I was walking back from lunch today and noticed a woman wearing a Surf Style windbreaker*- nearly the exact one I got from my then-boyfriend Joe back in the 10th grade. Popular for about as long as it took you to get hot in one (read: 10 minutes), this hideous thing brought back a flushing of memories.
A. The plastic-y purple monster was an obvious knockoff.
B. The "matching" shorts were green.
C. HE CHEATED ON YOU!
By the time I got to item C in my head, I was grinning like an idiot just seconds away from guffawing right there in the middle of 14th Street.
If I could go back to 1994 and let myself in on a few things, I'd likely be better off. For starters, I'd let myself know that he was cheating on me from the beginning.
Second, I'd tell myself that those red jeans never were, or would be, cool. Neither would my uber-flat hair with that ridiculous puff of bangs. Stop rolling the sleeves of shirts and peg-rolling jeans. Esprit bags were cool in Nebraska in 6th grade when I couldn't get your hands on one - not in 10th grade in Ohio where they were probably never popular to begin with.
I might even try to warn myself about my future and how my first love is years away but that I will find real love when I'm not looking - and his name will be Fred. And he's a real person.
No, seriously, his name is Fred. Yes, he's our age. Yes.
Actually, it's Freddie with an i-e. I know, right?**
I'll be living "the dream" by my early 30's happily married, owning a home with a fence, driving my preschooler around to his sports commitments in a small SUV and taking family vacations to Walt Disney World.
But that to get there, I'll do stupid things in college and make (and lose) great friends along the way. I'll date a variety of guys: addicts, just plain crappy, possessive, too nice and mommas boys and get the worst haircut of my life on Halloween Day in 1998. I'll seriously cry it was so bad. Bawl like a baby.
[How bad was it? SHE CHOPPED LAYERS IN MY HEAD BY GOING AROUND ME IN CIRCLES SNIP SNIP SNIPPING AWAY. The top of my head had hair about 2 inches long when she was done.]
I'll live in a handful of states before returning 'home' to Nebraska just in time to lose both of my remaining grandparents. I will be a terrible Maid of Honor at my sister's wedding - but didn't know any better at the time - and try to make up for it by being a good Aunt to her children and good sister to her.
I will learn things the hard way and it will be because both, I didn't know any better and I'm bull-headed and stubborn and won't see it any other way but my own.
Simply put, I'll live life.
I just wish someone would've told me not to wear that denim jumper in my Senior Pictures... that decision will haunt me forever. *shudders*
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*I've done you the favor of Google Image searching it, results here.
**Cindy and Jim - You picked a lovely family name for your son.