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Posts tagged ‘high school’

Had I not seen the photo…

Had I not seen the photo, I would have sworn that I never owned a shirt like that. Here it was, however, larger than life and on Facebook: me, smiling sweetly with ungodly bright eyeshadow, standing between my Dad and my Grandma, wearing a white T-shirt with black letters screaming, “STUDY NAKED”. The caption read, “Looking through some old photos and found this one: 1987.”

Seriously? Study Naked? Where did this shirt come from? Did I buy it? Did I borrow it from someone? Why did my parents let me wear it, especially in front of my GRANDMA? In a photo taken by our British friends, visiting on Holiday, no less?

No wonder my mother looks pissed.

On June 16th, 1988, when I was eighteen years old, I was in a serious car accident that resulted in a fractured neck. Although incased in a halo brace and then cervical collar for several months, I came out of the accident quite unscathed with no long-term issues. I realized, however, at some point that my memory was rather fuzzy on some things from my past. I could remember specific events quite well, like my first day of school in almost every grade, various moving days, birthdays, Christmases, but some of the day-to-day memories were gone. There was no defined time frame, just some of the ordinary day-to-day things seemingly slipped away. It never really bothered me, and life had moved on. I was making new, amazing memories every day in college, and the day-to-day stuff just didn’t really matter anymore

Until I saw that photo.

That photo is now 26 years old: more than half a lifetime ago. I don’t think I remember this girl, who wore outrageous makeup with shorts and flip-flops (or whatever popular sandals were being sold the mall that year). I vaguely remember a defiance tempered only with a drive to go somewhere and be something that I could be proud of, yet be myself. I feel that I have accomplished that.

Study Naked? Wow. Well, I guess it was one step above Party Naked.

Don’t tell me I don’t understand love

Don’t tell me I don’t understand love at your age. I realize over two decades separate us in age, but I remember my first love like it was yesterday. I
remember what it felt like when he first whispered those words, and I knew with every fiber of my being that he meant it. I remember what it felt like to be with him, and it seemed like the rest of the world just vanished. I remember looking into his eyes, as he looked into mine, and our souls touched. Don’t you dare tell me I don’t understand.

I know how you view me: crazy woman, always talking on the phone or on her laptop, dealing with work issues. You step into the door, I pause briefly, say hello, then continue on my maddening pace. I’m cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, dealing with your little half-brother. I’m asking you “mom” questions like if you need new socks or if you are hungry. You see me for 48 hours and then you are gone.

You know I love your dad, but I’m old. Old people don’t “get” love. We don’t “get” all the struggles you face. We don’t “get” how difficult life is. I hate to break it to you, but I’m a child of the eighties. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, baby. More than half of my friends’ parents were divorced. Drugs were more available than alcohol. EVERYBODY was “doing it.” Fast Times of Ridgemont High showed how easy it was to get an abortion. We didn’t worry about sexually transmitted diseases. AIDS didn’t impact us (or so we thought). It was one big party.

In the middle of all of that, my friends were getting high, getting drunk, and cheating on their significant others. Classmates died from drug overdoses and suicides. I was trying to get out of high school without getting pregnant or getting arrested – and I was one of the good kids, little miss goody-goody.

So, sorry to burst your little bubble, but yeah, I do “get” it. It’s been a long time ago, true. My issues now are perhaps more complex, but I would say that infidelity, arrests, pregnancy and death are way bigger than some of my problems now. So cut me some slack. Listen to me when I give you a little advice. I don’t do it often, and I never say, “Oh this isn’t a big deal.” I know it is. I know what it feels like to love and to lose that love, especially the first time. It feels like you’ve lost your entire world. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be love.

Don’t tell me I don’t understand. I do.

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