In Honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’d Like to Tell Some Stories About Pinching

One time, when I was little, I was driving in the car with my mom, some siblings, and my aunt and her daughter, Laila. Laila was a baby, I was like six.

We were driving somewhere. Laila was sitting in a car seat taking up half the seat bench thing (I don’t know how to say that?). She was perfectly quiet and she annoyed me.

So I pinched her.

When she started fussing, her mom, my aunt Suvi, was like, “Oh, Laila, what’s wrong, baby girl?”

So I copied her. “Laila, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” I hugged her. Laila stopped crying.

I pinched her again.

“Laila!” Her mom was all worried now. “What’s going on, sweetie?”

“What’s going on, Laila?” I echoed. I rubbed Laila’s arm and looked concerned until Laila stopped crying.

I pinched her again.

“Laila!” Suvi said.

“Oh Laila!” I said.

I think Suvi took Laila out of the car seat and held her then, I’m not sure. Either way, I wouldn’t have pinched her again because I knew not to push my luck.

One time, when my older brother Dane was in gymnastics (yeah, he did gymnastics too…), this older kid, Brad, on the gymnastics team used to pinch Dane’s nipples–“tittie twister!!!”–until they bruised. Brad used to hurt everyone in the gym, it was really weird. Like a year later, Brad went to jail for killing someone. He used to call the gymnastics gym to talk to us from his jail cell. It was really sad…and really weird.

Makes you think differently of St. Patrick’s Day, I know.


Ps. Laila, I’m sorry. I was little and jealous because you were so cute. I will never pinch you again.

Pps. If you really want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, besides dancing with shamrocks on your face and butt and eating corned beef and cabbage until you want to puke, check out Dubliners from the library (or read it online, follow the link). Or just read one of the stories, “The Dead,” (pg. 151 online) by an awesome awesome Irish writer, James Joyce. (I know none of you will read it, it’s like 40 pages. But someday, try it. It is gorgeous. )


3 Replies to “In Honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’d Like to Tell Some Stories About Pinching”

  1. There is great gender inequality in pinching. In 5th grade I was practicing for this theatrical production I was in, and I pinched this girl (for some reason I can’t remember). She wasn’t even cute. But she was a big sissy and cried to the Director, who stopped practice to give me this huge lecture about how if that happened again I would be thrown out of the show.

    I was quite traumatized by this whole thing, and I didn’t understand. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that the Director had probably interpreted the pinch as having some sort of sexual connotation or something, even though in 5th grade I had no idea that pinching could even have a sexual connotation.

    So then in high school there was this girl who was always pinching my butt in a rather annoying way. I think she pinched a lot of people, just for her amusement.

    But I did not pinch back because I did not want to be a sexual harrasser.

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