My Darling Herman Munster

We had just moved from our childhood home to a new home, right at the end of my junior year of high school. This transition was like having been the star pitcher of the New York Yankees to being banished to the Arctic Circle.

It was boring. Absolutely nothing about my new life or persona was established.

The one morbidly interesting facet of this new existence was cable television which meant I could revisit endless episodes of The Munsters and I did. Sadly.

Now, I could have decided to just reinvent myself into the cool ( nice even?) big sister but no, old habits die hard. I found my younger brother and his new friends to be the same source of annoyance as they had been in our other life. Lucky for him, he seemed to warrant a new posse of friends, which materialized in a matter of days.

And there I was, formerly popular — now a lump on the stump of complete anonymity.

These new friends of his came home from school with him every single day…. And there I was, glum on the couch pushing buttons on a clunky cable box. The Munsters. Again. What else is there, life has no meaning.

I heard one of the new kids say, “Every time we come here, she is on the couch watching The Munsters”. After they left, I said to my brother — from now on here is the deal….. I am going to pretend I think Herman is my fiancee, and I am not going to break character, so just play along.

The next day when they walked in, I yelled out to my brother, “Hey have you seen Herman? He promised to stop by and no phone call either”. My brother just shook his head. I could see his friends look at each other nervously.

The next day: “Hey! What do you think happened with Herman? I’m worried!”. Same confused glances exchanged. This time my brother decided to play along. “Sue…. Herman isn’t real. He isn’t. He i s n o t r e a l”. And he whispered to his friends, “My sister thinks she is engaged to Herman Munster. It has been this way for years. Just go along with it.”

With a deadly serious look on my face I said, “Sure. Sure. Ha ha ok. Well, when you see him, tell him I am waiting.”

After three weeks of this, I could sense an odd, compassionate- in- a — Ripley’s Believe It Or Not — kind of way relationship was developing between his friends and I. Not wanting it to get around town that the new girl thought she was betrothed to Herman Munster, I abruptly(cruelly) stepped out of character. I’ve never seen since such a comical mix of shock and relief at the same time.

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