Mighty Life List
Sep 5 2007

#42 Make Your Time Line

Prompt on page 49 of
No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog

My first decade:

Age 1: I do not cry when hungry or tired. The doctor says I’m probably slow.

Age 2: My mom and dad stare down at me. Dad says, “I think she’s lying.” Mom says, “I don’t think she knows how to lie.” I am lying.

Age 3: I would like to wear dresses and shiny shoes all the time, please.

Age 4: Dustin tries to “hump” my leg in the kindergarten recess line, and I shove him. Forever after, I will find the name Dustin slightly irritating.

Age 5: I carry a red purse with a long strap, and fill it with pennies. One day while Joey and I are chasing each other around the playground, I swing it excitedly and hit him in the back. His face is so surprised and pained that the memory of it still makes me cringe.

Age 6: Mrs. Bartlett sends my best friend home because she has a hole in her sweater. I cry because I know her family is poor, and I have to stand the corner as punishment for crying. I attend a new school for third grade.

Age 7: While swinging, I realize I have no impending doctor or dentist appointments, and experience a surge of pure joy.

Age 8: My father dies. At his body viewing, a young man who works at the funeral home takes me to the refrigerated florist shop to buy me a flower. I choose a carnation, a white one with red stripes.

Age 9: Mrs. Ross is my happy, curly-haired fourth grade teacher, and she assigns us poetry exercises. Her note on my first haiku says “Great imagery! You will be an excellent writer one day.”

Age 10: “Mom?” I say. “How do gay people have sex?” Mom takes a deep breath and pauses. She says, “I am very uncomfortable telling you this, but they say that if you’re old enough to ask, you’re old enough to know… Gay people have sex in the butt.”

  • ine

  • 52 Responses to “#42 Make Your Time Line”

    • sandra Says:

      OH MY GOD. You just made me tear up and then laugh so hard that I spit on my monitor! Thank you.

    • steph Says:

      ROFL! So 10 was an interesting year, no? :D

    • Sean Says:

      what about the gay women? still, priceless.

    • luke Says:

      Ms. Maggie – do you actually remember all of this? You remember the years and everything? All of my past is one enormous mush – so this is pretty fabulous.

    • Maggeh Says:

      I don’t remember age 1, that’s just the family story. Otherwise, I remember this stuff pretty vividly.

    • Paul Says:

      Re: No. 5 – Have you ever brought him to mind and asked him for forgiveness? It’s amazing how liberating that can be :-)

    • Carissa Says:

      love it! how odd/interesting that we remember the oddest of little details years and years later.

    • kimberly Says:

      I was sad after No. 8, but then No. 10 erased that. oh my god how funny.

    • Martha Says:

      Hi, love this post, but please, post more about life with Hank – so many of us are mothers and we love hearing about him!

    • denise Says:

      i was 19 when it occurred to me to ask someone how gay women had sex. until then i thought gay women were like bffs that were just a little more affectionate with each other than most women.

    • superblondgirl Says:

      Your mom is awesome. I hope you’re going to continue the timeline – it’s way more interesting than mine would be (age x – can’t remember, age x – can’t remember…) My memory is shit.

    • Jesse! Says:

      Age 2: if a monkey can lie, than certainly a 2-year-old!

      Age 4: me and Dustin were so alike! Dustin IS an annoying name, even to the unmolested.

      Age 6: awww! I also learned about poor people around this age… and that I was one of them! *sadface*

      I used to think butt sex was bumping two butts together until I was about 23.

    • Margie Blystone Says:

      I think your mom and I could be best friends.

    • Lisa Says:

      I could never ever remember back to 1 yr old but I could make stuff up or start at a different age.

      Dustin makes me think of the dog I had as a kid, he looked like Benji and was named Dusty.

      Heck I never even asked about babies or sex, my mom just finally told me when I was 12 and I thought it sounded so gross! I have four kids so I guess the diea warmed up. :D

    • Jennie Says:

      This is fantastic.

      And I haven’t laughed so hard at anything today as I did at age ten. I’d love to meet your mother.

    • Heidi Says:

      Wow! This is seriously fantastic. I laughed out loud.

    • cat Says:

      Regarding Martha’s comment: Hank is adorable, but it’s mightygirl posts like this that have kept me reading for years.

    • Vicky Says:

      you have a rockin mum….and the young man that helped you buy a flower…i bet wonderful things have come to him because of his kindness.

    • Heather Says:

      Ok. I read this at work and started laughing out loud. Now I have to explain to everyone sitting around me about Age 10. Thanks!

    • Amy Says:

      Good for your Mom!

    • Leticia Says:

      #10 had me laughing. I love your mom.

    • Cinda Says:

      Delurking to say ditto what Sandra said! Tears and laughter in 350 words or less. Brilliant!

    • Pretty Lush Says:

      I wish my mom had been so honest.

    • Kimberly Says:

      At 10 I had no idea gay people existed. Yay for your Mom! (I agree with cat…I love Hank stories, but I’d hate for mightygirl to turn into a strictly Hank blog.)

    • Paige Says:

      Age 10 + your mom… cracks me up.

    • lisalou Says:

      I love this post. So sweet and so funny.

    • sue Says:

      Perfect post… as usual.

    • misstraceynolan Says:

      Mrs. Ross was right.

    • Molly Says:

      Your mom is hilarious!

    • Sarah Says:

      I just laughed so hard Fruit2O came shooting out my nose and mouth. The “in the butt” explanation is the funniest thing ever. Your mom rocks.

    • Melissa Says:

      #9 is a perfect example of how a good teacher can shape who we become.

      Love all your posts, this one was exceptional.

    • M Says:

      I love that you used “Maggeh” as your name on your comment. Too funny.

    • schmutzie Says:

      Excellent list. You’ve brought some very painful haiku memories for me.

    • Isabel Kallman Says:

      this made me sad. i will not forget ages 6, 8 and 10 for you.

    • Katherine Says:

      This is beautiful! It makes me want to give it a try!

    • ALF Says:

      Funny, sad and interesting all at the same time! Your 4th grade teacher was right!

    • Mae Says:

      I hope somebody punched Mrs. Bartlett in the face, the insensitive cow.

    • Andi Says:

      I, too, cried and laughed! Thank you.

    • jocelyn Says:

      i think the thing i’ve always liked about you the best is balance. not half full or empty, but as caleb styn said “it’s a beautiful glass.”

    • China Says:

      I love your book! I’ve been trying my hand at my own blog with your exercises!


    • shannon Says:


    • Allison Says:

      I love your blog and your book. I haven’t done much with it yet though. Yesterday I decided to do this one after yours inspired me! You inspire me!

    • Holy Schmidt! Says:

      In the butt.

      I just choked on a Life Saver!

    • andrea Says:

      you just totally made my day.

    • abonvivant Says:

      Loved it. What were you going to do with all of the pennies?

    • el Says:

      I love your mom and I hate Mrs. Bartlett.

    • Sarah Brown Says:

      This is my favorite thing you’ve ever posted.

    • Aunt Raina Says:

      My little Margaret! This brought up so many mememories! From being the unbelievingly good baby to the very, very sensitive child, to the very bright teenager who always corrected my grammer! I hate to say it but, Thanks for the memories!

    • Susan Says:

      The last line totally made my Friday, lol!

    • tiff Says:


    • Alison Says:

      I do not like Mrs. Bartlett and I wanted to crawl into your childhood and find her. Sent home for a hole in her sweater? That got me.

    • crankybee Says:

      I just spat a mouthfull of diet coke all over my keyboard at number 10.