Me. I'm Pumpkin.
Well, truth be told, I'm not. I'm actually Punkin, to my mother anyway. I think because of her Jersey accent (sorry mom - like it or not, you have a pronounced Jersey drawl. You always have and you always will) and partially because I'm, well, spunky. Irreverent. Wielder of the shit-eating grin.
It's a strange term of endearment. It isn't some familial legacy that's managed to survive my longer-than-normal teenage years (what, you thought you automatically stopped being a teenager when you turned twenty?) and she doesn't keep it up to remind me that yes, even I had to be potty trained and schooled in the ways of the fork. She started calling me that around my twenty-first birthday.
For those of you not versed in my chronology (ie, almost all of you), that was last year.
She doesn't know where this little verbal quirk got its start, but I think I can hazard a guess. It was around that time that I stopped rolling over on my father.
He and I have always had a unique and...well, frustrating way of dealing with each other. Basically, he'd pick at some little thing that I thought or did that bugged him until it bled and I'd suck it up, block him out, ignore him completely and, once he had shut up about it, realize that he was probably right, that wearing all black in high school is simply not cool or that, yes, I probably am a better person now that I've read Saint Joan. It wasn't too bad when I was living with them and all that, but it was a little ridiculous once I'd moved out and started paying bills. Not all of them, mind you, but enough to feel like an adult.
So instead of sitting there and waiting for his mood to lighten I started fighting, and if there's one other thing my father taught me it's how to be absolutely brutal with words if I need to be.
And all of a sudden this amazing thing happened - he started listening to me because, now that he's taught me how to teach myself and pointed me in the right direction, he thinks I'm smarter than him on some things.
Shit, I could've told him that years ago.
Ask my mom about this and she'll probably think it's inventive and utterly fictional (and it very well might be) but I really like the sound of it anyway.