A lighthearted look at those little things that stay with you…

I was skinning some chicken for dinner today and I was reminded of how much I hate chicken skin. When I was a little girl, I remember eating some chicken where the skin, still slimy, slid down my throat and I choked. Since then I absolutely detest chicken skin even when crispy.

So I got to thinking about how past experiences, both significant and petty, shape our views on life forever. Here are some of mine:

  • One day when I was maybe 6, I told my Mother I had a tummy ache. She replied that I had wind. For years I had this image of wind blowing trees and that the trees slamming against my ‘tummy’ were giving me belly-ache. Strangely, I believed this till I was well into my teens, even after having done Science and Biology.
  • I hate combat ‘fatigue print’ – you know, soldiers uniform. I hate them with a passion, so much so that I can barely stand to look at them. It’s purely because growing up in pre-Independence Zimbabwe the British soldiers wore combat fatigues. Today, combat fatigues represent mean mean men.
  • Cheese and onion is a combination I cannot tolerate. My first taste of the stuff was somewhere between the age of 11-13 when my sister convinced me that a slab of cheese and onion was the latest culinary delight. Being greedy and stupid I tried it and was sick for the rest of that day. Now, even the smell makes me want to puke. Cheese I love, onions I love, but just not together.
  • One fear of mine is dry skin. Until the age of 5 I lived with my Aunt and Grandmother. My Aunt was the Queen of Vaseline. She would slap it on until I was shining like a beacon in the dark blue sea. All to make sure that my skin was never dry. I have slapped on every cream known to man since then in a bid to keep dry cracked skin away. Today, I am on Tree Hut Body Butters from CostCo. Sadly my Aunt has now died but I keep the tradition alive and slap my son with vaseline ’till he is slippping and sliding all over the place – but at least his skin is smooth. 
  • I remember making mud cakes with my cousin when we were about 5. Nothing ever taste so good to me than those mud cakes. Sometimes I can remember the taste and I get a craving for it – but the good old organic type only – not this nasty urban stuff.
  • A childhood friend of mine had the most lovely, curly, golden-brown afro hair. She told me that it was like that because she used soap to wash her hair. Guess who started using soap to wash her hair? One day I even had an argument with my Mum about it because all it was doing was making my hair dry, but nooooo I had to get that curly golden-brown afro hair! It took me a couple of years to realise that my hair will forever be black, thick and African.

Our experiences are the making of us and our views on the world. As  we get older and wiser the trick is to learn the lessons from those that were meant to teach, enjoy the memories that come with those that were meant to bring joy, and laugh at and let go of the downright ridiculous ones that may hold us back from glory!



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