Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Love Trash

Oscar the Grouch and I have a special relationship.

No, it has nothing to do with my proclivity for clutter and messiness. It's more about how we both spent time in the can. Aluminum cans, people, not the clink/the lockup/the pen.

But I digress.

In 7th Grade, my school choir director offered me a chance to perform a solo as part of a tribute medley to Sesame Street. The task involved me standing in a garbage can while wearing a trash bag with my hair askew. Already coping through a pretty precarious era of my life (let's just say, I was the antithesis of popular), I thought, Why not? What's wrong with sinking even lower in the junior high social food chain?

Even back then, I guess I had balls.

I practiced that solo in my bedroom. I practiced it in the shower. I'd wail my adoration for all things dirty or dingy or dusty, wanting to do my best to honor a program I grew up watching as a tot.

I distinctly remember watching Sesame Street at three or four years old. There I sat, on a ratty couch in the basement of our home in Minneapolis, watching an old black-and-white TV with a broken tube. The picture rolled and rolled and rolled, but my little girl self was never distracted by the ever-rising black bar on the screen. No, I was content to watch Ernie and Bert, Big Bird, The Count, Cookie Monster, Oscar and the rest of the gang. I loved Maria, Luis and Mr. Hooper.

As a four year old, these people were important friends in my social circle.

Sesame Street had a revival of sorts in my family when my youngest sister, ten years my junior, fell in love with Ernie.

For reasons unexplained, Mickie adored Ernie. She would jump up and down in a playpen that we affectionately called "The Cage" whenever Ernie appeared on television. My parents gave her an Ernie doll for Christmas one year; it was a toy that was rarely left behind from that point on.

All these years later, I am tickled by the coincidental naming of Ernie and Bert as it relates to one of my all-time favorite movies, It's A Wonderful Life.

On today, the anniversary of the debut of Sesame Street, I am excited to celebrate a program that carries so much sentiment in my heart and the hearts of so many Gen Xers and Millennials.

Should I ever experience the blessing of raising children, I am certain they'll experience their own relationship with these friends.

Big Bird is the most youthful 40 year old I know.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

Donald said...

I was really hoping you'd post about Oscar after I read your comment over at our place.

When I was in college, I had a Mac. I had some little application installed on it so that every time I emptied the trash, Oscar popped out of the can and sang the first couple lines of his song.