kidnapped, poisoned with anthrax, or killed at any given moment. In fact, shortly after a story about how someone bombed a Texaco gas station, we stopped at a Texaco to fill our car with gas. Little me burst into tears in the back seat and said, “Good-bye, everyone.” My mother got back in the car utterly confused and asked me what happened. “We’re going to die as soon as you start the car!” I told her and she sighed.

“Different Texaco!” she insisted, but I didn’t believe her until we were already home. Three days later. She vowed never to let me watch John Stossel or his mustache give any special news reports ever again.

Obviously, this didn’t work. I saw the E. coli special one night and after that, every time my mom ordered out from the Asian rice bowl chain restaurant around the corner from us when she didn’t want to cook, I always asked her to order me duck with my rice. Not chicken. Duck. She always complied, coming home and double-checking the bowls. “This one is yours,” she’d say, picking out a bowl for me after opening all the Styrofoam containers and comparing them together. I’d happily eat my rice and duck.

Years later, my mother grabbed me out of 11th grade science class as a surprise to be nice.  We got our nails done and then decided we were hungry, stopping off at the Asian rice bowl chain we used to go to when I was little. I peered at the menu. Chicken, chicken and vegetables, salmon... I looked at my mom, “They took the duck off the menu?”

She bit her lip and started to laugh, “Oh,” she said, “Stephanie, I have something to tell you: you were never eating duck. They only ever just had chicken. You’ve been eating chicken all these years.”
I was sixteen and my entire life was a lie. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. Was my name even really Stephanie? Was she even my mother? Was Velveeta really a cheese? Yes, yes, and no. But I guess after that whole E. coli outbreak, really I was just lucky to be alive.

17 comments:

  1. HA. This is a great piece. Well done - I'll be following on Hello Giggles.

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  2. HAHA! I love love love this!
    So funny.
    Oh what mother's will do to protect their children!

    www.mypersonaldaydream.blogspot.com

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  3. This is a fantastic piece of writing. Love it :)

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  4. My sister would only eat chicken if we told her it was frog. FROG? Who wants to eat frog?!?

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  5. Oh that made me laugh! I love this post. Stephanie, you are awesome!

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  6. Can't help but wonder if we have the same mother. Hmm.....

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  7. Haha! I love it (:
    Totally awesome!

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  8. You are awesome, Stephanie!

    breatheandhush.blogspot.com/

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  9. I just have to tell everyone about my new craze... Bring fun, fashion and luxury to your nursery with Baby Laundry! Featuring ultra-chic prints, deluxe plush fabrics and superior quality, Baby Laundry’s blankets, burpies and swaddlers will keep baby spotless, snuggled and swaddled in style! Check it out at www.babylaundryandmore.com. I promise you'll love their prices!

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  10. hahaha!! This made my day. You're hilarious and if I could, I'd hire you. Great post!

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  11. Ba-ha-ha-ha. It's pretty rare that a blog post makes me actually chortle and this did -- so well written! Wish I had a job for you.

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  12. *laughs* I thoroughly enjoyed this reading :)

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  13. Really great post Stephanie and thanks to Danielle for introducing us to another excellent writer!

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  14. i totally relate. growing up, i was terrified of spiders, sharks, being kidnapped, etc, and those were the only subjects i liked to watch shows about on tv.
    actually, i'm still that way. i'm kind of a stress case.

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  15. That's awesome! You do write well. I watched America's Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries with my grandparents whenever they would visit or I would visit them and it forever scarred me. I wouldn't sleep with another pillow on my bed for YEARS because I thought someone was going to come and suffocate me with it like in one episode of Unsolved Mysteries. It's horrible how scared I was as a child of robbers and murderers. Wait, I'm still scared sometimes...

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  16. This is amazing! SO FUNNY. I became a vegetarian after I heard about the bird flu outbreak in Europe or something. I don't live in Europe though. XO

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