Monday, June 28, 2010

Sometimes I Look Like Slash When I Wake Up

When I was nine years old, Guns N’ Roses released “Patience.” That same year, Lindsey (Lee) Devore, Kristi (Melton) Carter, and I spent many a summer afternoon piddling outside in creeks, on hay rolls, in the back of pickup trucks (usually after a Brewers loss that in no way meant we should forgo ice cream) and among a whole host of other Cumberland County 2nd-4th grade girls who also had crushes on Parker Perdue and Brad Rowan. We may have shed tears ‘cause we were missing them, but we were still alright to smile. …

One of my most memorable days from the summer of 1989 involved wading in Marrowbone Creek with the previously mentioned partners in foolishness (filmed by Carolyn Lee; if melancholy strikes, ask to borrow the VHS), followed logically by a little Axl Rose-inspired dancing on a twin bed in a tiny trailer bedroom. Why this particular day and this utterly random memory remains so vivid is beyond me. I can remember what we were wearing (I had on jean shorts [of course I did] and a pale pink sleeveless blouse), our spots on the dance floor (Lindsey in the bedroom floor, Kristi and I on the bed), and most importantly, the arrogance that consumed both my mind during and my conversation with Lindsey after the talent showcase. Where was Kristi’s soul? Why weren’t her eyes closed and the corners of her bottom lip slightly tucked behind her teeth (the universal sign of “this song really gets to me”)? Why were her hands hearkening a Bangles video rather than the soulful, low at the side rhythmic motion that Axl perfected? I’m fairly certain that “bless her heart” ran through my mind for the entire 5 minutes of this quintessential late-80s song.

No joke, Lindsey and I actually thought we looked really cool.

Some twenty years later, Kristi sits in my kitchen talking about jobs and love and children and I still feel the need to apologize for my 9-year-old artistic condescension (I don’t, but it is on my mind at least:)). Despite this nagging guilt, however, Kristi and I had such a wonderful visit yesterday. We did absolutely nothing unique or remotely interesting; we had coffee (mine surely more coffeemated than hers), we baked, we sat around in mismatched pajamas and talked. I forget how much I miss my girlfriends (especially those who know my history, the ones for whom I don’t have to continually provide disclaimers) until I get the chance to be completely boring with them.

I’m not sure exactly how we made it to this point, but toward the end of the conversation, she and I concluded that we are all probably “the people we are going to be” by the time we are 8 or 9. Sure, we all go through things in the years that follow that may encourage or force us to change our interests or styles or responsibilities. Nonetheless, I think (although a writer should probably avoid “think” [if I write it, I obviously think it so], but I haven’t worked this out in my mind in great detail, thus the malleable indefinite) our mannerisms, our sense of humor, our treatment of others, and the things that break our hearts are all largely intact by the time “we” are feigning ankle injuries to get P. Perdue’s attention on the playground.

So, I suppose the overarching point is to never imitate Axl Rose in front of me. The more subtle goal, however, is to encourage feedback...When do we begin to see the best versions of ourselves?

I hope to have two recipes for you on Wednesday: one for the zucchini salsa that I plan to try and one for the bread and butter pickles I will likely destroy this afternoon. For the time being, however, I leave you with one of my favorite "not really unhealthy, but really in no way good for me either" treats: tapioca pudding cups that have been in the freezer for about an hour. Sometimes I eat them while listening to White Snake and Poison.


  1. I promise I will find that tape of the creek.

  2. Are you saying that I, in some way, did not look cool singing G&R? Today, I visited a friend's house with 8 elementary age kids, with a few 8-9 years old girls. They were swimming, jumping on the trampoline, and dancing to Madonna (on the Wii). After watching them today and then reading your blog, it reminds me how much fun we had as kids and how lucky we were(and am) to have each other. That day at the creek/trailer will always be one that is vivid in my mind. It is just a shame Melissa wasn't with us- if her Debbie Gibson moves at my 8 year old birthday (on King Street) was any indication, she would have "served" us all. Kristi, I think we should all go out dancing and you can get some payback!! :)

  3. It seems as though I have made comments such as, "you can tell what kind of an adult a child will become even when they are in 5th grade." You and Leigh Ann used to get so aggravated with me when I reminded you of that when you were in high school. I think there were incidences when one of you or both would want to go riding around or hang out with someone that was not very nice in fifth grade. You would say, "Mama, just because they were rude, unkind to others,etc. in 5th grade does not mean they were that way in high school." But you know what... most of the time they had not changed from their basic personality or behavior. As you get older I bet you will find this to be somewhat true. Not always but enough that I can feel vindicated for all those times I made two teenage girls very angry. LOL

  4. First, I cannot believe that you did a blog about my awesome dance moves!! Let me say, I am honored. However, I was scared to death that the video posted was going to be our Marrowbone Creek Adventure. I was already planning an explanation/escape for those pitiful moves! And you bet your buns that we are going to have a girls night out, drink way too much, and I will have my dance revenge!

    I have reflected back on our morning and find myself smiling all the time. It meant so much to have that time to sit, chat, and rekindle our friendship. I told Tommy about our conclusion (that we are who we are meant to be by the time we are 8)and he agrees. Isn't that scary!

    My goal: Liza, Lindsey, Melissa, and Kristi, a bar, many drinks, and an open dance floor to embarrass ourselves to death. And there are no promises that cameras will be prohibited.

  5. Lindsey - Of course not. I was implying that I looked like a complete fool while you both did some of your own "serving" and chastized me for making fun of others. You were(are) awesome:). I think when Carolyn finds the tape, we should have a viewing party! And then watch So You Think You Can Dance and make fun of all of the amateurs. ...

    Mom - Turns out you were right about a FEW things...:) I do remember you saying this and it did make me SO mad. Lucky me, though, I'm getting more like you every day:) LOL.

    Kristi - A girls night definitely needs to be in the works. Maybe we can get a DJ to play some Poison, G&R, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson. A little TLC could be thrown in as well. Revenge you shall have.
    It really was a great morning:) Doesn't hurt that you brought one of the tastiest treats I've ever had in my life, too. Haha..i bet Tommy was about to pass out.

    Oh, cameras be filming fo' sho.

  6. I went back and read the blog again as I sat in the quite kitchen of our friends home in Nebraska. I realized that I did not address the "Parker Perdue" factor. Wow, your memory is unbelievable! Of course there had to be a good looking man in the area to cause us to act like such fools. And I'm just saying...look what Brad and Parker missed out on. Tommy, Andy, and Devan are some lucky men :)!

  7. Lucky with a capital "L":). Parker Perdue is kicking himself for sure.