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Sunday, February 14, 2010

The time I thought one thing meant another

In the spirit of the Olympic Games I felt it fitting to tell a short story about my English language misconceptions as a child.

As a small child I was fairly neutral when it came to bath time. I didn't get really excited about it, but I didn't resist much either. I kind of just went with the flow. I do remember spending a fair amount of time "dancing in my underwear" before we (my sister and I) hopped in the tub. There was an incident that also sticks in my mind having to do with a ball point pen and hand drawn tattoos of stars on my bare butt. The tub times that I speak of took place on the farm in Elk Point. This is the same upstairs "Family" Bathroom where I would stand on the tub to get a drink out of the toothpaste crusted community cup and it was always warm because the warm handle and spout were all I could reach while standing on the tub. Warm, farm water.......not great. But I digress.

So my mother and father would both bathe us as we were about 5 and 7 years of age. We did a pretty good job on our own, but they were mostly there just to make sure we scrubbed behind our ears and actually washed our hair. When my mom helped us rinse ourselves off it was just your basic spray down with the telephone shower head. My father on the other hand must have been overly cautious of "touching" us wrong because I remember him specifically telling us where to wash and what to do. When it was time for our rinse, he would have us stand in the tub and he'd say, "Spread Eagle" and we'd both jump with our legs apart like a jumping jack in the tub for the spray down. I guess he just wanted to make sure we were rinsed completely. Now, the only time I'd ever heard this term was at precisely that moment of nakedness. When I first heard it on the olympics at probably age 8 or 9 I gasped and ran out of the room. It was like I'd heard a dirty word. My mom came and found me and explained to me that all it meant was that you spread your legs and arms apart. It had nothing to do with nakedness.

The funny part is, to this day, while watching the Women's moguls last night, when they were talking about the 35 year OLD woman from the US doing the Spread Eagle jump. I have to admit, I blushed a little.

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