joy magnetism: Playing it safe




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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Playing it safe

Magnet #246 - Playground Safety

I was born in Chicago, and lived there for the first five years of my life. Then the Blizzard of 78-79 hit, and, complying with an ordinance outlawing too much snow on rooftops, my dad fell off the roof of the house. By March, we were living in North Carolina. Our people were island peoples, can you blame him?

That was the story I told for the next 25 years of my life. Blizzard, rooftop, bam! North Carolina.

So, my sister (the one actually born in NC) calls me one day, while she was at home visiting our parents, and asked me about the kidnap thing. I'm like, do what?

She'd been in the car arguing with the parents, and had busted out with "Well, I don't know why the hell you moved to this damn state in the first place." And one of the parents goes, because of the kidnapping threat.

I'm still like, I'm sorry, do what? Much like my sister said. Out loud. To them.

They said, yeah, your sister almost got kidnapped, so we had to leave. You know this story.

My sister's like, NO, I don't!

It's at this point where I tell my sister I have to get off the phone. I call my parents to discuss, and the story goes as such:

My mom's practice was in the South Side. I used to hang out there - I was the cute little Filipino girl traipsing around in the office waiting room, mom's office, my playground. One of the patients was a junkie who demanded drugs from mom. She refused. Said patient went a little nuts, and threatened to kidnap me, that anything could happen, and even knew where I went to preschool.

So my parents basically hightailed it out of town to keep us safe.

Cut to 25 years later and I'm freaking out on the phone, and they're like, but you knew about this!

Uh, NO. Don't you think that if I had a choice between the blizzard story and a kidnapping threat, that I'd lead with the kidnapping threat?

At this point, I had to get off the phone with them. So that I could call everyone I'd ever met (/Cordelia), and tell this exact story.

But, as I thought more and more about it, the more it made sense. Where I used to have free reign over the office in Chicago, the office in NC, not so much. We were always restricted to mom's office behind two closed doors, and never allowed into the waiting room, unless it was a patient that I knew (my teachers, principals, etc.). Of course, the more and more I thought about it, I had to call my parents back and to ask, OMG, were they were sure they were my parents, and OMG, what if I'm not really joy!

All joking aside, and to be a tiny bit melodramatic (me? never!) about it, finding out 25 years later completely rocked my world. It was a bit like everything I'd ever known to be true in my life (at least the blizzard/roof thing) was a lie.

Anyway, so now ya'll know the story of how became the Transplanted Yankee on a Southern Playground.

P.S. This story had nothing to do with real playgrounds, or the National Program for Playground Safety, but I thought it fitting. But I'm not gonna lie, I totally changed up the hues from their corporate red, to the pink for NBCAM.
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4 comments:

V said...

Dang. Do you think you knew and blocked it out? They didn't get all over-protective, asking where you were and who you were with? I'm a little surprised that they're still not hovering over you today.

Wait. Check the peephole.

GoldenGait said...

Whoa! Okay, I'm gettin' out of this town. I don't have kids yet, but I'm not waiting around to let somebody snatch them when I do!

Kidding. But yeah, south side Chicago can be a little creepy. One of my attendings once sent me in to a treatment room with a resident to treat and discharge a patient--without the attending seeing him personally--because the last time this guy had come in, he'd demanded drugs and told the doc he'd be back for them with a gun. I understand why the doctor didn't want to go in, but jeez. Thanks for possibly throwing ME under the bus! Not going to lie, I took off my name tag and all identification when I went in there.

What a thing to find out later in life!! Glad NC worked out for you in the end, though. (And I'm sure the lack on snow helped the transition, too!)

Julie said...

as the sister in the post, i have to dispute how this story came about! finding out the kidnap story didn't happen like that at all!

i was in the car with tatay and you know how he likes to talk. and we were complaining about nc and i said something to the effect of, dude, moving to nc was your choice not ours! I didn't "bust out with 'well, i don't know why the hell you moved to this damn state in the first place.'" the rest however is completely true! you totally could've been the girl on the milk carton! and now i'm forced to say i was born and raised in nc. thanks.

joy said...

Thanks, julie, it totally was their decision to move to NC...but I could have been projecting on to you with my version. Suddenly dropping into the South in the late 70s, three months before the end of kindergarten was truly traumatic as well, and anyone who grew up with me can tell you I was a little bitter about leaving Chicago...which sort of leads me to today's post, as soon as I pick a suitable magnet.

I'm sure I didn't block it out, v, it came out of left field when it happened. Freaky, is what it was.

I knew you'd understand about the South Side, gg. But, dang, you best stay safe while you're there!