Piggy, Piggy

“Why does she have more than me?” I wondered. “It’s not fair.”

After listening for the whirring noises of my mom’s sewing machine in the basement of our split-level home, I slipped a butter knife from the kitchen and silently marched across the hall into my sister’s bedroom. My fuzzy, footed pajamas felt scratchy on my skin as I dragged my sister’s desk chair over to her tall dresser and hoisted her piggy bank into my arms.

I had spent the better part of the morning comparing the weight of my sister’s bank to my own. The data were consistent and clear. Her bank was heavier. She definitely had more money. It wasn’t fair.

Her bear-shaped bank was beautiful – silver-plated – a majestic figure with a sanguine expression on its face. My bank, shaped like a squat pig, was silver-plated, sure, but ugly and fat with a grimacing countenance. And decidedly lighter.

My heart racing, I carried both banks into my sister’s closet and carefully slid the door closed. Not all the way. It would look more natural that way, in case my mom came looking for me. A sliver of sunlight gleamed across the bear’s peaceful face as I tried to pry off the plastic plug.

“If only my fingers weren’t so stubby,” I told myself. “My mom’s fingers are long and graceful. Why aren’t mine like hers?”

The butter knife made quick work of the plastic cap. I carefully slipped some coins onto the hardwood closet floor. “I want hers and mine,” I thought. “I want all of it.”

Candy. I would buy candy. Reams of delicious, chocolatey goodness. Like Charlie in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I’d savor it, slowly and delicately, make the pleasure last forever. I wouldn’t gobble it up like that greedy girl, Veruca, in the movie. No way. And I wouldn’t have to share; wouldn’t have to stop eating until I wanted to.

The pennies would buy Bazooka bubble gum; the nickels, Gold Rush gum – the kind in the little draw-string pouches. I could taste the delicious banana flavor on my tongue as I quietly dug more coins out of the bear’s behind. Laffy Taffy with the dimes; Charleston Chews with the quarters.

“How did my sister get so many quarters?” I wondered. She was swimming in quarters.

“Grandpa? I bet Grandpa slips her quarters,” I thought.  “He doesn’t like me because I don’t want to give him hugs. My sister gives him hugs. I bet she gets quarters.”

I only got dimes. My beautiful, loving Italian grandmother secretly slipped me a dime every time I saw her, with the unspoken message I wasn’t to share, wasn’t to tell. I was her favorite, and she gave me the biggest hugs. She also gave me the biggest slices of her perfectly-delicious almond coffee cake. And those dimes.

I sensed the my mom’s presence moments before a rush of sunlight highlighted her dark features.

“Mary Lynn, what the hell are you doing?”

I am linking up with Yeah Write for Week Two of their Summer Writer’s Series

51 thoughts on “Piggy, Piggy

  1. ah, I love this post!! Your descriptions are perfectly crafted, transporting me right there to that closet. I also loved Gold Rush gum! It was terrible but how could you not love something that came in a burlap sack; treasure like we were Goonies? Childhood memories – gum, grandparents and sibling rivalry. Perfect.

    • You are so kind! And this is sooo scary. My typical blog posts are one thing. This feels different and scarier. For you?

      I would pay big money for some Gold Rush gum! I inhaled that stuff!

      • oh yes! I had a total meltdown this morning thinking my last post was total crap, not worthy of being in some writing forum and that everyone commenting was lying. I was talked down from the ledge a few minutes later but I guess what I am trying to say is yes. This feels different and scarier too. So thrilled you are linking up again!

  2. Love your Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reference. I was thinking about that just before I read your reference. So what happened next?

    • I’m torn between telling the rest of the story in the comments or in another post! I can tell you that this episode with the piggy bank was the beginning of my decades-long international crime spree!!!

  3. My kids argue about who has more money in their piggy banks — I once caught my son trying to convince his little sister that she could have all of his pennies if she gave him her dollars. Like your mom, I put an end to that one!

    Nice post!! And no need to be nervous!

    • It was all a dream! JR was never shot! Just kidding … my mom reminds me of this story regularly. I’ll fill you in on the details in a future post! Thank you for caring and for your kind words!

  4. Ahhh… That’s what you were doing in there. Ri, we found the culprit! Is the closet also where you went when you changed my chatty Cathy dolls clothes into your dolls, after you in your infinite wisdom decided she needed a blow out of her plastic hair? Continue on with your story, as long as I get to choose what actress portrays me in the movie!

    p.s we all know I was grandma AND grandpas favorite! I got dollars 🙂

    • How was I to know plastic hair couldn’t be blow-dried? I enjoyed experimenting on your dolls instead of my own – more fun that way! What actress should we be contacting?? xoxo

  5. My parents had a coin jar that I always wanted to steal from, but never quite had the guts. I had all kinds of candy plans for that money, too!

  6. oh man was this awesome. i really enjoyed this and felt like i was you in the moment. i really loved how you got back into your mind from when you were a kid. so awesome.

    • Thank you! This is so fun! Am planning the sequel and wondering how my readers would handle similar situation with their 4 or 5 year old? I’ll feature comments in Part II! Thanks!

    • Thank you! I’m planning to write the sequel and am wondering how my readers would handle this situation if this was their four or five year old? I’ll feature your answers in my Part II post! Thanks!!

  7. I remember arguing with my brother over the who had more, who was better, nothing is fair type stuff. I’m curious, were you the younger sister? I love the way you tell the story in a childlike fashion. Jumping from thought to thought, all related and yet different. Then as we’re sucked in to the love for your grandmother (and her love for you), BAM – What the hell are you doing? Great ending!

    • Thank you! Yes, I’m the younger sis in this story. I’m actually the middle child so I’ve experienced this jealousy and rivalry on both sides. I remember the arguing you mentioned … ugh! Thanks for your kind words!

      • Yes, it felt little sistery (I’m a little sister!) but I love the idea of you being in the middle and getting it from the other side. It never really occurred to me what a unique perspective a middle sister when it comes to the rivalry. I look forward to reading more 🙂

  8. Well written. I particularly like the description of the banks, a sanguine expression on one, a grimacing countenance, a sliver of sunlight. Nice. Good tension with the image of the door not quite closed and the approach of your mother. I like it.

  9. Pingback: yeah write #65 jury prize winner | yeah write

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