I thought I’d add a little update to my Facebook frustration. I’m happy to note that I’ve started getting the hang of it, and really kind of like it. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t understand what all of the fuss is about, and can’t see myself hanging on it for hours on end like some folks do, but yeah…for the most part, it’s fun. It’s really nice to reconnect with family and friends that I haven’t seen for a while, and I made a couple of new friends while I was at it.
I’ve started getting reacquainted with my cousin Michele, which is really nice. When we were kids we were like two peas in a pod: Scoop of ice cream and cone…tablet and pen. You get the picture. For years we were always together, and always, ALWAYS, getting into some kind of trouble. Well, not by today’s standards. This was back in the seventies, and our mischief was a bit more home-based. Just chatting with her has really jogged my memory. My gosh, I remember so many crazy (albeit, harmless) things we used to do.
Michele is the youngest daughter of my Aunt Shirley on my father’s side. This same Aunt is the one who took care of me most weekends when my folks went to play music. My mom had her own country and western band that played local bars, and I loved those weekends they were gone when she came to sit for me. She would bring Michele so I had someone to play with, would make up incredibly, yummy, homemade cinnamon rolls for us, popcorn before the movie started, and let us sit in front of the black and white tv and watch “Creature Feature” after the news. On hot, summer nights before we got the window, air conditioner she’d wet down our t-shirts, and let us lay in front of the fan with them on. It felt so cool (“Brrr”).
We drove her crazy though with our constant chatter and mischief, and ended up spending a lot of time in my room to ‘get out of her hair’. There we would sit cramped on the small ledge in my tiny closet with the door shut and our flashlights in hand, and pretend for hours that we were trapped in the dark wilderness, etc. There was always some adventure; somewhere we pretended we were lost at in that closet.
As we got a little older our adventures had a different twist: She’d spend the night and we’d stay up till dawn egging houses. I remember this one in particular that we thought was haunted, because after we egged it the mess seemed to miraculously disappear. I kid you not! I also got a hold of her waist-length hair one night (she saw a picture of a shag haircut in a magazine, liked it, and I stupidly thought I could cut it that way), and totally destroyed her hair! First by cutting it up to her shoulders, and then trying to layer it by cutting tiers straight across. I quickly learned that wasn’t working! Yeah, when I realized that mistake, I took my sister’s trim comb to it, by dragging it straight down! Yikes! Wanna know what happened, given that it was the weekend before school was going to resume for the Fall? She bawled like a baby while sitting on the toilet, and the only way I could get her to stop was by giving her one of my satin, disco caps so she could cover her hair in school. WOW! I don’t know who was more stupid: me for thinking I could do it, or her for letting me? AUNT SHIRLEY WAS PISSED! Swore she was never going to let her spend the night again. Yeah…okay…cause that was going to happen. Oh, you know she never made good on that threat, because if she had I never would’ve gotten a hold of it again and tried to (if I recall correctly) ‘Frost & Tip’ it light blonde like mine. Now would be a good time to mention that Michele has olive skin and dark hair. Use your imagination… Nope, that didn’t work! I’d say her hair’s ability to blonde landed right about on the edge of a brilliant orange. Yep, that description is definitely more accurate. AUNT SHIRLEY WAS PISSED AGAIN!! Oh well, at least this time Michele didn’t mind. (Speaking of orange…there was a little incident where SHE encouraged me to use the QT Self-Tanner to aid in tanning my pasty-white skin. Umm…yeah…remember that shit? I looked like a friggen, Oompa Loompa! Not according to Michele though. She bragged up my new tan. Think she might’ve been lying just a tad bit?
We weren’t always destroying something to have a good time though; we found harmless ways too. We both spent a great deal of time roller-skating, and when we weren’t at the rink, we were on wheels in my basement. The layout of it had the water-heater and furnace located together right in the center of the room, so we were able to fly around in circles on our skates. Pretty convenient when you want to practice backward skating or two-stepping on them toe-stoppers without an audience to see you fall. I think we wore our 45’s out by playing them repeatedly while doing this. I still can’t hear “Muskrat Love” by the ‘Captain and Tenille’ on the radio without breaking into a wide grin because of that time in my life. So many memories!
Looking back I don’t recall when it was exactly that we stopped hanging around together. I think it was probably after I stopped spending my free time at the rink, and started associating with (according to my parents) a shadier crowd. Then life just happens, you become adults, have children of your own, and for the most part lose touch. Well, until you end up on a social network, apparently. Now each time her smiling face pops up on my page I’m reminded of the hilarity behind all those moments we shared, and how I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Isn’t it funny how we race towards adulthood with such a desire for change, only to get here and then call the past the ‘best years’ of our lives? I know they were for me.