Don’t Call Me Jenny & My Head Will Not Fall Off!

So this morning after I finished reading The Silver Linings Playbook (excellent, btw) and was enjoying the beautiful morning with a hot cup of Vanilla Mint (loose leaf) tea by Amanzi (also excellent, btw), I came across this article called”14 Books That Traumatized You As  A Kid.

I was traumatized by pretty much everything in the “teach kids a lesson by making them cry” category. I mean, I don’t even want to hear someone say “Old Yeller” (vaccinate your pets, people!). And I know I’m not alone there.

But I had really come to believe that I was the only person really traumatized by “The Green Ribbon” from In A Dark, Dark Room. In fact, I would mention this story to people years later, and no one else even seemed to remember it. I think it really got me because the woman in the story is named Jenny, and my name is Jennifer (“don’t call me Jenny because my grandfather had an aunt named Jenny and she was an old maid”).  So naturally (because kids are terrible!), I had to endure all sorts of taunts once the teacher was done reading this story: “Ooohhh…Jenny! Your head’s gonna fall off!” This really upset me; it was 1st or 2nd grade (thanks, teacher-whose-name-I cannot-remember at C.J. Prescott Elementary School in Norwood, Massachusetts), and I had never worn a green ribbon around my neck and also my name is not Jenny, and I didn’t like the idea that my head might just fall off one day.

I found this nearly as upsetting as the idea that I was going to be banished straight to hell if I were to die in a tragic accident without a picture of Bleeding Heart Jesus (aka Sacred Heart) strung around my neck (thanks, teacher-whose-name-I cannot-remember at Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes).

With that said, where is Stephen King’s It on this list? Was I the only reading that around the same time as Flowers in the Attic and before Lord of the Flies and The Giver?


1 Comment

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One response to “Don’t Call Me Jenny & My Head Will Not Fall Off!

  1. Steve Bumgarner

    Two things – you won’t die an old maid and EVERYBODY cried at the end of Old Yeller.

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