What IS your ‘antique melon’ story?

by | Jul 1, 2006 | Every Day Life

What IS your ‘antique melon’ story?
The fact that I continue to share events in my life that make me look like I should be a case study for “people who should never be left alone” is inexplicable.
You know how you come home from work or some meeting and say to your family, “You are not going to believe what so-and-so said/did.” I do that too, but the “so-and-so” is usually me.
Regrettably for my family instead of being embarrassed or appalled by my stupidity, I am greatly amused by it. Most people would try to conceal their major blunders. Not me, I want to share them with the world.
For instance, when I was a little girl my family would drive by this sign in Arbyrd, Missouri that read, “ANTIQUES MELONS”.
We drove by this sign for years on our way to my grandparent’s house in Kennett, Mo. The sign always disturbed me. Finally when I was about 14 years old I asked, “Why would anyone want antique melons?” The question alone made everyone in the car laugh.
No one knew what I was talking about so I explained: “That sign back there says antique melons.” They laughed even harder. I was given a lesson in reading. Seems I had never noticed the “s” on antiques. I felt much better knowing I could buy antiques and melons instead of antique melons. You have no idea how many hours I spent as a child trying to figure out “antique melons”.
I cannot drive by the sign without telling that story. You would think I would be mortified, but just the opposite. I think is it hilarious.
If I wasn’t about tell you another one of my dim-witted moments, I would attempt to make a case about how intelligent I really am. But, if I was really brainy, I almost certainly would not tell you the following story.
I was a freshman at the University of South Carolina. A group of us were traveling to Hilton Head Island for the weekend. I was the only one with a car so I was driving.
We were arriving really late and most of the girls were asleep. This was my first time to go to Hilton Head Island so I was paying close attention to the road signs.
I kept seeing these signs that read “Hilton Head IS.” After seeing about four or five of these signs I finally asked my friend with the condo on the Island, “Hilton Head is what?”
She looked at me as if I was from another planet and said, “What?” I answered, “I keep seeing these signs that read ‘Hilton Head IS’ and it never says what it is.”
She burst out laughing. She was laughing so hard she couldn’t speak. I still did not know what I had said that was so funny. When she could finally control herself she enlighten me that “IS” stands for Island. (Be honest. I bet there is a bunch of ya’ll that didn’t know that either.) I kept expecting the signs to tell me something like ‘Hilton Head is … beautiful’ or ‘Hilton Head is …friendly.’
You need to understand the girls in the car with me were from San Diego, Calif; Chicago, Ill.; Syracuse, NY; Greenberg, SC and one who had lived with her family all over the world..
I acknowledge. I did not help the stereotype that Southerners are ignorant.
In my defense, I did graduate cum laude from New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s fine arts degree in communications.
I have so many more stories. They always make me laugh and they typically make everyone else laugh — everyone except for my three teenage boys.
They roll their eyes and cringe.
Having shared so many of these stories about myself has created a quandary in our home. How am I supposed to guide and direct my boys now that I have shared with them (and the world) how “crazy” I am?
They will often say, “Well at least I never; …..stuck my finger in dog poop…….. let someone shoot at me with a BB gun just to see how far the BB would go…….. dug up my dead dog to prove to the neighborhood children that it had gone to heaven …” (which it hadn’t.)
They usually start this recitation as I am attempting to correct some adolescent behavior that I guarantee is done just to exasperate me.
The scariest part about having a brain that works like mine is when my boys do something really senseless. I ask them, “What were you thinking?” The fear sets in as I realize I know precisely what they were thinking and I understand. You see I am still doing some pretty dumb stuff myself.
The good news is I am still making myself laugh.

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