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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sixteen Candles, Naked Swedes, Hairy Legs and Facebook

Look, I know. I have been horribly neglectful of this blog. And yes, I've blamed knitting. And that part is true. I don't know what else I've blamed, most likely the usual suspects, aliens, but that's only partly true too.

You see, it's also about grief.

I'm really sad that John Hughes died. I feel like a part of my childhood has died too. Oh Christ, I'm only kidding. I'm way older than the brat pack and I'm not one of those people who threatened to throw myself off a cliff after the last episode of My So Called Life.

However, having said that, I was never too old to enjoy those movies and to identify with them, mainly because I was the red haired girl who felt ever so slightly out of place and never felt entirely good about her physical appearance. I was the kind of kid that if anything could happen to (panties being shown all over the school, losing the sex test note to the guy you said you would do it with if you could) it definitely would happen. Absolutely. And then some.

The type of girl that later when she's all grown up with three grown children, 4 stepchildren, on her third marriage and thinking she is no longer that dorky little redhaired girl and she is so above all that teenaged angst, she goes on Facebook, and after much prodding, finds all these people that she went to school with (but haven't so much as thought about since then) and sends them notes or friend requests then realizes that they don't know the fuck she is.

And then she (that would be me...what the hell am I doing? Pretty soon I'll be like that guy on Seinfeld talking about myself in the third person) Anyway, after I realize I'm still so totally forgettable (thank you Molly Ringwald) I laugh. I laugh and laugh and laugh because goddamn it's fucking funny, first of all, and secondly? I'm crazy. And number 3? I don't care who remembers and who doesn't.

You see, the fun part is finding the people from your past and in doing so you begin to remember YOUR life back then. You start thinking about the stuff you haven't thought about in years, only now it's not painful to remember. It's only hysterical and human and kind of endearing and more than anything enlightening.

You remember who you were and what songs were played on the radio when you were in the 8th grade. You remember how your mother would not let you shave your legs even though you were twelve and although the hair was light colored, thank the blessed bleading heart of Jesus, you could practically braid it, so you wore long pants the whole summer of 1970. You remember how finally one day you grew some balls and you went into your brothers room and stole a razor and stuck your legs in the big laundry room sink and shaved all the fluff off and you also cut your legs up pretty bad and put on like 8 bandaids. But you didn't care. You were victorious! Rebellious! And damn if those legs weren't soooo smooth and now you could finally wear your new cutoff shorts.

You remember the times you and all the neighborhood kids went up the hill behind the Swedish neighbors house and sat on a big rock waiting for it to get dark because you knew after dark the neighbors (the whole family) would swim nude in their pool. Because they did. Because they were Swedish.

You remember the upset in the neighborhood when a new family moved in and their real mother was dead (something most of us had only experienced through Disney) and in her place was a step-mother and she was German and she didn't shave her legs or armpits and she raised chickens. And even though we all liked the new girl in this family we were afraid to attend sleepovers in that house because we heard a rumor that they had this mysterious thing for breakfast called Granola and we didn't think that sounded like something that would taste too good at all. Certainly not the way Pop Tarts tasted.

But this particular rather vivid memory serves to remind me how one bohemian woman with very strong opinions about cutting edge subjects like whole foods and woman's liberation could rattle the complacency of our little 1960's culdesac world.

In fact all of these memories, unearthed recently by Facebook, have given me a chance to rewrite (or rather pull out and re-read the unedited version) of my own personal history, without one bit of the John Hughes style self loathing, not a twinge of embarrassment or a hint of remorse. It's just the story of me, of where I was and how I got to where I am. It's kind of amazing really. A remarkable story with so many unpredictable plot twists. It's true - you really can't make this shit up.

And also? (Promise this is the last revelation) (for today) Facebook has taught me something else too.

Dave and I are fucking smokin' hot for our age.

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