I wasn’t sure at first. I didn’t know if I’d get to play this week because how many people want to hear about how I sang “It’s a Hard Knock Life” to my record of the Annie Soundtrack when my Mother made me clean my room. (Oh, the horror! The ghastly angst!) Or how I lied and told people I was in the movie on the bus to school one day. They made me sing the entire soundtrack, which I did, and said I was the girl with the lisp. (Anyone care to tell me why I’d want to be the girl with the LISP? Seriously? Way to achieve, Leslie.)
But then I remembered The Goonies. Remember The Goonies? Unless you lived, or live, in the northwest, preferably in SW Washington or NW Oregon, you might not. Having grown up in Houston, I’d never think twice about it except that we moved to Washington in 1989 and drove by the house of The Goonies about three times a year.
I don’t clearly remember The Goonies. But I do remember wanting to kiss Sean Astin. And being a little scared of the basement. And watching it with my eyes closed unless Sean was on screen.
Did I mention Sean? I think I was a little boy crazed as a pre-teen. (Which is evident from my Jr. High journal. Le Sigh.)
In fact, thinking back, I rarely remember anything at all about the movie minus the cute boy, the scary basement, and the fat kid. So this trailer was like a new release for me.
Do you remember?
Do you have a debut Hollywood Film you recall? And is it different now that you look back? Or is your childhood mind sharper and more focused than mine?
There’s a lot of angst in being thirteen. There are pimples. There are boys. There are boobs, the lack thereof, periods, the lack thereof, and bangs that absolutely must stand six inches tall and curl just-like-so.
I think of my daughter turning thirteen and I die a little inside. I die a little for me and how our relationship will change. I die a little for her and how much she’ll analyze her social status, hair, nose. I die for my husband who might not be the only man in his little girl’s life anymore and I die for her brother who will not understand PMS or fifteen hour phone calls. But mostly I die because she will do things that I will never know about until she grows up, creates a blog, and I find it.
The following story is part of this Friday’s Flashback, “What memory/story from your youth (or childhood) - if any - would you never share with your own children? Why? And if there’s nothing from your history that you wouldn’t have them know, why is that?” as brought to you by Catherine and Tracey.
Being thirteen in Houston, Texas is probably like being thirteen anywhere. Teenagers snuck out at night, went down the road to their friend’s house and walked to the High School to make out or smoke. I was such a Good Girl growing up that I never initiated these things myself, but followed by best friend in 8th grade like an eager sidekick so when she started sneaking out at night to go smoke cigarets with the hot guys down the street, naturally, I followed.
One night I remember hanging out with Matt’s sixteen year old brother. Oh, the hair gel and up-turn polos! He was F-I-N-E. Like, TOTALLY RAD. Awesome. And we loved him. So when he asked if we wanted to drive his dad’s car we nodded in awe and hopped in. My Best Friend was up in front driving the stick down a long dirt road while I sat in the back counting the minutes until my turn. We went faster and faster, two thirteen year old girls and one hot older man down the dirt road. It was exhilarating. It was horrifying. It was a rite of passage.
We returned the car, snuck back home, left our muddy shoes in the bushes out in front of her window and crawled back in bed gasping for breath and giggling. Of the handful of times we snuck out, this one remains, quite possibly, the most memorable.
Shortly after this we moved to Washington and I never snuck out again.
My daughter will have these stories and I will never know. I will not tell her these stories either. I will share most everything else, every other part of me, but these I will keep to myself, hidden safely on my public web site. Why? Because I am a Mom now. Because my Mom did the same things when she was young and I never knew. Because it’s a rite of teenagers everywhere to have those secrets, those tiny pieces of self that a handful of people know, to survive, mature, grow, and look back and nod “how youthfully stupid.”
But mostly because I want to remember what it’s like to be thirteen sometimes. I only have ten years left. And it makes me die a little inside.
*** If you want to play along, please copy and paste the participants and put your name at the bottom in your post so others can include you as well. **
This week’s Friday Flashback was “Prom memories: what did you do (or not do) on prom night?”
Mr. Flinger would say. “I did not get laid.”
I would say, “Gossiped with friends and danced with a boy with a hardon.”
My Mom would say, “Such good kids, those two. Never worried about them having sex and getting pregnant because I raised a good little Catholic Girl.”
My friends would say, “Smoked pot and gossiped about how much we wanted to get laid.”
Because we all know Prom is about getting laid and not the over priced dresses and stinky corsages.
God I hope my daughter is too cool for prom. I don’t need to read about how much she wanted to get laid on her blog twenty years from now.
*Yes, I went to two Proms and two Winter Balls with Mr. Flinger. Yes we were high school sweethearts. Yes we broke up shortly after High School. Yes, he did get laid. Eventually. Yes, we got married, made babies and yes, we still talk about how much we want to get laid now. It’s the circle of life. Or Karma. Or a cruel cruel joke. Or whatever else you want to call it.
Other Awesome Prom Flashbacks You Really To Read:
Also! If you’re my twitter bud and you’re playing along with high school picture day please let me know. I will add your link here when I get back online.
People Rockin’ the Big Hair and Prom Photos:
Old Silly Bear
Single Super Mama
Colleen (also Via Twitter)
Don Mills Diva
Queen Of Spain Via Twitter
Busy Mom Via Twitter
Jennifer Via Twitter
Crunchy Domestic Goddess Via Twitter
That’s right, it’s the blog experience you wait for with baited breath. It’s here: Friday. And that means in blogland, it’s Friday Flashback.
(For some reason I can only hear Casey Cassum speaking now as I type so excuse the extra layer of cheese in this post. It’s late and my brain has been infiltrated by an 80’s pop radio countdown host.)
Brought to you, as always, by the lovely Catherine and Tracey, todays challenge is to post a photo of an object that is near and dear to you. Rules: No, don’t post your children. For real? We know that. We read your blog. It’s a given. Also, it must be an OBJECT. As in, something you’d grab in case of fire. Bonus rule: If you can find something from your childhood, we will lick you.
So here it is: Behold! The
shreds of my youth:
Yes, that used to be an actual blanket that made a perfect square. It started breaking down in the 80’s during my angsty elementary school years. God those times tables are stressful. Sometimes a girl needs a lovie. And yes, 7 years old is probably too old for a blanket. But meh.
Also, another blanket I have a photo of me as a baby on (which I’ll probably post later when it’s not twelve o-freaking AM)
This one wasn’t really a part of my life in my memory, except through pictures, but because of those photos, I held on to it and somehow managed to dig it out when we had LB. And now.. another generation.
Baby O June 2007.
And then my heart exploded.
Other fun Friday Flashback Posts that are must reads:
(lists coming soon and updated as soon as I can)
And! Since it’s Friday, how bout a little Bonus Haiku?
I really can spell
At midnight it’s difficult
To proof read my crap
So much blog meta
Reminds me what day it is
And ignore my kids
More Haikus at one of my favoritst bloggers evah.
This week’s flashback has a new, and thought provoking, theme. “Where were you when…?” The prompt comes via Cahterine and Tracey, “Our parents’ generation can recall exactly what they were doing when JFK was shot - it’s a cultural moment that defines a generation. What big cultural event occurred during your childhood/youth that you recall clearly, if juvenilely? What was its impact on you?” Living only 15 minutes from NASA in Houston, this is the first thing that came to mind. The Challenger.
I remember being in class, Mrs. Pear’s Class, Fifth Grade. As usual on launch days, she ushered us in to the library where several of the older classes sat around the large color TV (the ones with the huge antenna and turn knobs for channel surfing) while we waited for the controller to count down. “10 - 9 - 8” We all counted with him. “7 - 6 - 5” Several of the students’ parents were astronauts or worked at NASA. As a community so close to it, we were large supporters of the space program. “4 - 3 - 2 - 1” We all yelled “LIFT OFF!” and watched the familiar ball of fire lift from the ground.
Then, and I remember not seeing it happen, as I turned to my friend and started talking, someone gasped. Someone else yelled out “NO!” Then, as I watched, the ball of fire broke off in two and fell to the ground.
And then it’s really a blur. Since this shuttle was the first to launch the “Teacher in Space” program, our school was even more affiliated with this historical day. One of our teachers had been chosen a finalist for the position, we had reporters in our school and were instructed not to talk to them. The day went on and on. There was confusion and sadness. We knew we were supposed to be sad, all the adults were sad, but we didn’t really understand what was happening in our elementary school.
A few days later there was a memorial at NASA. My Mom picked up my sister and I from school and told us we were going to stop by. I remember not wanting to go. All my friends would be in gymnastic now. “But I can’t miss gymnastics!” I said. At 11 years old, my world revolved around me, my friends, and me again. This huge historical event and the TV cameras, press, and news paper journalist weren’t of any importance. What I really wanted, was for everything to get back to normal.
But we did go, my Mom tried to instill a bigger perspective in my fifth grade brain than the tight self-inclusive one I was in. And she took this picture, which I think says it all.
Other fabulous writers participating this week:
*If you partake in this challenge, please include the list of participants here so we can support you!
**In doing some research for the names of programs and such, I found an artticle where my princaple, Mary Ward, told reporters we didn’t watch the explosion and that each student was told individually. Interesting. That’s not how it went down at the time. I’m sure it sounds better in the paper that way.
Remember those angsty years known as “The Eighties” and possibly “The Decade Following The Eighties” or even “The Decade Before The Eighties”? Because, frankly, if you remember The Eighties, you’ll remember they were loud, bossy, full of ozone-depleting sprays and makeup and really quite full of themselves.
Your first assignment (should you choose to play along and face it, you will) is to let us know how (obscure old pop rock band) changed your life. Mine is a story, of a girl, with a song in her heart about what could’ve been.
As a typical eighth grade girl in 1988, I pined over a certain typical eighth grade boy: Steve Nelson Martin Jr. That’s right, I was in love with Steve Martin, only not the one with the big nose, the other much less famous but much cuter and acne-free version. I pined and I pined. I wrote letters to him in my journal. I wrote notes to him in class. I wrote really very awful poetry full of obvious rhymes like, “If there is a heaven above, let me win your love.” (Incidentally, these same words later became part of the lyrics of a one hit wonder.) I even wrote a short story based on “characters” named “Rosy Cheeks” (you’re gagging?) and Steve* (so clever, I am.)
Enter the woman with no need for a last name who simply is to be forever known as: TIFFANY.
The flowers you gave me
Are just about to die
When I think about
What couldve been
It makes me want to cry
I remember lying on my bed, singing the words, each one on purpose, with feeling. You know, the kind of “feeling” that makes you put your thumb to your mouth as you sing like a fake microphone. Try it now, sing in to your thumb, sway a bit, thereya go.
The sweet words you whispered
Didnt mean a thing
I guess our song is over
As we begin to sing
Oh, and the horror! The love that’s over before it’s begun. YES! I’d think, She’s singing about us! The dance I should’ve made it to, to dance with HIM, my one chance to lock arms awkwardly around his neck while he puts his hands behind my back and we swayed, unevenly, to the late 80’s love ballads was thwarted. I was grounded two days before the eighth grade dance. I was upset. I was cursed. I was Tiffany. More awful poetry resulted.
Couldve been so beautiful
Couldve been so right
Couldve been my lover
I’d giggle, “Lover.”
Couldve been so beautiful
Couldve been so right
I’ll never hold what couldve been
On a cold and lonely night
A few months following the dance, the 8th grade dance that should’ve been my night to fo-makout with Steve Nelson Martin Jr (just in case he is googling his name now and can finally read my
really bad poetry about him) I’d gathered enough courage to fess my feelings up to him. I marched right up to him and handed him a note.
I ended the note with this Everytime I get my hopes up, They always seem to fall. Still what couldve been is better than what could never be at all.
He started seeing my best friend a few days later. I never did get to make out with him.
Still, though, there is the memory of what could’ve been. There’s the memory of 1988, the memory of big bangs and sad ballads and very bad poetry.
But thankfully, it’s little more than a memory. Just like Tiffany.
*I can not even believe I found this photo of him. In a stash of four trillion bad haircut photos, fashions and notes, I found this one gem. Steve Martin Jr. 9th grade school picture. Steve, don’t sue me, please. I’m sure you cut the mullet shortly after this was taken.
**I did a quick search and found out he did become a doctor after all. A good christian doctor. A family man. Boy, I know how to pick ‘em.
*** For the record, I met my husband the following year. Of course, I didn’t marry him for another 10 years, but I did write really bad poetry for him in 1989. Like I said, at 12 and 13, I really know how to pick’em.
Wanna join the Flash Back Friday? Follow these supah badass bloggers who are also participating. And don’t ask who I had to sleep with to get listed in that stack with those am-az-effing women. I won’t tell.
*Updating list as they come in* Check back * Word *
Her Bad Mother: http://badladies.blogspot.com/2008/02/come-armageddon-come.html
Oh The Joys: http://othejoys.blogspot.com/2008/02/since-youre-gone.html
Girl’s Gone Child: http://girlsgonechild.blogspot.com/2008/02/where-you-goin-with-my-heart-in-your.html
If you do write a post, be sure to link back and list the participants. You know, so we can come find you and revel in your teenage angst.
Oh, sure, everyone else is being all deep and reflective and shit and I’m posting about writing bad poetry and NOT MAKING OUT while everyone else is posting the songs they lost their virginity to or making out to or reflecting on how their lives totally improved/changed profoundly/re-cultivated and I’m all, “OMG! This boy I haven’t thought about in twenty years, like, totally! OMG!”
That is all. Resume your awesomeness writing please.
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