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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Cameron Girls

Growing up, we were lumped as a unit: "The Cameron Girls". There are five of us within a 7 year age span. My dad was a principal of the school that fed into the high school where I went so being a "Cameron Girl" held more meaning than just living in our house. Everyone knew our family in most of Glendale Heights and then my dad coached in Glen Ellyn and and in West Chicago. On Easter we were all talking about what it was like to grow up in our house and I wondered if it was just in our house that we did these things or if others did them as well. I'm guessing it is a mixture. In any case, I was lucky to be one of the Cameron Girls and in such good company that I thought of this post.

You might be a "Cameron Girl" if:

1. Anything over 5'3 inches is considered tall. LeeAnna is the tallest Cameron Girl and she is 5'3. Gina and I are both 5'2. Chrissy is a little under 5'1 and Nikki won't tell anyone exactly how tall she is but we know she's somewhere under 5'.

2. At least once a day growing up you heard, "Where's Darleeeeene?" We always thought it was funny that my dad didn't ask, "Where's Mom?" and instead asked us with her name and even funnier that he never knew where she was if she wasn't standing right in front of him.

3. You used to say, "I call calling. I call saving. I call this place is saved" every time you got up from watching TV to do something and wanted to go back and sit in the same spot. With five of us, the good spots to watch TV were something to hold onto because there weren't many.

4. Your big family night out was at Golden Bear or Jake's Pizza.

5. You let your children do their homework on a Sunday night because growing up you had to do yours on Friday nights and hated it (even though you loved it on Sundays when you could relax).

6. You know what the words KeeKee and watery means. When I was little, my dad used to tickle under my chin and I'd say, "KeeKee, KeeKee." Growing up we'd say, "KeeKee my back or KeeKee my arm" and it meant just rub your back or your arm lightly. Many of the Cameron Girls' kids have fallen asleep by KeeKeeing their backs and it is a word that has stuck from one generation to the next. Watery is a word that I think Gina and her friends came up with but it means slaphappy. You feel all loopy and giggly and everything makes you laugh and you think you are the most hysterical person ever. Some of the best memories come from times we were watery.

7. Your only family vacations were in Wisconsin: The Dells and Lake Geneva and they were the best ever!

8. You have gone to get your mom to take her to TJ Maxx's or Target's because she won't drive outside the perimeter of her work, Stratford's, 7'11, Jewel's and Caputo's (because every store has to have an "s" on the end whether it does or not, though I am not sure if she still does that...might have just been my aunt and my Nana).

9. You wore and Italian jacket with your first name on the back because your last name wasn't Italian.

10. You know what "5 olives" means. On Sunday dinners, there were 8 grandchildren at my Nana's and no matter how many cans of black olives she put in the salad, there was never enough and someone would always eat more than their share so at one point, the rule was "no more than 5 olives". Pretty sad that when I went to college, I'd buy myself a can and eat the whole thing myself just because I could.

11. You know what "catalog kids" are. I think I talked about this before. My sisters and I would look through the Sears catalog and pick out kids that would be our pretend kids and we'd cut out things we'd have in our pretend house. Even back then that's how badly I wanted to be a wife and mother. Personally, I had the best dressed catalog kids and a fantastic design sense...didn't really translate to real life, though since real money is involved.

12. You've woken up to your dad making a trumpeting sound. It didn't matter if it was a school day or a weekend, at 7:00 am, we'd wake up to the most annoying sound of "Do do do do doot do!" (Probably didn't do that one justice in writing.)

13. You don't know how to parallel park and driving on the highway is considered brave.

14. Some of your favorite meals are "Hot Dog Casserole", "Chicken and Cauliflower", and "Nana's Casserole". It was the biggest deal in the world when we'd get a call that "we have stuffed artichokes, fried dough or homemade soup" and only on holidays did we get the most awesome homemade raviolis.

15. All but one of you had a member of "The Outsiders" cast as your boyfriend when you played "Teenagers". (Matt Dillon was mine.)

16. Brady Brides was one of your all time favorite TV shows.

17. You still refer to your parents as "Mommy and Daddy" but only with each other. Never to their face because that would be weird.

18. You are in your 30's and still referred to as "the little ones" (Nikki, LeeAnna and Chrissy).

19. You know what the "bald game" was at church and church was bearable because you knew at any given time, you'd end up with your whole body shaking trying not to laugh at one of the sisters (usually Nikki).

20. You can honestly say that the rest of the Cameron Girls are your very best friends and that you'd be lost without them. 

So which ones are "Cameron Girl" things and which ones did you do as well?

Edited to add that the picture was taken in 2007 and I was pregnant. We need to take some new pics!


At April 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM , Blogger Kimberly said...

I call my parents Mommy and Daddy too, but just between my husband and siblings, not to their faces. I have no idea why!

At April 11, 2012 at 4:44 AM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

Oh my gosh, I love that pic!

For the record, it was my beloved bro who initiated "watery" into the world, and then I kind of spread it around. ;)

At April 11, 2012 at 5:59 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Kimberly, glad we aren't the only ones that do that. It's funny but we have no idea why either.

Kendra, I knew it was you that started it but didn't know it came from your bro. Nice. :)


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