in 1995 i was 13. i still had hopes of being a good soccer player, despite my lack of coordination, lack of speed, and tendency towards laziness. anyhow, i used to go to soccer camps every summer, and when i was 10, i started going to sleep-a-way camps. in 1995 i went to camp at gettysburg college and played soccer under the tutelage of several exceedingly handsome and charming british fellows. hearing that my passes were “brilliant” was just about that loveliest thing that an already boy-crazed, accent-smitten, wannabe footie player pre-teen could ever hear and that week proved to be one of the best of my pre-pubescent life.

i roomed with a girl named angela, who was from new jersey. she was blond and thin and aggressive and good at soccer. we got along quite well, though looking back, i think it may have more to do with my status as the un-threatening chubby friend. (real life is not unlike romantic comedies, you know) anyhow, angela and i played soccer all day and then roamed the campus of gettysburg college at night, hoping to catch the eye of the boys who were at the baseball camp in the dorms across the yard.

we (she) eventually did catch the eye of the baseball players, and by tuesday of that fateful week, i was head over heels for a 14 year old shortstop named dave. dave and angela and me and others, i’m sure (none so memorable as either dave or angela), and by week’s end we were all just the best of friends–sweating through the heat on our respective pitches and diamonds during the day and careening haphazardly through adolescent summer lust at night.

at the end of the week, i was in love with dave and thought angela was my best friend.

three days after we left camp, angela told me that she and dave had kissed on the last night of camp and that they were boyfriend and girlfriend. my heart broke.

i got really sick a few days later and, confined to bed during the last few days of the summer, i played this song on repeat, imagining myself as drew barrymore or claire danes, wearing plaid, being angsty and pensive, thinking about a breakup with the perfect teenage boyfriend.

i eventually got over it, but everytime i hear this song, i am taken back to summer camp and angst.


Music-Triggered Memories

December 23, 2009

holy bananas, i was just smacked in the face with the worst feeling of nostalgia and home-sickness for Chicago that i’ve had in a while. i was listening to music, doing some work, and suddenly a song came on that i used to listen to a lot when i first moved to Chicago. it reminds me of sitting on the Blue Line on the way home from work on gray evenings, with my forehead pressed against the window, just staring at the city pass by.

i never knew i could miss something so much. it physically hurts me. right in the heart.

all i want for christmas is my home back…

Wish Book

December 13, 2009

do you remember the Sears’ Christmas Wishbook? it was the size of a phone book, and was just pages upon pages of every toy you could ever want. i remember waiting for the day it would come in the mail and my brother and i would fight over who got it first. i generally let him get it first so that i could take it and keep it. i’d pour over the pages, bending down the corner of the pages that had the toys i wanted. Barbies and babydolls and games and craft stuff…dress up kits and plastic dish sets and Easy Bake Ovens… i never really asked for any of the stuff that i marked, but i loved going through the pages and picking out the things that looked like they’d be fun to play with. i suppose it was the 6-year old precursor to my 27-year old obsession of “window shopping” online, wherein i online shop, putting wonderful things in my digital “cart” and then when i’m “done” “shopping,” i just click exit Firefox and go about my business. i never actually buy anything, but it feels incredible to have a cart full of shoes that are too expensive to purchase and outfits that i’ll never wear but wish i could pull off.

anyhow, i was thinking about the Wish Book today and began musing about what my grown-up (ha) wishes would be. what pages would i crease the corners of? what things would i look at and immediately decide were not for me?

i would crease the corner of the page that had time on it. i want more time each day. i want hours to be longer and days to be longer. i don’t wear a watch because i don’t like to be reminded about how fast time moves. i want so much time i don’t even know what i’d do with it all.

i’d crease the corner for normalcy. whatever that means. i know that trite ole’ quote about normal people being the ones you don’t know and blah blah blah, but i DO know normal people. people who seem content and don’t have crazy things happen in their lives. things that put Lifetime movies to shame. things that are so beyond weird that you don’t tell people because it probably sounds like you’re lying.

i would pass over the pages of expensive jeans and clothes and stuff, because even though i want them all, i don’t want them in the size that i’d currently have to buy them in. so maybe next year i’d crease the corner for those things.

i’d definitely want motivation. and probably the deluxe version of it. the version that comes with self-discipline and an automatic device that makes you run two miles every morning before work even when it’s dark and cold out.

i’m not sure if they’d be making it this year, but i’d like a little bit of optimism as well. i don’t want much–i think perpetually happy people are weird, but i’d like enough of it to be able to just shake my head and laugh about things instead of fret and worry and stress about things. i’d like enough optimism to believe myself when i say, ‘Self, it’ll be okay. It’ll all work out in the end.’

and i know the Wish Book isn’t the place for money and that Santa doesn’t typically give out monetary gifts, but if there was a special appendix to this year’s Wish Book–i’d fold the page down for a student loan with a low interest rate. i’d also see if there was cheap COBRA health insurance available so that when i get the student loan and go back to school full-time, i can still have health insurance so that my body doesn’t turn on itself again [Editor’s note: Please see the year 2005-2006 for evidence that it can and will happen.]

and lastly, i’d flip to the Miss America section of the Wish Book and circle “Peace” in a big red marker and maybe put some stars around it just for good measure. i’d have to specify Inner Peace, and not the World Peace variety though, because although it would be a beautiful thing for the world to drop it’s guns and bombs and books of worship, i’d like to start small, ya know? i mean there are some people who are supposed to already be working on World Peace, so i’m going to let them do their jobs for a while (i know i hate it when people tell me how to do my job). but Inner Peace would be so dang kickass. and not like, the cheesy, zen, yogi peace. i want the peace that let’s me sleep through the night and not be pissed off about little things and not cry about little things. i want the kind of peace that doesn’t create permanent furrowed-brows and will help prevent wrinkles from frowns and raised eyebrows.

anyway, i wish there were still Wish Books that were mailed out for Christmas. even if there wasn’t an adult one, i still feel like looking at the kids’ one right now. i feel like it would make me feel better…

I never did get a Barbie pool...

on the tails of another break-up, i am inspired to take a stroll down memory lane with today’s Music Monday. and now ladies and gentlemen, i smugly and somewhat trepidatiously [editor’s note: yeah, that’s not a word, but whatever. this is my blog. deal with it.] present to you, My Romantic Life in Music Videos. (fyi–not all these are really the sad-schmoopy break-up songs, but rather songs that, for some reason or another, remind me of certain folks…)

First, there was Doug:

Then, there was Geoff (who was so memorable that he gets two songs):

Next up, Anthony:

Then there was several years of Single Sarah:

Then Tom:

And now, Adam: