Friday, April 25, 2014

Stand Where I Stood: Evolution

The following steps fell into place and created the evolution from wannabe skater kid to the girl I was in high school when my journey began. Some of these were thoroughly planned others just happened organically but I just went ahead and added them to the evolution that I thought would ultimately end up with me being a wife and then mommy by the time I was 24. The original thought was I was really going to marry the “elusive first real boyfriend”; yes I was that na├»ve.

We start where I left on the prior post, it is 1993-1994 and I was going to make myself Betty Bad Ass:

o Wear Black, a lot.

o Never take fashion advice or makeup counsel from mother. No matter how stupid you know you actually look.

o If Kate Moss can have thin arched eyebrows, so can you. Tweeze freely.

o Acquire pre-requisite baggy jeans. Preferably more than one pair… but since you saved all your lunch money for three weeks to buy the one pair you have and your mother tried to destroy four times and has now gone on mommy strike from buying you jeans, the one pair will have to do.

o Wear any and all available crappy looking flannel or plaid. If not crappy, make crappy looking. *must search parent’s closet for old stuff, because… grunge.

o Two words: Chain Wallet! YEAH!

o Maintain sweet and kind image and nature with friends; allow raging hormonal bitch faced teenager to explode nightly at home.

o If someone makes up a story about you that seems like it would be cool to have actually happened… go with it. Legends are made not born. Enjoy the spotlight.

o Should someone spread evil rumors about you that are not awesome (seriously teenage girls could give Satan notes at times) cry to your more assertive and aggressive friends and allow them to handle it for you. You want to be a legend that stays invisible, in the center of attention, whilst keeping your head down. Yeah sit and ponder that for a minute.

o Constantly worry someone will notice you do not actually belong in this group, wonder quietly to self how you pulled this off.

o Fail at least two or three of your eight classes. Bonus points are awarded for giving teachers extra strife for trying desperately to help you succeed.

o Keep this revelation under wraps and away from parents for as LONG as humanly possible, lest they step in and stop you or do something totally logical to keep you from destroying your now secret college ambitions. Getting progress reports before never was a problem because I didn’t need them, but oh honey if they weren’t flying in fast and furious now. Speed Round points for: Somehow managing to maintain “smart kid” tag…

o Curse a lot. I mean a lot, on average way more than wearing black. *Super extra points awarded for using curse words correctly.* Rude gestures can also be considered in this category. (Just don’t do it in front of adults; let’s not get all crazy.)

o Break rules. As many as you can, at once if possible; do not however break laws… allow other people to think you might have. If at all possible have this conversation: “I did not steal anything. This is my wallet good sir, and yes how astute you are it is an Altoid's tin. Look at how it holds my ill-gotten cigarettes, which I don’t technically smoke, without squishing them…” Look at me, I am Betty Bad Ass.

o Acquire as large a volume of CDs or tapes as you can no matter what your parents think. Play them. If one song is more special than the others rewind and replay 400 times or set CD player to replay.

o Learn to sit in front of speakers with maximum volume on and play music that is obnoxious to any and all adults in a sound radius. Cool points maybe added or subtracted based on inspiration of terror upon small children.

o Sit in front of massive speakers at dances with your friends and preform the ill-advised maneuver of “head banging” to every alternative song played. Somehow convince self that you look cool doing so and not like a group having a mass seizure. Also boys like girls who can do this because… I never really resolved why in my mind I just convinced myself of it.

o Begin having massive headaches due to probable brain trauma because of “head banging”. Extra consideration given if massive cluster migraines cause you to lose two weeks solid of school, prompting rumors of your death. Points given for number of spinal taps to check for meningitis. Decide (long before it became a thing) that band aid stuck on lower back because of spinal tap would be a super awesome place to get a tattoo; scare wits out of mother by announcing intention to do so. Never actually do so.

o Allow people to think you are willing to be assertive, but don’t assert at all, ever. Remember you did not get here by being assertive or even aggressive, you just got here. Wherever here is. (which by summer time was summer school for that algebra class and with some luck you moved on to 10th grade by the skin of your teeth)

o Tabasco Red, Converse One Stars, just like Kurt Cobain… or the hunter green, low top Converse All Stars your mother “went out of her way to buy you, she has no idea the reason because your feet look like boats!” Remind self that we decided not to take fashion advice from mother. Still wear those shoes 20 years later for added points, seriously best sneakers I have ever owned, they last forever.

o Do not let mother see you sigh exasperated due to her complete lack of cool or the mega eye roll because she threatened to burn the damn shoes. Seriously major bonus points making everyone think these were the ones you actually wanted…

o Eventually you have to actually kiss a guy. Not just say you did. That actually turned out to be kind of cool… until he called and broke up with you hours afterwards.

o Figure out how to skip school and run from security without looking like you’ve never done that sort of thing before.

o Lie, lie, and lie, your little tookis off to get out of said school skipping punishment. (This actually worked on more than one occasion, which likely contributed to the reasons I kept doing it.)

o Be willing to share one beer five ways after spilling most of it trying to open with no “church key” and still think you are Betty Bad Ass. Style points for co-ed sharing.

o Come across guys that used to bark at you, at the local park. Allow them to try and talk to you and your friends, before revealing who you are and why you’re now walking away with your friends. Make sure to have handy old picture of self. Additional points for having three pictures of self; showing your totally amazing transformation and it was rather an awesome moment. Smile like you just killed off the last of your worst enemies. Laugh because you did not have to do a damn thing other than wait.

o See that high school is fast approaching and a major style and friend category merger or clique transition is likely necessary. Or else you parent’s will finish hiring that hit man. Also you’ve done this version of yourself long enough with still no major boyfriend developments. You did get dumped approximately five to six hours following first real kiss. Adios Betty Bad Ass.

o Confuse and confound parents colossally by having braces removed and, with little to no explanation, switching to tight jeans, boots, and country music. Friends now all agree this is more “you”. Even though you do not even know who you are, anymore.

o Meet high school guys at library wearing new outfit; confirm this is staying around awhile. (one of the guys actually ended up being the elusive first real boyfriend, though I gave the other guy my number at the time and did not really ever speak to elusive first real boyfriend until 10th grade began)

o Mommy Strike and ban on all jean purchases lifted. Swimming in Wrangler denim, with patch, extra-long. Mom so thrilled she is practically buying you a new pair with every paycheck. Who knew?

o Midriff shirts. At all times. Better enjoy that fabulous abdomen whilst you have it.

o Long hair, your hair has always been long but up to this point you kept it in a knot most of the time.

o Gain elusive first real boyfriend. Now with must have car/truck and a licensed ability to drive it.

o Line Dancing. Lots and lots of Line Dancing.

o Belt Buckle.

o First Formal Dance. Lose mind when pictures developed and mom mentions she looked at them with her co-workers before you and has now seen picture of you kissing elusive first real boyfriend. This is apparently the end of everything and the world for several weeks. No speaking to her until she promises to allow you to see and approve any and all pictures developed with her money in future.

o Fake nails. Long ones. Painted with any color that shimmered. NO flat colors.

o Throw caution to wind along with virginity. Who needs that burden anyway?

o Go on to kind of regret that choice. A lot at times because as an adult you understand the actual ramifications of that little decision, made in a split second, and all its meanings and symbolism. Remind self, not to be too hard on self, because you did actually believe it was love, forever. Chump.

o Get dumped, hard, by elusive first real boyfriend. I was wrong about the pictures being the end of the world and everything… this was the absolute end of the world and everything. Especially since it seemed like everyone knew it was coming and you were the last one to know.

o Drag self around for a few weeks, convinced elusive first real boyfriend will remember that it was supposed to be love and come apologize for this mess. That never happened, but I was 15, so I had no idea how any of this worked. Any and all previous boyfriends were people I saw mostly at school or spoke to on the phone… but never really touched or saw each other in private.

o Get introduced to a new guy; hesitate to even speak to him. Finally decide he is your only option for a ride home other than the bus.

o New guy asks you out. You tell him you do not date guys with long hair. Bonus points awarded for letting the guy down easy, well easy-ish, and smugly thinking he would never cut off that bedraggled mop on top of his head he loves it too much.

o Eat crow, when he comes to see you at school the next morning with all his hair cut off and calls you on that date. Style points for remaining calm and not showing that you were wondering if this was not the weirdest, creepiest thing a guy could do or was it really romantic.

o Receive first rose on Valentine’s Day. Spend majority of day assuming it was from the elusive first real boyfriend and that at some point he will come and sweep you into his arms. Points for not looking completely shocked or dismayed when it was in fact a rose from him and that first real boyfriend was really and truly not coming back.

o Finally agree to go out with him; afterschool on Valentine’s Day 1996.

This list is supposed to humorous, slowly moving to the more serious nature of growing up and the pains that come with it. Growing up in the rapidly changing world of the nineties was hard enough; I cannot even imagine doing this now. Part of me looks at this list and wonders if I had just not checked off a few of these things would everything have gone differently? If I had been taught that it was okay to trust my gut instinct over being polite would things be the same? Would it have been altered if I felt more secure in myself or not felt a need to repress any aspect of myself I deemed un-cool or un-lovable? Did my felt need to protect my family from strife and pain ultimately alter my life for the next decade and in many ways forever? Is life fated or do our choices and actions influence the path we are on? I have no answer to these questions and I don’t believe anyone does.

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