|Yeah, I'm all of 13, rocking braces and|
wearing a red dress I wore everywhere.
Like you did any better in 1981.
Today a college friend of mine reminded me of a song we used to laugh at. I hadn't thought of this song in nearly 30 years, and today it all came back to me as if we were all still sitting in the dorms listening to Todd Rundgren crooning "P Aaron."
I have to explain. See, we all went to a very, very, very, very conservative, religious college. Dry campus? Check. Women in one dorm, men in the other? Check, and let's just put the entire campus between the dorms just to be sure. Mandatory chapel twice a day? Check and double check.
So what do college kids do when surrounded by so much...not naughtiness?
We find ways to be naughty.
I'll admit it. I had a bottle of Mogan David wine in my dorm room.
And, during our senior year, my boyfriend, who is now my husband of 20+ years, would come to my first floor window, (I'd removed the screen from the window) and we'd make out. Not for long...it was Minnesota, and it was usually very cold. And it wasn't like I'd actually let him into the room. I mean, let's not get insane here.
So, right. I didn't have a hugely high level to my naughtiness in college. But, there was this song. "P Aaron." To this day I can't say the name out loud. But when my friend, let's call her Erma. (not her real name, but the only other person in this life who made me laugh harder was Erma Bombeck.) My friend "Erma" could tell stories about growing up in small town Wisconsin that had us rolling on the floor. She was, and is, a wonderful, hilarious person and introducing us to songs like "P Aaron" was just one of the many gifts she gave me that I carry today. (She also introduced me to a fantastic song, "I hate to wake up Sober in Nebraska."
I'm telling you all this because I can't believe the memories that came flooding through my brain all day today from a simple Face Book post. And what was really funny was Erma's follow up comment: I can remember all the lyrics to that song, but I can't remember to pick up sour cream at the grocery store.
Isn't that how real life is? I think we get way too wrapped up in life that we don't focus on silly, stupid little things that make us laugh over and over again. We get wrapped up in bills and jobs and kids and schedules and before we know it we're in our 40's, and standing in the middle of the grocery store, wondering where on earth they keep the sour cream...and why do we need sour cream anyway?
And then we go to Face Book and someone brings up some little thing, a lyric, a song title, a recipe for happy hot chocolate...or someone mentions that one time we all ate blueberry donuts and drank cream soda on the football field and then barfed back in the dorms because blueberry donuts and cream soda do not mix. (And you know who you are...) And suddenly we're sitting at our computers and it's late and the cats won't leave us alone but we have to talk about how that song makes us feel because it's a moment we can't get back and we can't forget even though we haven't really remembered it for years.
When I was 13 I made friends with someone who would be one of my best friends forever. And her favorite book was a romance novel called "Moonstruck Madness." To this day I can't tell you one thing they taught me in four years of foreign language classes, but I can remember that. That was more than 30 years ago.
And I haven't a clue whether or not I need sour cream, but, thanks to my friend Erma, I can tell you that if you click on this video to the left, you'll hear a song that made us laugh so hard I'm pretty sure we damaged internal organs. And, hearing it again after all these years, I long to be that girl again, sitting in Erma's dorm room, wearing sweat pants, because they were comfortable, not because they were the only thing that fit, feeling free because there were no teachers or boys in the dorm. Just a bunch of girls sharing an extra cheese and pepperoni pizza from Dominoes (because that was $5 on Thursday nights) and listening to this song.
As writers...isn't that what we want our stories to do, to create memories that will truly last forever?