Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Artificial Woman-pt. 2 (naked time)

Perhaps impulsive would be a better word than hyperactive to describe Rainbow when she was a young child. When Bob and Kay would have friends over, Kay would ask Lynn and Rainbow to play quietly upstairs.

Quiet wasn't Rainbow's strong suit, at least at that time. When her parents and their friends would least expect it, Rainbow would take off her clothes and run naked through the living room, to the huge laughter of her parents friends, and to the horror of her parents. As long as she was encouraged by the applause of her parents' friends, the entertainment continued, sometimes with clothes on.

Rainbow's family also likes to recount this other story of poor impulse control: One hot summer in 1972, Rainbow's mom, aunt and cousin's were shopping at Mall 205 for material. Rainbow's mom and aunt were going to make bridesmaid and flower girl dresses for another cousin's wedding. Rainbow assessed she was too hot and needed to cool down. Once she got a notion, it didn't go away.

The nearest place she found to cool down was the fountain at Mall 205. Deciding again that it was naked time, Rainbow strayed from the group, disrobed and jumped into the fountain, even though she didn't know how to swim. Rainbow invited her cousin to join her.

Instead her cousin went and told Kay, "Rainbow's in the fountain wading, and she says it's okay. Can I go too?"

"Dammit Rainbow!" Kay cursed as she went to retrieve her wayward daughter.

Well, at least an elderly couple sitting by the fountain got a laugh.

On another occasion, one of Bob's friends named Doug, invited the family over for a swim at his apartment complex. The fact that Rainbow couldn't swim didn't stop her from jumping into the deep end, even when there was no one to catch her. Bob, an excellent swimmer, would hurry to catch her and tell to stay in the shallow end.

Her response to this advice was to run to the deep end and jump in again...and again...and again.

This impulsive and potentially dangerous behavior seemed "free-spirited" to the outsiders, but just plain weird to those closest to Rainbow. Back then, there weren't as many drugs to give a "weird" kid. The parents just bit their lips, and prayed for the child to grow up and out of it.

To Be Continued.

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