Growing Up Stephanie

Nostalgia Week: The Senior Book

Looking through what little stuff I have in my house from childhood one thing became perfectly clear. . . I was always meant to be an archivist. Everything is sorted, labeled, and organized.

Today I’m going to share a few gems from my senior book. Did you have one of these things? I’m not much of a scrapbooker, but I actually filled mine full of stuff. For background – I graduated in 2001 from the school I had attended since kindergarten.

Senior Book Collage

Top Left: The book, in all of its glory! Also my tassel and a pair of gloves that went with one of my colorguard outfits. I found all of this stuff in a plastic bin in my garage.

Top Right: Happy graduates in their fancy regalia. I’m the girl that shows up the most in the photos. Some of these people I still see occasionally. All of these people are Facebook friends. What would we do without Facebook?

Bottom Left: A handwritten poem from my grandmother. A quick google search tells me the author is unknown.

Bottom Right: This is part of a two-page spread that was supposed to be dedicated to sports. I decided to use it for this one time the colorguard had to paint boxes to stand on during a halftime performance. I’m not sure why I thought this random afternoon deserved two whole pages. That cute girl there on the left was my most-bestest-friend. I’m happy to report that I do still see her occasionally.

But here is the best part – the page they put in so you have something really great to laugh at when you look at the book twenty years in the future. The image isn’t really the best (I should have scanned it instead of photographed), but I’ll transcribe so you can enjoy without straining your eyes.


Favorite Restaurant/Hangout: Olive Garden
Okay confession, I’m still a fan of the Olive Garden even though it gets a lot of hate. It is probably listed as my favorite here though because the closest one was an hour away. I guess that made it special.

Favorite Thing to Order: Crab cakes, pasta, reese blizzard
Yum. All still up there on the list of favorite things.

Favorite Hamburger: BBQ sauce and swiss cheese
Now I’m more of a provolone and grilled mushrooms kind of gal. No sauce.

Favorite Pizza: Rods, always with pepperoni
Rods is a favorite pizza place in my home town, but the last time I had it was a major letdown. Still a pepperoni fan though.

Favorite Ice Cream: Texas Gold Chocolate Chip
I like the Texas Gold kind because it had chocolate shards/shavings instead of traditional chips. I don’t eat a lot of ice cream now.

Hottest Car: The new Jaguar – I love it but don’t why.
I feel like I was supposed to put down the hottest car overall, not just the one I liked best. Woops. I’m still a Jag fan [I drive a Mazda].

Favorite Song: Like a Prayer, Ghetto Superstar, Tocatta and Fugue
Oh Stephanie, did you feel like you had to throw in some Bach to impress your future self? I still like Like a Prayer and Ghetto Superstar was recently on my everyday playlist. I still love me some Bach, but I guarantee I just picked that song name off the back of a cd to write it here.

Hottest Group: Barenaked Ladies
Again, I think I missed the point here. I don’t listen to BNL anymore, but I’ll always be a fan. Their best songs are the ones that never made it into regular radio play and their concert was super fun.

Favorite Game: Monopoly
A classic.

Favorite TV Show: Rugrats, That 70s Show, Dateline
Oh my gosh, I watched Dateline every singe night and forgot all about that until just now.

Favorite Movies: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Much Ado About Nothing, Schindler’s List, Dirty Dancing
The first two are still on my list of favorite movies and the second two are solid choices. I had good taste.

Favorite Clothes: my long black skirt w/ black dragon shirt
Yep, I’d still wear that. Through in combat boots and a tattoo choker please.

More Favorites: Colors – black, silver, red; Subway; heavy rain at night; smell of baking bread; yellow roses; Bach; Hamlet; Om perfume Gap; cranberry juice; dirt cake; my lace-up knee-high black boots; The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath; Paradise by Toni Morrison; people playing with my hair; Tim’s [the future husband] unique smell; snow; candles burning
I underlined those that still apply.

Nostalgia is fun.

On My Television (Retro Edition)

I thought I might watch and review some of the movies I loved growing up, but – in the end – that sounded like a bad idea. I’m assuming many of them won’t stand the test of time and I don’t want to tarnish those memories.

Did you have certain movies you just watched over and over again as a kid? I certainly did. I’ve recently discovered through conversations with my husband that the movies you like to watch tend to vary depending on whether or not you had cable. I did not, so Saturday afternoon specials rank high on my lists.

Here are the ones that stick out the most to me, in no particular order.

1) Big Trouble in Little China
I still watch this one – a lot. This is not one of my husband’s “childhood movies” however, and he does not appreciate my love of all things BTLC.1Ciy0T7

2) Adventures in Babysitting
I have not seen this one since I was a kid and I kind of imagine I would be bored out of my mind watching it now. Fun fact – did you know Anthony Rapp, later Rent’s Mark, starred in this one?Adventures-in-Babysitting-copy

3) Bloodsport
Jean Claude Van Damme all the way. This is another one I haven’t watched since I was a kid. What does it say about me that I absolutely loved this movie?tumblr_mjqdjx64eX1s35cr4o1_500

4) Flight of the Navigator
This one seems boring just thinking about it now. Kids are weird.Flight-of-the-Navigator

5) Sixteen Candles
Still a classic! I may or may not own this one.

6) Uncle Buck
I watched this one again several years ago (and a few times since then), it is great! I still laugh.

7) Working Girl
This doesn’t scream “little girl, watch this movie!” but I did, and loved it. I think I’ve seen at least part of this in my adulthood, but don’t remember what I thought of it.0928-friends

8) Revenge of the Nerds
Still awful, still good. You just can’t beat that performance at the end. Nerd power!nerds-talent-show

9) Little Monsters
I made my kid watch this one several years ago. I don’t think she enjoyed it as much – she just doesn’t get that 80s-kids-movie-but-almost-adult-movie thing. Great movie though.

10) Beaches
I’m assuming I would have a hard time sitting through this one now. I loved it when I was little because I just wanted to be an awesomely independent as Bette Midler’s character as a kid (I was so not that kid). Of course, only a tiny snippet of the movie deals with the kids. Don’t know what kept me watching all of the drama after that. 560445_269935909754530_1047421309_n

What movies stick out from your childhood? If you have watched any recently, what did you think? Do they stand the test of time?

Dolly Dearest?

When I was a child, my family tormented me with a Mrs. Beasley doll.

First, let me tell you about my family. Well . . . they are fun and lovable and unique and crazy just like all families. On my mother’s side – the tormentors – I was the oldest grandchild and the only grandchild for a while. My mom is the oldest of five, so as I grew up I had many interactions with my younger aunts and uncles.

Now, let me tell you about Mrs. Beasley. She was a doll that belonged to Buffy on Family Affair. Mattel produced the doll and marketed it to girls during the success of the show. She was a cloth doll, talked, wore a blue polka-dot skirt and black glasses. The doll in my grandmother’s house no longer had her skirt or glasses, so she appeared with just her naked, but still blue polka-dot, body. Her hair had been cut off giving her a terrible just-escaped-from-the-mental-ward look. I remember pulling her pull string in the back, but can’t remember if she could still talk (I should probably call my grandma and ask).

Here, let me help you with your mental image. Watch this vintage commercial for the doll:

Did you watch that? Did it terrify you? Now imagine the doll looking like she had been in a rough toy shop gang fight. That is the image I was up against.

Mrs. Beasley did not like me. She used to tease me and steal my toys. I responded by yelling, grabbing her, and giving her a right going-over. Of course, I took it all out on Mrs. Beasley, not my grandmother and aunt controlling the doll. Oh no, of course not. Not my loved ones. My family who was supposed to protect me. It was the doll, always the doll.

I’ll see you in hell, Mrs. Beasley.

Growing up only

I am an only child. I am the oldest grandchild on my maternal side (and the only grandchild living locally for ten years) and the youngest grandchild on my paternal side. Yes, I grew up with attention galore. If you believe in the “only child syndrome,” you may think I have the following negative personality traits: spoiled, bratty, selfish, indulgent, entitled, self-obsessed, anit-social, self-conscious, or aggressive. And I do have some of those traits (or all of those traits if you catch me on a bad day), but I wouldn’t necessarily blame my only-childness.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am glad my children have a sibling, but that doesn’t mean that I would change anything about my upbringing. First of all, being an only child is amazing because you get to pick you own family. I hooked up with another only child early on and consider her my sister to this day. Plus, I enjoyed the addition of another extended family to go with it. How cool is that? While technically anyone could do the same thing, only children tend to do it at a much higher rate (no, I didn’t look up a statistic to back that up) and are fiercely loyal.

What did being an only child mean for me?

The good: It means my imagination is out-of-control vivid. My dreams are extremely vivid. I grew up to be very independent with a cool head in a crisis. My communication skills developed early because of all my adult contact (although hindered by my shyness). I was mature at an early age – but this didn’t stop be from acting a fool in my teens. I’m perfectly comfortable being alone. In fact, I crave my alone time to recharge.

The not-so-good: I like to do everything on my own. I seriously hate asking for help and admitting that I cannot do something. Being an only child nurtured and cultivated my introvert personality. Now I enjoy being an introvert, but spent many years trying to figure out how to be comfortable in some social situations. This is still a struggle for me. My imagination is out-of-control vivid. Yes, this one is a pro and a con. The vivid imagination gets in the way when you have a tendency to dwell on things and hold grudges.

Overall, being an only child rocks. I wouldn’t change a thing.

An important cultural experience (sort of)

My parents have decided to become beach bums and will soon be relocating halfway across the country. The move includes leaving the house they built thirty years ago – the only house I lived in before leaving for college. Needless to say, some of the closets hold secrets from my childhood. Recently, some of these secrets showed up on my doorstep.

I’ll probably get rid of most of it – I’m not really very sentimental about stuff – but some of it is fun and will be allowed to hang around my house. I’ve already added two items from my nursery to my bedroom bookshelves and made my husband listen to my first music box (when confronted with a big box o’Stephanie, I found myself to have a little bit of a sentimental gene after all).

I did find one goodie – a small diary I kept during a trip with family when I was eight years old. Most of it isn’t very interesting. I guess I hadn’t developed the ability to ramble on about any old topic yet. It contains some very interesting gems like “I swam and then we ate. We waited an hour before we swam again.”

The best part of the whole diary showed up on Day 8: “We went to the Cheese Factory. But they weren’t making cheese! We got some cheese anyway. We ate at a Japans place. We didn’t sit on our knees. We saw our food made.”

I remember this meal – it was my first visit to a hibachi grill – and I remember ordering chicken strips. I don’t remember thinking we should be dining on our knees though.


Recurring Dreams

When I was a child I had two recurring, disturbing dreams that centered around my hair. A quick google search into the world of or dream analysis tells me this about hair in dreams: 1) dreaming of hair possibly represents your current mindset or self image, taking into account the color and style and 2) dreaming of having your hair cut against your will possibly represents a loss of power or freedom or a sense of giving-in.

Dream #1:

English: Tenniel illustration of Tweedledum (l...

I am playing outdoors in a nondescript, unknown trailer park with children I have just met. I see an open door and decide to poke into a dilapidated white and red trailer. My only exit is blocked when the owners return home and I quickly run and try to hide in the bedroom. I’m soon confronted by Tweedledum and Tweedledee –esque twins who mock me and cut my hair.

Then I wake up. I had this dream unrelentingly for a number of years and then it just suddenly stopped.

Dream #2:

This isn’t an individual dream, so much as a scene that appeared in a number of dreams and/or transitioned me from one dream to a recurring dream.

I am on the Belle (a local riverboat-like attraction in the town I grew up in – I have never ever been on this boat just because of this dream). The deck is rotting and dirty with peeling paint, but inside it is pristine white and has an unsettling medical feel.  I’m greeting by a gaunt, pale woman with impeccable style and a coarse, overpowering man in a tuxedo. [They talk to me, but I could never remember what they said when I awoke.] I’m led to a wall of shallow white-lacquer drawers – sometimes I open one, sometimes the woman opens one, sometimes the man opens one, but I am always forced to look inside. The drawers hold scalps sporting carefully groomed hairstyles. Usually some matching accessories are included – to complete the look I guess. Nothing is ever explained, but I understand that the gaunt woman wears these different scalps [sort of a Return to Oz theme] and that my hair is destined for its own drawer. I see a different hairstyle each time, but the only one I can remember is a beautiful dark Native-American braid with turquoise headband and bracelet.

The dream progresses in many different ways from that point – various scenarios I try to escape my fate. I had this dream much longer than the first one, but probably not in at least fifteen years.

Tabatha would not approve!
Tabatha would not approve!