Saturday, July 18, 2015

What was Violet's Middle Name?

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be -  Working Class Hero, John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, 1970

Yes, we have no bananas
We have-a no bananas today - "Yes! We Have No Bananas", Frank Silver and Irving Cohn, 1922

Best friends, Australia, When we were young
I am opening up a new online bank account. I'm trying to set up my security questions and answers. I've been here before. I dread going there.

I live in a country where it is very important to be politically correct. Socially, racially correct. But apparently this meme or whatever, does not apply to "security questions".

And yes, I realise that such questions are only there in case you forget who you are, or what is your password - but it is not as simple as that.

The assumption is that you had a conventional childhood. White. Affluent. Two parents and 2.2 children, of which you are one of them. One of the whole number, born ones.

It is all worked out here in the U.S.A.  If you are not statistically normal, help is on the way. You can even get extra points in order to get into college (aka university in OZ).

But when it comes to opening a bank account, a 401K, a Roth IRA - even a social media account - the un-politically, un-socio-economical questions come pouring in.

There's normally a list of set questions you can provide answers to - in case you forget who you are. I speed-read it. But unless there's something simple, like "Your father's middle name", I am at a loss.

 I was raised by a single mother. I lived in a country that didn't use the term "middle school". I know I had a paternal grand father, but I only saw him once and I was six at the time.

He never told me his middle name.

I had a dog but I can't remember his name. Probably he was"Blacky",  but maybe the five year-old me spelled it with an "ie".

We moved house 27 times before I was 14. So I have no effing idea the name of my home teacher when I was in "middle school".

My dad had three wives and I don't know the middle name of any of them. Including my mother's.' Well, I do with my mum, but the "authorities" kept getting it wrong, and I keep forgetting the "wrong one" that  I am meant to remember.

When my mother, a country girl eleven years old, came to Melbourne from the tiny New South Wales town of Moama in 1930, the teacher at Princes Hill Primary school got her name wrong, and the young country girl  was too overwhelmed to correct her when she read her given names out of order.

My mother's name was "Christine Hazel", but she was registered as "Hazel Christina" at Princes Hill. So what IS my mother's middle name? I dare not get it wrong or my bank account will be locked. My mum  - Born Christine, married as Hazel, Divorced as Christina. Died Christine. I skip that question.

My best childhood best friend?  I think of Di - in the UK now. We were  best friends  -  still are  - for yonks. Will be forever. We lived near each other in the early sixties. In Melbourne. But maybe it should be Kathy Brettel. I was best friends with her in third grade in Bathurst New South Wales in 1959.  Never heard from her again. But she was "first". Or Carolyn who lived round the corner when we were both fourteen and I still stay with in Australia when I visit. We are as sisters.

And what do they mean by "childhood"? Too confusing.

The Missing
I skip that question. Here's one - "Who was your favorite comic book hero?" There's the rub. My dad didn't allow comic books in the house. He was left-wing till Stalin invaded Czechoslovakia. I really don't want to bring the Cold War and McCarthy into a supposedly simple account security system check.

What was my nick name as a child?  Closer. "Katie" or maybe "Katy". I should make a note of the spelling in my password-keeper.

Oh, and I LOVE this one - "What street did you live in when you were nine?" I think back to the fifties. The various rooms and half houses that my single mother, Hazel, Chris, Christina ... whatever,  found for us. Beats me. I am not even sure of the state.

I go on. "Your favorite  uncle?" Well we all us women know about favorite uncles. I am not even going there! It is all getting too close to home.

Till next time,

Kath, Katy, Katie, Kathleen... Chris's daughter, Hazel's daughter, Violet whoever's granddaughter,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best ever, Kate. Didn't know we had so much in common. Boggy.

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