Stay Calm and Blank On

the four of us

Mom and Dad’s ultimate brood no doubt gave them something to brood about

There wasn’t very much going on in June of 1964. Well, that is unless you count the passing of the civil rights act, Nelson Mandela being sentenced to life in prison, Ted Kennedy getting seriously injured in a plane crash, Jane Fonda signing on to star in The Ballad of Cat Ballou, or the birth of Courtney Cox.

Back on the June 1964 Battle Creek trailer front, just a few short miles from the Kellogg’s world headquarters, my parents were on the countdown to the birth of their first child. Only 3 more months to go until they would finally learn what type of creature they created. That’s a long time to hold your breath.

I’d wager a bag of apples that they were starting to think of baby names; but not the popular ones of 1964, like Lisa, Mary, Susan or Karen. No, it had to be something a bit more rare, but not too unique. Perhaps a name that would acknowledge the extra weight my mother had been supporting for the past 6 months? Maybe it could be a word with many homophones so that you could spell it several different ways? And even better yet, how about a name that would work well in a phrase or idiom? Something like “blank the load”, “blank on my wayward son”, “blank me back to old virginny“, “I shall command the winged monkeys to blank you to the Emerald City” or the one that must have sealed the deal: “blank over”

I’m also going to tiptoe out on sturdy limb (because I’m cautious and risk averse) and bet that my parents were also starting to wonder about what this kid would be like. Surely she would be President since more than half of the U.S. Presidents were first born children. So what if they were all men? Or if not President, at least an astronaut, since 21 of the first 23 were numero uno in birth order. Oh, they were men too? So what.

Well, no such luck. Here’s what they got:

  • A shy child who just wanted to be left alone to play with her matchbox cars in the sandbox while wearing comfy, dress-less outfits fit for dirt, gravel, tree climbing and ice skating

    my shy side

    my shy introverted side

  • A protective pre-teen who got into her one and only physical fight to stick up for her little brother while wearing comfy, dress-less outfits fit for…

    I will protect you little bro

    I will protect you little bro

  • A teenager who became a pain in the butt, ultimately picking on her 3 younger siblings and succumbing to peer pressure at every turn while wearing comfy, dress-less…
  • A 17 year old who realized the errors of her ways and changed her scenery by jaunting off to college two weeks after high school graduation while wearing comfy…
  • An adult who didn’t become the President or an astronaut but one who has found a job that pays the bills and has “blanked on” the family tradition of civil service as a career – all while wearing…
  • And an individual who tries to live by the phrase “stay calm and blank on” while sporting only two tattoos and who, hopefully, hasn’t caused her parents too much grief.

    who has the doll?

    who has the doll? not me.


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