11) One Thing Your Mom Must Never Do When You Have a Sleep Over

 Mom’s Careless Faux Pas

In the last post you read about my friend Kenny and his hairy arms. In this post you will read how Moms careless, embarrassing mistake impacted my friendships in grade school.

One Saturday night my friend Danny had a sleep-over at my house. That night something happened to us which was quite weird, even for my dysfunctional family. Anyway, it was about 10:00 PM and we were nearly asleep in my room, each in our beds. Mom and Jim arrived home and started arguing like crazy. A short time later, in a drunken state, Mom opened the door to my pitch black room, which she sometimes did to get away from Jim – apparently forgetting Danny had been invited over to spend the night, and not seeing him – tried to crawl into the spare bed with Danny. Her faux-pas made quite an impression on young Danny, who promptly dressed and slunk out of the house.

Not only did Danny avoid me for the next two months, I felt sure that he had spread the word about Mom’s bizarre entrance in our room that night.

Algebra Phobia: Symptom of Something Deeper

Later that year, during January of 1962, I contracted Hepatitis – the infectious kind – and was out of school for about 8-weeks. I fell badly behind in my homework. This was particularly true for math and basic algebra, which are both areas of knowledge that depend heavily on repetition and learning topics in sequence. I can definitely remember avoiding these make-up assignments, even though people tried to help me. This gap in my early education – particularly in math and algebra – eroded my confidence and left me deficient in my preparation for high school and college. Why I avoided that homework, I’ll never know. Nor did I know the long-term consequences of something, at the time, that seemed insignificant.

Ivy League College No Longer in the Cards

When I finally returned to class, unsure of my status, unsure who knew about Danny’s bizarre night at my house and confidence badly shaken, I was without friends for the rest of the 6th grade. I can see now, as I write these words, it was the beginning of the end of my academic development – at least any normal progression where college followed high school and the family helped position the child for professional success.

Did one of your parents ever humiliate you?

Next: One Very Tight Drumline Band (with multimedia) 

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