Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crying Over Onions: My Own Story Part 3

In case you are new to Oils For Wellness, this is the third installment of my own life story. I write whenever the inspiration hits me. There could be 10 parts, maybe 20, who knows! Eventually they may find their way into a book someday. I'm just flowing with how things take shape. These posts are short vignettes of my journey so far, not really a consecutive chronicle of events. You won't need to "catch up" for the story to make sense. If you haven't read them yet, you might like to check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Healing Reepicheep

Awakening in the Apothecary

My dad was a part time photographer. He shot weddings on weekends for several years during my childhood. I remember him in his suit and tie, the bulky camera bag over his shoulder, his late return on Saturday nights, and boxes of leftover wedding cake in the fridge from the reception of a newlywed couple I had never met. My father loved capturing memories on film. Sentimental would be too benign a word.

I remember the day I was held hostage in front of the camera with that crate of yellow onions. Must have been 3 or 4 years old at the time. My dad noticed that as I was helping Mom peel onions in the kitchen for chili, my eyes started to water. Well, it was show time and the director thought it would be the cutest darn thing to shoot the leading lady crying over a crate of onions. Don't ask me why.

I was a pretty good natured child and had already figured out that it was pointless to protest once my dad came up with an idea for the perfect portrait. It was best just to smile and get it over with. First, there was the selection of the paring knife prop. My mom shuddered. The scene began to unfold in the kitchen. Should the crate be on the counter with me sitting next to it or on the floor? Due to optimal lighting opportunities, the onion crate accompanied by a weeping girl in pigtails was moved outdoors onto the redwood deck that encircled the front of the house.

Kneel there, prop the crate up like that, hold the knife a little more to the left, and on it went for what seemed like hours. Burn, burn, burn! My eyes were flooding as I peeled off several layers of onion for full theatrical effect. Take the picture already! Dad laughed and laughed, he thought this was so hilarious. Mom was fuming about the whole situation and I was crying, really crying now. My eyes stung so bad and I was still being coaxed to look at the camera. The words my dad said next stuck with me ever since. "Oh, it's not hurting her, that is just the onions making her cry." I didn't say a word. I hoped the pictures turned out. No one could tell if those were real tears or not anyway. That was the day I decided it was best to just keep the truth to myself.


Pennie Bixler said...

I really love these snippets from your life. I hope they DO make it into a book, Jen!

PJ said...

i am sorry, but that wasn't very nice of your dad. did the pictures turn out good after all of that?