Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The All Purpose Toy

In order to promote their breakfast muffin sandwich and their new breakfast dollar menu, Burger King has a new commercial that just brought back images of one of my most traumatic childhood memories.

In this commercial, there are two guys standing in a desert looking area. The guy who just made a smart decision by buying his breakfast muffin off the new dollar menu is squished inside a large tire. The other guy stands behind him verifying how smart he is and that due to saving money, he can now afford to make dumb decisions. Then without warning, he gives the tire the ol' heave ho and rolls his friend down the hill. I looked for the video on you tube, but unfortunatley I couldn't find it.

When I was about six years old, my cousins inherited an inner tube from a large tractor tire. I'm not quite sure how they came into such an amazing inheritance, but it was a favorite play thing for quite some time. This was such a multipurpose toy and with the imaginations of two 6 year olds and an 10 year old, there was always some new way to play with it.

My personal favorite was to use the inner tube as a trampoline. It was especially fun if someone was across from you to bounce you up even higher. But, my cousins, being the boys they were, quickly grew tired of using it as a trampoline. So, they began to find new uses for it. We played human bowling where you would roll it at the kids trying to run from it (on second hand, maybe it was a little more like inner tube dodgeball). We took it to the lake and swam with it. We used it like a basketball hoop. We laid around on it and used it like a lawn chair. For that entire summer, I coveted that inner tube. I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

Until one day.

We were rolling it around the front yard of their house when they convinced me to get inside. it may have had something to do with the fact I was the only one small enough to actually fit in it. Or, it may have been that I was the only one they could convince to do it. I was a fairly shy child, but I could be talked into anything by the right people. Those cousins were the right people. I remember climbing inside. I was terrified. But very gently and very slowly, they rolled me around the front yard. It was kind of fun. I climbed out and we continued to roll the inner tube around the house and into the backyard. Again, they convinced me to climb in so they could roll me down the hill. Now, this hill was probably the length of at least two houses. It was one of those hills that all the neighborhood kids came out to sled on when it snowed.

And my cousins wanted to roll me down it. In an inner tube.

My older cousin told me that he'd go down to the bottom of the hill and be there to catch me. He was always standing up for me and very over protective and always watching out for me being the only girl. I'm sure I told them that I didn't want to do it. And I'm sure there was some name calling involved. And I'm sure I got my feelings hurt.

But, I did what any seven year old girl who trusted her cousins with her life would do. I let them roll me down a hill in a huge black inner tube.

Now, the memory gets a little fuzzy, but I'm pretty certain the moment the tire left my cousin's hands the tears started to flow. I do remember wanting to jump out, but I was afraid I would get hurt. So I stayed put inside the tire. I let it roll me for what seemed like forever. And then, I crashed. Not into my cousins arms as promised, but into a huge wooden fence post. And it hurt. And I cried. And my cousins took off running. I'm pretty sure that was about the same time my mom came running out the back door.

I learned that day that it was okay to say no to things I didn't want to do. It's definitely a lesson I've had to teach myself over and over these last 23 years. Occasionally, it's something I still have a hard time with. Especially having a hard time disappointing others. But I've come a long way since that day I volunteered to get rolled down a hill in a huge inner tube.

And just as a side note, I could probably pin point this story as having something to do with some of my trust issues. :)

1 comment:

GraceGetsGreater said...

Aww....I love this! And I love you!