I suppose a lady isn't meant to admit how old she is, but, in this day and age, with 50 being the new 40 and 40 being the new 30 et al, that puts me under 40. Not to mention, I'm just happy to be alive. As should we all.
Anyway. 30 years ago. June 18, 1981. I'll never forget the day because of the obvious, 18 is the reverse of 81 (you know what I mean). Also, it is Sir. Paul McCartney's birthday; not that I really cared but Peri, my best friend in high school did. Now, the date is shared with my step-daughter's birthday, AKA The Kid (she is nineteen years old today, BTW) so I REALLY won't ever forget.
San Diego, California June 18, 1981. My Father was in town for the ceremony, he stayed next door with our neighbors. They were unusual folks, worthy of a blog topic unto themselves. Anyway, their living room is where these pictures were taken. My younger sister Kathy, also one of my best friends, was posing with us.
Somewhere I have pictures of the ceremony, post ceremony, and the party my parents had for me later that evening. What fun. My boyfriend Greg was there; as was his family and many of my family's friends. I remember that, after the party, Greg and I headed out to do whatever; we drove around and around the Mission Beach area until we finally decided to stop and have a late night snack at Denny's. I'm sure we were doing other things as well, but, this is a G-Rated post so I won't go into that.
Not too many days after, the whole fam-damily headed East to Indiana for our annual road trip to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. That particular summer, I was dropped off in Columbus, OH, where my step-mom picked me up and drove me on to Cleveland where I spent several weeks with her and my Father (who, BTW, had flown on to somewhere else after the graduation festivities; work-related, no doubt). Although I had a good time with them (as I always did), I was moping around quite a bit because I missed Greg. When I got back to San Diego, my dad started in on me about getting a summer job because he certainly didn't want me goofing off for the remaining month or so before I started college at San Diego State University. I ended up at a fast-food joint called Carl's Jr. I absolutely HATED working there and thankfully I only did so for about nine months.
I've been reading some of the articles in the local paper here in Durham about various recent high school graduates. These stories highlight both their accomplishments while in high school and their plans for the future. Some have been quite impressive, but, I must admit, they've left me feeling a bit odd. It seems the kids today are a lot older than I was when I graduated; more responsible with a heck of a lot more ambition and drive. I didn't really pick up those two traits until my mid twenties. Maybe I was just a late bloomer? But, nah, I think back on the majority of my friends and peers (at least those that I was hanging around with in the early 80s) and I don't seem to recall any of us having a lot of purpose. Here are the things I cared about that summer of '81:
3. Having fun
4. Not getting caught doing things I wasn't supposed to be doing
5. Going to the mall(s)
6. My shift at work being OVER
7. Going to the beach/getting a good tan
8. Drinking ice tea and smoking while blabbing away with Peri, Kathy and Lynda at Carl's Jr.
(interestingly enough, even though I hated working there, I loved hanging out there)
9. Avoiding responsibility
10. Avoiding thinking about anything that led me down the path to responsibility
So, yeah, thinking about college, what I was going to study, what I was going to do with the rest of my life, nope. Didn't make the list. DIDN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! Those of you who know me now but didn't when I was a teenager can go verify this with those who did know me. Despite how well I did in high school grade-wise, I was a total flaky party girl from the moment I graduated high school until July of 1987 when I began my career in Human Resources at TRW. Just ask:
1. My parents
2. My sister Kathy
3. My best friend Peri and her sister Lynda
4. My best friends from college Kathleen and Don
5. Boyfriends I had during those years (then again, nah, don't ask them!)
So, back to the kids today. Or, even MY step-kid. They seem so darn mature. Whenever I spoke to or saw The Kid during this past year (her first at college), she usually seemed stressed out about her studies and always busy doing something that I'd probably classify as "Not Fun". I'd tell her, "Be sure to have some fun!" "I don't have time for fun!" she'd reply. "No time for fun? Perish the thought!", I thought. Heck, she's going to have plenty of time in her life to be serious and work hard. I certainly know this now and am thankful I can at least look back on my younger days and remember how much fun I had. In fact, I actually believe it prepared me to work hard later on. I was so darn rested up from having all that fun, I was ready to go full bore out for about 20 years (before I decided it was time to stop all that working crap and go have more fun!)
Anyway, maybe responsibility comes with certain eras. I'm fairly sure that my grandparents didn't have time for all the fun business, and I don't think my parents did, either. I guess those of us in the 70s and 80s were pretty lucky but times, they changed after that, it seems. My youngest brother didn't appear to have a whole heck of a lot of fun after he graduated from high school (compared to my other brother whom I think did, at least judging from all the times he asked me to buy him beer). Now, The Kid, almost twenty years later; nope, no fun.
Or, maybe she's just REALLY REALLY good at not getting caught :-)