Ah, my traumatic childhood

Elin Lantz

According to my sister, a UFO dropped me on my parents’ doorstep when I was an infant. She poked me with a stick while questioning me about what it was like to be part of the alien species. Sadly, this was by no means the only time she took advantage of me.

I knew what it felt like to be trampled on (only metaphorically) in every childhood game we played. While acting under the pretense of The Little Mermaid, my sister was Ariel while I was pushed to the demeaning role of Flounder.

While acting as if we were characters in the story of “Heidi,” I was forced to be Peter, a boy (you would not believe how powerfully it drained my fear of cooties after having them myself for two hours a day), and my sister took the part of Heidi.

Whenever we played Chinese Checkers, who got to have the white marble pieces? And who won every single game? Surely not I.

But this was nothing compared to the dreadful day when my prized possession was changed forever. My sister and I had each purchased a Pippi Longstocking doll, and I cherished my doll like no other. Soon Pippi was not merely a redheaded freckle face but a fairy in a dark wood or a damsel in distress.

But there was a problem: the dolls were identical and “if we swapped by accident, it would be terrible,” said my sister. It was then that she took out the black permanent marker and insisted that I put an ugly black spot on my doll’s nose.

“It will look just like a freckle,” she said, but I had second thoughts as to whether a random blotch amidst a few tiny red specks would blend into Pippi’s complexion. However, the deed was done and my doll never looked the same again.