Opinion

Got a Minute: Old age takes on new meaning

I grew up with a very distinct inferiority complex.

Posted on 8/31/13

By Lee Coleman

When someone would ask my mother how old I was, her response was always in months.

Followed by a quick swipe of her saliva-covered fingers across my forehead to paste my hair down for the cute factor.

Twenty-four months never equated to two years. Three years old was 36 months and so on.

Now, when someone asks me how old I am, I answer 650 months. Or thereabouts.

And, I am out-growing my hairline so I don’t have to worry about rubbing my hair with a handful of spit to look cute for Momma.

I learned very early in life how that complex can also be directly associated with shopping with Momma for back-to-school clothes.

You see, when you are the chubby kid in the neighborhood with the weird age, going to the department store was most certainly going to be an adventure of epic proportions.

“Excuse me Ma’am. Could you please tell me where the husky department is. My son (see spit on forehead) needs some new green jeans for school.”

Sneering at me and only wishing her hair looked as good as mine, the clerk, swollen ankles and all, picked up the microphone and screamed, “CUSTOMER NEEDS HELP IN THE HUSKY DEPARTMENT. CODE 32!”

Geez Lady. Didn’t they teach you in clerk school that a microphone is an amplification device and doesn’t need to be shouted in?

But hey, thanks for the secret code 32. Maybe that will help me unlock Little Orphan Annie’s secret de-coder message for the week.

And no, I didn’t forget to drink my Ovaltine.

In fact, I drank extra because I knew this shopping day was coming and I wanted to be extra strong to test out my new Pro Keds tennis shoes.

You know, the low-top blue ones that would make any chubby kid run faster and jump higher.

Talk about psychosomatic, not to mention false advertising.

To this day, I still believe my white high-top canvas Converse All-Stars worked just as good.

Plus, blue shoes with green jeans would get you beat up in the third grade.

Especially if the knees were already worn out and Momma had ironed on ugly patches to make them all new again.

At least I could cut them off and make them shorts when summer got here.

But then, school would be starting back and I would have to go shopping all over again.

I could go on a diet and stop drinking Ovaltine to avoid the husky department this year.

Nah, it was summer and that would be against kid rules.

No wonder I aged 60 months every summer.

Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at republicannews@countrymedia.net.