[Marxism] blog post: My Christmas Story (for Tatiana)
mikedjyates at msn.com
Thu Dec 20 10:15:06 MST 2012
Full at http://cheapmotelsandahotplate.org/2012/12/20/my-christmas-story-for-tatiana/
(Tatiana is my first and just born grandchild)
When I was a boy, I wore mostly hand-me-down clothes. The neighbors next door had a son a year or two older than I, about my size, and I got his discarded shirts and pants. Grandma or my mother would alter them to fit me better. Maybe some cousins’ outgrown outfits found their way into my closet too. I don’t remember now.
I didn’t like wearing old garments, but lots of other kids wore them so there was no shame in it. Besides, I spent my days playing baseball, reading dime novels and comic books, building my train set, and inventing games connected in one way or another to sports. Who cared about old flannel shirts with two pockets and pants that didn’t quite match the size and shape of my legs?
Things changed when puberty reared its strange and disconcerting head, somewhere between the age of twelve and thirteen. All of a sudden, what hadn’t mattered before did now. Girls, cars, clothes. Games and toy trains didn’t seem to hold my attention like they used to.
At my parents’ urging, I got a job delivering newspapers. The route was large, 105 customers spread out over more than three miles. The weight of the papers carved grooves in my shoulders, especially on Thursdays when advertisement inserts nearly doubled the size of the bundles Old Man Nelson delivered to our front porch every afternoon. The pay was a meager $6 every two weeks. It was so low and the work so hard that within a short time, I confronted my bosses at the local newsstand and insisted on a raise. The boy who had taught me the route was now in college, and I figured that they wouldn’t be able to teach anyone else since only I knew it. Remarkably, they met my demand, boosting my wages to $9.80.
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