Two thousand zero zero party over whoops out of time

Another holiday season is coming to an end.  I’ve been listening to NPR in the car, and there have been several “Best of 2013”, “Most Interesting of 2013”, “Most Polarizing of 2013”, etc. lists going around.  I’m ambivalent about all those lists.  I hardly ever agree with the choices because I see events through a different lens than the authors of the lists, but I enjoy the reminders of the events that have taken place in just 365 short days.  It’s surprising how much can happen in just a year.

But what’s been on my mind lately hasn’t been recent memories–it has been more distant memories, specifically those of my teenage years.  Two things have prompted teenage reminiscing:  my mom just got her first smart phone and my uncle found a copy of an old VHS tape of my dance recital from 1986.

I am excited that my mom got a smart phone.  Now we can text, we can Facetime, she can try all these new apps.  The phone paid for itself when she got to see my nieces and nephew on Facetime all the way across the country on Christmas Eve.  Awesome.

And as my mom was asking me all these questions about her smart phone (as she was talking to me from her “land line”, as we call her home phone), I started to think about not having a home phone anymore.  Matt and I don’t have a home phone, we each have mobile phones.  You want to reach me, you call me.  Want Matt, call his number.  When I was growing up, however, you called a person’s house and you got whomever answered the phone.  It was a crap shoot.  And for a long time during my growing up years, an answering machine was nonexistent.  No one home?  Call back later, chump.

How do teenage girls do it these days?  For me, the home phone was the key to maintaining hope. My mom wouldn’t let me or my sister call boys — “if they like you, they will call you.  Ladies don’t call boys.” — so we had to rely on the boys to make the first telephonic move.

I didn’t have a lot (count any) boyfriends in my teen years, but had lots of crushes and wanted desperately for my crushes to call me on the phone.  Thank goodness I grew up before smart phones because I totally relied on the “he must have called while I was gone” excuse.  The “he has a sister that is always on the phone so he can’t use it to call me” rationale.  The ever-popular “he’s not at home to call me” logic.

I was the teenage princess of denial, but I had the perfect tool to feed my delusion with the home phone, sans caller ID and voice mail, stuck to the wall somewhere in the house, totally not mobile.

I feel sorry for teenagers these days.  There’s no way to create an illusion of “I missed his call” anymore.  There are no more “missed calls” — the number and time and date of every call that came in is captured until deleted.  There’s no way to call his house and hang up when he answers and not get busted anymore (I don’t think, but I don’t know all the rules).  Everyone’s number and name (and sometimes their picture) pops up when they call you. 

The only thing that you can’t hide is the fact that when they don’t call, you know that they don’t call.  So sad.  I’m sorry, all you teenagers.  Technology’s not looking so great now, huh?

Then there was THE dance recital.  My uncle found the VHS tape and I sent it off for conversion to DVD.  Loved watching us dance to what we thought at the time was the greatest dance ever choreographed.  A little sad to have another delusion exposed.

For your enjoyment, here’s a loop of me (in the middle), shaking it like I was 16.  Hard to believe that I didn’t have a lot of boyfriends, right?

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The things we do for love, uh, I mean for smoking hotness.

Matt is having a birthday soon, so we drove the hour or so to visit my mom and step-father last night for a pre-birthday dinner.  My Aunt Baby and Uncle Joe were also there and as always seems to happen, I came away from the evening with a good story or two.  Any time that my family gets together, there tends to be at least one good tale that makes an appearance, because as Baby says, “You can’t make this shit up.  You have to live it.”  Indeed.

Last night, we started talking about how my Uncle Joe was getting back into some of the hobbies and interests that he used to have, like wearing cowboy boots and collecting guns.  He had saved a lot of his pairs of cowboy boots that he had bought in the 70s and 80s and is just starting to wear them again (vintage!), so his argument is that this is a cost-effective interest.

Baby said something like “You’ll want to be wearing Sue boots again!” and she and my mom and Joe laughed and laughed.

me:  What are Sue boots?

Baby:  Back in the early 80s, me and your mom and Joe went to the Mt. Airy Fiddlers Convention with your dad while he set up his booth there to sell his Harley panties.  [My dad would go to flea markets and fairs, etc. and sell cowboy hats, t-shirts, leather wallets, etc. and black panties with the Harley-Davidson logo that said “I’m a Harley Honey”.  Classy.]  Joe walked around to check out the competition and saw this Sioux woman selling boots.

me:  Oh, Sioux as in S-I-O-U-X.  I thought you were saying S-U-E.

Baby:  No, like Indian.  Anyway, he thought she was hot, and she talked him into buying these Sioux boots.

Joe:  She was smoking hot.

Baby:  So he comes walking back wearing these boots with fringe all the way down the front and they cost like $40, back in 1982 that was like $100.  I was so mad!

Joe:  She was really hot.

Baby:  I guess I’m glad she wasn’t selling Sioux chandeliers, or I would have one of those in my house now.

Joe:  Yeah, I would have bought one, cause she was hot.

My Dad's Camper and Displays -- A Shopper's Paradise

My Dad’s Camper and Displays — A Shopper’s Paradise

Joe’s story made me think about the crazy stuff people do when they are trying to get someone’s attention or they, like Joe, think someone else is hot.  We all do it, at some point in our lives.  I know we do.  And I think that for the most part it is harmless, like buying Sioux boots.

I drank two bottles of wine pretty much by myself at a restaurant in New York City one time because our waiter was hot and the more I drank, the more often he would come back to the table to refill my glass.  Worst. Hangover. Ever.

My best friend in college got up in the middle of the night/morning, showered, put on makeup, etc., to meet a guy who called her on the phone, not realizing it was a crank call.  When the guy on the phone asked her what she was doing, she asked, “Is this Dominick?”  “Yes, it is.  Meet me.”  Because she thought it was Dominick, she did it because Dominick was hot.  Of course, no one showed up because it was a crank call.

This temporary insanity is giddy and fun and makes me smile to remember.  I think of the scene from Seinfeld where George Costanza said, “I once told a woman that I coined the phrase “Pardon my French.”” to get a woman.  We will do some outlandish things.  And some times we end up with boots, some times with hangovers.  Maybe sometimes we end up with a new love.