- 1968-ish: When I was about three or four (it was when we lived in our first house off Genesee Street), I remember playing with a little girl about my age at her house. I don’t remember her name or much about the house itself, but I do remember coloring with her. After we finished coloring in the book, I thought it would be fun to use the crayons as lipstick. We giggled until my friend’s mom came out of the kitchen. She had on a dress with an apron over it. I remember her wiping her hands on the apron, while looking at me with her lips pressed tightly together. When she finally spoke, her voice was shaking. She told me I had to leave and that I wasn’t welcome in her home anymore.
- 1969: When I was about five (we had just moved to our new house), I remember riding my training-wheeled bike by myself down the street. I thought I was making left turns to get around the block, but I ended up completely lost. I sat on my bike and cried. Three kids playing outside ran up to me and asked me what was wrong. It turned out that they were siblings and the youngest one was my age. There were six or seven of them all together, and two of the older siblings joined the three younger ones to help me find my way home. They knew exactly where I lived because they were friends with the kids who used to live in our house. When I walked into the house to tell my mom that I was lost, she asked, “How could you have been lost? You were only gone five minutes.”
- 1974: When I was about ten, I remember a boy named Tim “asking me out,” which was weird because he and my friend Beth were always sweet on each other. I actually liked another boy, but we never spoke. Tim and Beth continued to talk to each other, but they constantly looked over at me and then at the boy I liked. By the end of the day, Tim and Beth came over to me to explain that he didn’t really like me; he was just trying to get the other boy jealous for me. It didn’t work.
- 1976-80: Whenever I think of my childhood, Kathy pops up with the entire highlight reel of our friendship. I remember sitting on the floor in my bedroom, painting our nails and listening to music. I remember hanging out of my upstairs bedroom window, trying to catch a note Kathy was throwing at me. I was grounded and couldn’t talk to her, so this was the only way we could communicate. One grounding I also tried to escape out my bedroom window. Kathy was coaching me as I maneuvered my escape. I made it out onto the little roof, but I was too scared to jump down. Her father’s sweet smile pops up in the montage whenever I think about Kathy’s house. For her 16th birthday, she had a garage band play in her basement. We sat on her couch and fell in love with those boys. Most of my memories though consist of us walking everywhere and talking about everything.
- 1977: When I was 13, I remember a young couple from NYC coming to our house. They were Macedonians and my dad knew the girl’s parents. I remember my shock and confusion when I found out she was 16, pregnant, and engaged to the 20-something year old guy next to her. I didn’t understand how she could be pregnant without being married; I thought she was so lucky that this much older guy loved her and wanted to marry her. I couldn’t understand why her parents were so upset about their engagement. Wasn’t that the goal of all parents–to marry off their daughters? I also remember my confusion over how upset my mom was with me for being excited for them.
Next week’s prompt: A favorite movie and why.