Spaghettio Summer

She was eight years old, with long straight blonde hair and a temper. Her name was Katie. She liked macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and spaghettios. We ate a lot of spaghettios that summer.

Her parents had a bearskin rug on their bedroom floor that entirely creeped me out. She had more Barbies than I had ever seen in one place before, other than the Kay-Bee Toystore at the mall. Her house was about half a mile up the road from ours, down a long gravel driveway, set back in some trees. It freaked me out when I had to be there after dark. Thankfully that only happened once or twice.

When I first took the job as Katie’s summer babysitter, her dad offered to pick me up for work each day on his motorcycle. I was a little weirded out by her dad and his motorcycle, so I chose to just ride my bike over every morning.

I don’t remember a lot about that summer, really. Just the spaghettios, and the bearskin. I remember arguing with Katie about everything– I was fifteen and had just discovered the joys of logical thinking and I loved to argue. She was eight. Arguments worked out about as well as I’m sure you can imagine they did.

I remember watching All Dogs Go to Heaven about 8,000 times that long summer. And I remember sitting on the couch at their house, with Katie glued to the tv screen yet again, copying interesting quotations out of the Reader’s Digest into my journal. I had quite the quote collection when I went back to school in the fall.

I remember earning a check each week, and feeling so grown up because I had a job and real money. I wish I could remember even one thing I spent it on.

It was a weird summer, but not a bad one. The next summer I spent working at Burger King, which paid better but didn’t involve playing Barbies or watching animated movies or an hour-long “rest time” in the afternoon.

And I guess if you have to enter the workforce, all that stuff isn’t bad to have in your first job.

Although you might want to forgo the spaghettios.

 

7 thoughts on “Spaghettio Summer

  1. I remember babysitting for her a few times too. Her dad TOTALLY freaked me out, and I rode once on his motorcycle with him. SO weird.

  2. Oh man, I had somehow forgotten about The Reader’s Digest, I LOVED that magazine. I remember sitting in my great-uncle’s basement in New York reading every joke and story and Drama in Real Life from their massive hoard of old issues. Those were the days. I also have quote journals from high school, they are quite amusing!:)

    Also, I was never allowed to eat food like Spaghetti-os at home, so I always wanted them. See? One man’s pukey round noodles in ketchup-sauce is another man’s exotic, forbidden-and-therefore-delicious lunch at Aunt Aimee’s house.

  3. Oh dear I hope your blonde hair neice with the same name isn’t like that at the age of 8! Does she bring back bad memories of Spaghetti O’s and talking dogs when you hear her name?:) Our Katie does love to argue…but we don’t have any Barbie dolls, just a pile of Polly Pocket’s thanks to my mom-in-law!

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