Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Interview Wednesdays: Marilynn Welsh

Miss Marilynn Coles with her Gamma Phi Beta sisters
bottom row, far right

Marilynn Welsh (in the green dress) at the "Bum Party"
warning: photo on the left is rated PG-13 (that's my Dad in the blue baseball hat)

In my previous post, I mentioned that my mom helped Kristi and I put together those ridiculous outfits, because she was an "expert" at that sort of thing. This led me to think, well why don't I interview my own mother and see what kind of stories she'll share?

Jamie: Mom, will you share a couple of your wild and crazy experiences? (They were pretty much like bed-time stories for me when I was a child).

Marilynn: (Laughing and wondering aloud if she can tell a particular story). OK, how about the one about the chocolate cake.

The Chocolate Cake Story

Marilynn: Freshman year of college, I lived in approved apartment housing with Mary C.

Jamie: What the heck is an approved apartment?

Marilynn: It's the kind all the parents wanted their kids to be in because there was a curfew where you had to sign-in and sign-out, and once a week your apartment was inspected to make sure the floors, stove and bathrooms were cleaned. I hated that.

So one day after classes, Mary C. and I decided to bake a chocolate cake. We were both wearing slips. We started laughing and getting silly, and we started to put the chocolate on our teeth. We were laughing and laughing and then we put chocolate on our faces and on our arms too.

Then we wanted to make the next door neighbor girls laugh, so we knocked on the door and when they opened it, their first thought was that the chocolate was blood. We all started laughing but were trying not to make too much noise, because the apartment manager lived underneath us. We were still laughing and heard a knock on the door. We thought it would be more of our friends so I opened the door and said, "Hellooo!" with chocolate everywhere. It was the apartment manager and she looked at me and said, "You're campused!"

Jamie: Ooo what did that mean?

Marilynn: It meant I was in trouble! I had to stay in for the whole weekend and sign people in and out.

The Shrunken Mattress Story

Marilynn: Another time while I lived in that apartment, we stole our girlfriend's mattress and left a kotex in its place. We left a note that said, "Sorry but your mattress shrunk when we washed it". We hid out and waited to see her expression when she came home.

Jamie: What did she do?

Marilynn: Oh, she was surprised! We all had a good laugh! You know after this, whenever a prank was played on someone, they all blamed me. That was not good!

The Water in the Vases Story

Marilynn: I'm not sure if I should tell this one (relays a little of what it's about).

Jamie: Yes Mom, I think you can tell this one!

Marilynn: Junior year in college, I was living in the sorority house. The house was in the shape of a square, with a back balcony and an open inner courtyard with a pretty garden.

It was a boring Saturday afternoon, and usually on Saturday afternoons the girls were either studying, or with their boyfriends, or at home with their parents. So a lot of girls were studying in groups.

Jamie: Mom, why weren't you studying?

Marilynn: Well I tried that and I got bored (laughs). There were all these empty vases in the bathroom from flowers that the girls got from their boyfriends. So I said to my friend Dana B., "Let's do something fun. We can fill those empty vases with water and throw them on the girls. Furthermore, if we do it in the nude they will be so shocked that they won't retaliate"!

We ran into the first bedroom and everyone's mouths dropped open! We threw the water all over them and ran out to do the next group.

Jamie: Mom! What did they do?!

Marilynn: Well they were laughing and they were pissed! So we ran to the next bedroom and one of the girls was getting ready for a date and she had her hair in those beer-can rollers. We threw the water and her hair got wet. We didn't mean for that to happen but she was pissed! They started chasing us! Dana and I ran into our room and locked the door. Dana hid in the closet and I hid behind something. Little did we know they had a key. To my surprise the door opened and six girls grabbed me (since Dana was in the closet) and dragged me to the back balcony that overlooked the inner courtyard...and locked the sliding glass door.

Boys started coming and going, picking up their dates, and here I was, nude on the 2nd story! I scooted as close to the sliding door as I could, and lay flat so no one could see. Whenever the boys were out of sight I yelled, "Let me in"! The girl with the wet hair, Barbara R., was so mad. See, she had a hot date and there were no blow dryers in those days! They had hair dryers that you sat under, but her beer-can curlers were too big for those. After about 30 minutes, they finally let me in.

Jamie: (Both laughing) Mom, did you and Barbara make up?

Marilynn: Oh yeah, really soon after.

The Bum Party Story

Jamie: Mom, will you tell the story about the party where you, Dad and your friends dressed like bums?

Marilynn: This was in 1977 when we lived in Michigan and your father was in the Navy. We got an invitation to attend a "Bum Party" at the Air National Guard station at Selfridge. All branches of the service were invited - the Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Airforce and National Guard.

It was held at an old, defunct train station at the base. Bales of hay were scattered around and part of the party was in a caboose. Your Dad and I and the Kinneys, decided to dress to the nines like bums. We got plastic flies at the joke store to put in our nostrils and that rubber turd. We got Japanese toe shoes - they were cloth with no soles, and size 18 dresses (Mom was a size 4 at the time).

Carol Kinney and I both had long hair and we washed but didn't comb it. We blackened some of our teeth and put lipstick on like a cheap waitress in a diner, and it was an ugly color. Dad wore the blonde wig.

We were the best dressed bums there. We were hard to look at Jamie, we were ugly. The rest of the people wore clean jeans and freshly pressed shirts. People are afraid to be creative, I guess they are too vain. Carol and I put big red kisses on guys' faces. We put that turd on the plate of the commanding officer when he wasn't looking. Commander Bird wasn't too pleased! He took life too seriously.

One guy came up to me at the end of the night and said, "I can't take it anymore. Can you please take that fly out of your nose"?

Oh that was a fun night, Carol and I laughed so hard. I'm glad your father did it too. As you know, he was usually more reserved. Boy was I full of the dickens!

Jamie: Mom, this was great. This is going to be so much fun for people to read. I'd like to do another interview with you later, because I know you have more great stories to tell!

Mom: (Laughing) Certainly honey, it was fun thinking about all of these memories.

one of my favorite photos of my Mom, from Christmas Eve

I hope you all enjoyed reading about such a special lady. After I typed the stories I had my own 'a-ha moment'. I realized that one of the most important things I can learn from my Mom is never to take life too seriously. Because I do sometimes, and boy is that silly.


Shari said...

I love that you are doing this... it's fun getting to know the people in your life.

Of the few times I've met your mom, she seems like such a dynamic lady. And that's just the vibe I got from her from across the room! I'd love to actually sit and chat with her sometime. She's got such a great energy about her.

Jessica said...

Your mom is the bee's knees. Boy, do I feel like Commander Bird most of the time. I'm going to write his name down somewhere prominent to remind myself to lighten up.