When we were little we played ‘Aunt’. Sometimes we were both the moms and hauled our babies around with us in giant purses that we had swiped from our mother. Rechelle always had Tiny Tears, which was a rubber baby-doll that cried real tears when you fed her a bottle of water and squeezed her tummy. I had Winnie the Pooh and Danny. Winnie the Pooh was made for me by my babysitter, Mrs. Reid. I loved him until he was a flat piece of matted fur fabric and then I still loved him. Danny was a big doll with a cloth stuffed body and rubber arms and legs, he had black cropped hair, sometimes Danny became Kimmy.
Kimmy was the little girl that one of us would play while the other one was the mom.
So, let’s review: We played ‘Aunt’; sometimes we were both moms and sometimes one of us was the mom and one of us was Kimmy. We also had Tiny Tears and Winnie the Pooh and Danny/Kimmy the big doll. Got it?
The Aunts were chain smokers. They would smoke on a drinking straw while yelling at Kimmy. They would smoke on an invisible cigarette while talking about which party they should attend. Occasionally, they would enjoy a candy cigarette and then, well, then they talked about how much they loved to smoke and how good that cigarette tasted.
The aunts loved their big vinyl purses. They were huge and lined with dark blue bandanna fabric. When Kimmy was being a pain in the ass, which was nearly always, her mom would start swinging the giant vinyl purse at her and most of the time Tiny Tears was in that giant purse getting whipped around adding to the pummeling Kimmy was getting on her back side. This caused Kimmy to fall down in fits of hysterical laughter. Also, you should know that Tiny Tears, being a newborn baby, could talk and pummel people. She was quite amazing and spent most of her time yelling at Winnie the Pooh.
Sometimes the aunts would have a falling out and not speak to each other for six whole minutes. Usually, their falling outs had to do with someone not getting to play the role of Aunt or Kimmy or more often, Tiny Tears was being too mean. Tiny Tears was a very bitter baby.
One of the sisters would eventually get tired of being pissed off and come up with a way to entice the other sister to resume playing ‘Aunt’. This usually involved great feats of silliness that the mad sister couldn’t resist.
Then like a magical spell had been cast, the sisters were back in their imaginary rolls of Aunt and Kimmy or Aunt and Aunt.
Let’s play ‘Aunt’. I’ll be Kimmy.
No. Let’s both be aunts. Wanna smoke?
The aunts had a very busy social calendar. They were constantly being asked to parties and often those parties required them to perform some sort of dance number and sing a song. The aunts would dig through their mother’s closet and find her highest heels and most luxurious polyester party dresses and adorn themselves with costume jewelry and holler at the kids to get in their big purses, because they were going to Grandma’s house.
The aunts would drop off Tiny Tears, Winnie the Pooh and Danny/Kimmy at Grandma Martha’s house, which most of the time meant they would be stashing them under their Mom’s desk at their father’s business.
Then the aunts would run off to practice their performance for the evening’s big gala.
They always incorporated lots of difficult tricks that only the aunts were able to do and the whole world was amazed by their abilities.
After the party had died down and they had sung their last song and danced their last dance and smoked their last cigarette they’d head back to Grandma Martha’s office where they would ask if she had any money so they could run across the street to Taco Grande and buy a sancho for themselves and some cinnamon-sugar tortilla crisps for Tiny Tears, Winnie the Pooh and Danny/Kimmy.
Grandma Martha would hand them some cash while cradling Tiny Tears and say, “Yes and get me a Pepsi and a sancho with extra hot sauce.”
photos by All Astonishment