I was not social as a child. I learned how to play by myself. As a toddler, I was very much the explorer, opening every cupboard and drawer to discover what was hiding. I never watched t.v. as I could not understand cartoons or even the Muppets on Sesame Street. Who could lip read and understand what they were saying? My favorite cartoon series was The Pink Panther ~ no dialogue and full of slapstick humor. I would watch Mr. Rogers from time to time, but when it came to his puppet segment, I would tune out and find something else to do.
My first birthday party invitation came while I was in Kindergarten. I distinctly remember one of the games. It was where your character name was written on a piece of paper and taped to your back. The party members would give you "clues" as to who your character was.
I didn't fully understand the "rules" and instead wandered from person to person during the game, as they animatedly gestured while giving clues and exclaiming when the child got the "right answer." Fairly quickly, it became apparent that I was the ONLY one who had NOT guessed who my character was.
A small crowd of children gathered in front of me. All at once, they began giving me clues at the same time. A bewildered look came across my face. I put my focus on the child directly in front of me. This is what I understood the child to be saying:
"You live on Sesame Street."
Mean? Who is mean? I was confused and didn't know how or what to answer.
The child raised his voice a little louder, enunciating each word,
"You live in a garbage can."
I finally said, "I don't know who it is."
Everybody threw their hands into the air and in unison said,
"You're OSCAR THE GROUCH!"
Two years ago, at a Christmas neighborhood party, the guests were given characters from television shows and movies. My mind flashed back to my classmate's kindergarten birthday party....
I politely declined to participate and headed straight for the kitchen and asked how I could help with the food.