Charlie’s No Angel…

I would be lying if I said I was an angel when I was a kid. I am the youngest amongst a very close-knit network of cousins and admist their 5+ year older voices, I was constantly trying to find ways of my own to be heard. I don’t remember when I started being so mischievous, but I was, and if someone couldn’t find me, nine out of ten times I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing. For example, there was one instance when I was about six, while my brother was babysitting me, I left the den where he was watching television went and found a stack of my mothers blank checks and proceeded to practice my “signature” on each one of them for about and hour. Then I made a trail of them going from my bedroom, down the stairs, through the living room, kitchen, and back up our back staircase, leaving the last one just outside the door to the den. Or when I was younger than that, I decided to turn my bedroom door into my very own canvas, where I drew what I thought was a lovely array of stick figures and squiggles with my Crayola crayons. I did stuff like this all the time, and to deal with the constant blame I was receiving, I decided to create an imaginary friend and start blaming everything on him. His name was Charlie. I don’t why it was boy, or where I got the name Charlie (there were no Charlie’s in my life), but upon my parents’ discovery of whatever recent act of misbehavior I had performed, I would immediately say “It wasn’t me, it was Charlie!”

I would say that Charlie’s presence in my life lasted from the age of four to about seven or eight.  As I got older and began to realize that my parents obviously didn’t believe me, I started to quit blaming Charlie and just start denying that I did anything wrong (which also failed). However, the name stuck with my father. When I would say “I swear I didn’t do it! I don’t know how your shaving cream got all over the refrigerator door!” he would respond “Sure you don’t Charlie.”

In a miraculous turn of events, I started playing soccer, and in turn, stopped with all these kinds of antics, but “Charlie” stuck. My dad now calls me Charlie more than he calls me Katie. Growing up, I could hear him screaming from the sidelines at my soccer games “Go Charlie!!!” or when I call he always answers “Hey, Charlie.” It’s is a nickname I have gotten used to, so I don’t think for a second when he calls me by that, but when I do, I think it’s funny that my mischievous childhood friends managed to weasel his way into my identity for good.


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