People in my family don’t win things. OK, maybe we win spelling bees, but not stuff like cars or money and none of us has numbers in the lottery. It’s not that we see ourselves as unlucky. In fact, we’re statistically pretty advantaged in most areas. But I’ve never won anything. Even from KCRW, our local Public Radio station that every single one of my friends has managed to score free concert tickets from for DECADES (thanks again, Jihad Jenni, for taking me along to see Scissor Sisters. Those $20 beers were pretty badass). Of course I’ve always been more interested in dating the DJs than in getting free tickets because a girl has to have priorities, but that’s a different blog post all together.
There was this one year, 1981, that we McClures were on fire with both the radio giveaway and our love of the legwarmer (I’ve got awesome blackmail pictures to prove the latter). First my brother won concert tickets to see Neil Diamond (they’re coming to America! Today!), which I think excited my mom a whole lot more than him since she insisted on chaperoning. And then she turned around like a month later and won an Amana microwave on KRBE, Houston’s very own hitmaker (tm). Of course memory is an imperfect thing, and the Tiny Dancer remembers things a little differently-- that she, in fact, won BOTH the tickets and the microwave, and that it wasn’t really a microwave that she won at all, but $50 that she put towards a microwave of her choosing. So mom, it turns out, is the luckiest McClure of all. And that probably has something to do with the fact that she wasn’t born one. Marrying a McClure, maybe not so lucky, but that was her choice.
The microwave was like this magical appliance in our house. It could make POPCORN (popcorn that tasted like burnt toast). And boil water in ONE minute! But we were not allowed to stand in front of it because we might get cancer. Lots of logic in our house, a strange meditation on faith and reason or a lack of either at any given time. But still, this exotic little box that chirped like a mechanical baby bird when it was finished cooking was God in our kitchen, which is saying a lot for a kitchen full of Presbyterian appliances.