As I work on finishing my memoir and continue to write this blog, I also continue to make sense of an extraordinary life. I’ve reflected before on the difference
Georgetown College made in my life and the significant break I made from my family when I first moved to campus. Today I reflect on the summer after my freshman year of college.
I realized how the gap between my family and me was widening. In retrospect, it makes sense but there were many more years to come in which I would try to fit into their world or force them into mine.
That was the summer that my sister Margaret and I invented “playing rich” in high end department stores. I could pull it off; Margaret couldn’t.
That was the summer I worked at the book binding factory and my mom said, “It is good for you to see ‘how the other half lives.’” Did she think I had no experience of poverty? No, I think she meant since going to college, I would never again have the experience of nine-to-five factory life. She was right.
That was the summer we lived in yet two more houses in one summer and I work two jobs in one summer. My memory is foggy but I know I worked at the lunch counter in a pharmacy as well as the bindery. I remember a man who sat down at the counter and ordered two eggs, over easy. Now I had cooked all my childhood but I had never been taught to cook and I certainly had never cooked on a huge restaurant grill. When I finally turned around and served the man his eggs, he said, “Little lady, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an egg treated that way. But you did finally get ‘em on the plate.”
That was the summer my stepfather Herman and Uncle Steve showed up drunk at
to help move me home. I learned quickly some boundaries I wanted to erect. Georgetown