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Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

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When you won’t phone mom…

September 28th, 2014 · Posted by Hugo · 1 Comment

Back in my pre-teen years (I was somewhere between 10 and 12 years old), I was cycling home from school in the Netherlands. Misjudging a maneuver to dodge a pole on a sidewalk, next to a speed bump. Swing left a bit onto the speed bump, swing right back onto the sidewalk. (Cycling next to a friend on the cycle path meant swinging right wasn’t an option.) Returning to the sidewalk a little bit too late meant the speed bump had already started dropping. I broadsided the edge with my wheel, and went down.

Somehow, I seem to have landed on one of my two front teeth: I can’t remember any other injuries anymore, but I broke the tooth. (It exposed a nerve, but didn’t damage it, so no pain from that as far as I can recall, but there was a piece of tooth that I could pick up and take home with me.) As soon as I got home, I made a phone call – because I felt the need to talk to one of my parents about it.

The interesting detail here: I didn’t phone my mother. Instead, I phoned my father — something I wouldn’t typically do during a work day. He’d be busy and all that? But, somehow I was scared of my mother? 🙂 Scared of her reaction, I suppose? A protective mother caring a lot about her children getting themselves hurt, versus a father that… what… exactly? I guess it’s not the kind of thing I can rationally puzzle out today, what precisely I was expecting from each of my parents’ responses. I particular because I wouldn’t have acted rationally, I would have acted emotionally?

To me, it’s a fond little memory of a fascinating parent-child dynamic, which I’m easily reminded of: what you see of one of my two front teeth these days, was created by a “tooth artist” many years after this accident.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Hugo // Sep 28, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    I can’t puzzle out the details of this story any more: where would my mother have been? Would I have been able to phone her, if I wanted to? Did she have a cellphone? (I think my father had one at one point, though I think I also remember a large car phone that wasn’t super portable. I’d think it would also be quite some time between dad getting a smallish portable cell phone – what size Nokia bricks were available around 1993/1994?)

    But irrespective of whether I would have been able to phone my mom (and where would she then have been, at the time when I got home?), and the fickleness of memory (memories may be fabricated?), my memory does seem to insist I distinctly preferred phoning dad. 🙂

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