my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Category: childhood

these shoes are made of satin

Shoes pic 10:29:14-5

My father died when I was eight and my brother was three. A boy’s loss of his father at age three is Freud’s sweet spot. The whole Oedipal thing supposedly kicks in and his life goes all to hell in a mental handbasket. That was a spot-on prognosis in this case. Anywho, we were fortunate enough to be raised by a wonderful nurse with only the occasional maternal intrusion to screw things up. My brother loved nothing more than clanking around the house in our mother’s high heels, you could hear him for miles. Her collection made Imelda Marcos look like a slacker. The specialty was outrageous styles purchased in bulk at the annual Krauss Department store shoe sale. One might even say that she loved her shoes to an unhealthy degree. One time when we were on what was euphemistically billed as a “family vacation” some of her shoes flew out of a suitcase strapped onto the roof of our car. Without a moment’s hesitation, she careened off the highway, slammed on the brakes and dispatched all of her offspring onto Interstate 10 to retrieve them. Apparently she was of the opinion that children come and go, but shoes are forever. So, back to the boy, time came for my brother to start kindergarten and he had to take some wacky test to be admitted. One of the questions they asked was, “What are shoes made of?” and he responded entirely appropriately “satin, of course.” Instead of fast tracking him to the Fashion Institute they declared him too immature for school. My mother was never more proud.


welcome to my madhouse


Just to clarify from the outset, this is really all about me. I suppose that is pretty evident when your blog platform is However, I do plan to cover a broader range of topics other than myself, but do remember, I am the overarching theme.

Just to start, perhaps a bit of biographical background might be helpful. However, that’s sort of a problem, even if I change the names to protect the innocent. That said, as far as I am concerned there aren’t too damned many innocents lying around.

I was born in New Orleans into a household whose cast of characters even Tennessee Williams couldn’t conjure up. Six mismatched siblings under one roof ostensibly under the care of their parents whose interests, for the most part, did not involve child rearing. Cliché alert! The household retainers did the heavy lifting.

I am going to stop before I launch into a re-write of the Help, which frankly I couldn’t even read and gave it to my daughter in law for Christmas. It now has a place of pride along side their other two books, “What a Dog” a biography of UGA, the University of Georgia mascot, and a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus.

But I digress. Things were smooth for a while in our little lunatic asylum, relatively speaking. There was the time my father’s collection of snakes escaped from the cage in the backyard, which caused a stir, and when the neighbors’ gibbon brachiated onto a power line and knocked out the lights for almost a whole day. And of course, my older brothers’ proclivity for public drunkedness and subsequent incarceration was an ongoing irritant. But don’t these things happen in every family if you look closely enough.

Now I inhabit my on madhouse, come on in.