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Back In The Day

You think you've got it rough? You should have been around when I was a kid. Our whole family lived in a frilly teepee in Jakarta.

We ate nothing but wienerschnitzel and pizza and we drank Bud Lites, and we were glad to have them. Sometimes on alternate blue moons we had popcorn. I slept on a hatstand in the library. My nine sisters slept in the basement.

I had to get up every morning at twelve to feed the lizard and the prairie dog. After that, I had to scrub the master bedroom and probe the comb.

I walked twenty blocks through ice storms and rainstorms to get to school every morning, wearing only a turtleneck and a nose ring. We had to learn Russian and agriculture, all in the space of four weeks.

Mom worked hard, making delicate bells by hand and selling them for only fifteen farthings each. She had to flush every bell twenty-nine times.

Dad worked as a builder and earned only fifty-three pesos a day. We couldn't afford any crutches, so we made do with only a sponge.

In spite of all the hardships, we grew up sassy and stylish.