Hopefully the last few days were enjoyable to read. Hopefully you have been enjoying laughing at my childhood adventures as much as I have enjoyed writing about them. Today I have a specific story from around the same period of the last few stories but I can’t remember exactly when the events occurred. Today is the anniversary of my grandmothers death 14 years ago and this is one of my favorites.
First of all, just a little background on my grandmother to help paint the picture a little bit. She was the mother of 13 children (of which my dad is the eldest)… she would always say, “I was never good at adding and subtracting, but I was always good at multiplying.” (I did not get that joke for a long time). She was the closest to thing to a saint that I have ever met (or will ever meet). She was extremely active in the community and in the church, she was the most kind woman who I have had the privilege of knowing. She would spoil me when I went to visit (with food of course, usually trips to DQ or Dunkin Donuts) and she would sit and watch me perform what ever new impression or singing routine I had picked up since our last visit (I used to love attention, funny how things change, right?). She was the definition of a grandma to me, she was wonderful.
Like I said, I don’t remember exactly when these events took place but I was around 11 or 12 years old and it was summer. I had already been through the accidents that I have described in previous stories but I have failed to mention this little nugget about my childhood self. I had warts. I had a lot of warts (and you thought it couldn’t be any worse).
They were all up my right leg, from my ankle to my knee cap (that is all the higher they went, I swear). If I remember correctly there were 13 all together, capped off with the biggest one right on the top of my knee cap. That was a resilient wart, it would get ripped off every time I skinned my knee and it would just come back stronger and stronger. They were disgusting and just added to my complete lack of allure.
Luckily, my dad is a pediatrician so I had access to all sorts of wart cures. The stuff that you painted on the warts to make them fall off, didn’t work. Pills (that I think my dad told me were new pills that made warts go away, but they might have just been a placebo), didn’t work. I was convinced that I was going to live the rest of my life with a right leg that blind people could read.
Just to recap, in my childhood I was a tall, chubby, buck toothed, freckle faced, accident prone cry baby with warts… jealous?
One summer day, my mom and I were in Shakopee for one reason or another (I can’t remember why ). But, we never went to Shakopee without stopping to see my grandparents and that is exactly what we did. I had finally had it with the warts and needed them gone, I was growing up enough to start becoming self-conscious about my appearance and the warts were public enemy number one.
I explained to my grandma that the drugs that my dad was prescribing were not working and that I was convinced that they would never go away, then she said something that I can remember so vividly that it could have happened yesterday.
She said, “Well, you are lucky, I wish I had warts like that?”
Oh no, grandma has gone off the deep end, I thought but maybe I heard wrong, so I asked, “What?!”
She said, “If you don’t want the warts, I will take them. Can I buy them from you for $10?”
When you are that young $10 is a lot of money. I could buy so much candy, I thought. But, I felt bad because these warts were so irritating to me that I didn’t want to give this burden to my grandma. I was conflicted, should I take the deal or not?
In the end I decided that a sucker is sucker, grandma or no grandma if somebody was offering me a deal this sweet I was taking it.
She said, “Ok, but a deal is a deal and I expect to get these warts soon or you have to pay me back.”
I said, “Ok!” (sucker). As we left I was feeling a little bad but decided it was just a creative reason to give her grandson some money and shortly after forgot about it.
A week went by and the warts were still there. Figures, I thought, but at least I got $10.
I couldn’t tell you what I spent the money on, but one night about two weeks later as I was watching TV I starting scratching a mosquito bite on my right leg… something was different. Normally my fingernails would catch on the mine field of warts, this wasn’t happening today. I rubbed my hand up and down the familiar path of disgusting warts but my leg was smooth. I looked down, they were gone, they were all gone.
The feeling of happiness was chased by a feeling that I can’t really describe… it was like seeing a magic trick for the first time and truly believing in magic. My grandmother was magic. I haven’t had a wart since and I never have stopped believing in my grandmother’s magic to this day. Looking back I probably should have gone back and asked her to buy my extra weight, freckles and buck teeth…
I would ask her frequently like anyone who has seen a magic trick before, “how did you do it?”
With a smile she would respond by simply stating, “A deal is a deal.”