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Category Archives: When I Was Young

Overalls a Thing of the Past? I THINK NOT.

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I’ve always loved overalls. ALWAYS. I remember wearing them through my awkward Jr. High days. And when I was in college, I found an incredible pair of Union Bay overalls that I’ve worn…and worn…and worn. I wear them to paint. I wear them to lounge. Hell, I wore them to the bar a few times. Here are a few examples.

overall6 overall5 overall4 overall3 overall2 Overall1 overall

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So you can imagine how sad I was when I realized that I couldn’t find overalls anymore. I mean, good overalls. All I could find were these sorry excuses.

Ew

Who wants skinny legged overalls? It was either this or the super rugged ones that were actually meant for work.

Then I saw Gwen Stefani. In overalls. And Gwen Stefani is cool, so I thought, “I’ll just find her overalls!”

Gwen

Problem #1 – they still look KIND of skinny leg. I’m a lil curvy and I want them to fit like my other ones. These COULD have been the answer, but before I thought about seriously buying them, I couldn’t find my size on any site.

Which is why when I came across these babies yesterday, I pounced.

RLoverall

They look wide leggy enough. They’re distressed. They’re fashionable (they’re Ralph Lauren, people). And some of the sites were already running low/out of my size. So…I did it. I couldn’t help myself! I’m waiting anxiously for them to get here. I hope that they’re everything I dreamed they would be, because the old Union Bays are falling apart. And they’re better overalls for it! ūüėČ

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in 1990's Nostalgia, Daily Happenings

 

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For the first time in three years…

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I finished a book.  A book I read for fun.  For me.

I finished J. R. Moehringer’s¬†The Tender Bar. ¬†I’m embarrassed to say that I started it over a year ago. ¬†I made myself stay awake to finish it one evening while Mike was watching football. ¬†It was…okay.

Then I borrowed a book from my future sister-in-law Lindsay – John Green’s¬†The Fault in Our Stars¬†– yesterday. ¬†I finished it last night. ¬†Sure, it’s a YA book, and those are usually quick reads, but I couldn’t put it down. ¬†It helps that I love John Green and that I used to read cancer books like a fiend when I was younger.

Look familiar? ¬†I read this book 300 times. ¬†There was another cancer book about a girl who passed out at a grocery store I can’t think of it, but it’s driving me crazy.

I have a few other books I’d like to read. I think reading is going to start me with writing again. ¬†I hope so. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Daily Happenings, When I Was Young

 

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Little Moments: Diet Pepsi

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In the corner of my grandfather’s carry-out, I sat on a ripped, green vinyl chair. ¬†I could feel the cotton stuffing coming through the cracked vinyl on the back of my thighs and the cold metal of the legs left cool ghosts on my calves. ¬†Fans buzzed and turned back and forth tirelessly and the ding of the cars coming through the drive-thru was constant. ¬†Sticky yellow flystrips dangled from the ceiling, speckled with victims and swaying with the fans as I watched my grandfather and my mother move busily behind the counter, scanning lottery tickets, passing 12-packs through customer’s car windows, and packing their cigarettes.

It was summer in Ohio in the 1990s, and the fields were green, the sun was hot, and my shoulders were freckled.  Inside the fluorescent lights of the store, my skin looked even darker as I picked at my knee.  I spun the vinyl chair back and forth waiting for my mother to come with the acid.  That summer, warts decided to pop up all over my right knee.  I was horrified.  I spent afternoons on the picnic table with my cousins finding ways to cover my knee and spent days at the pool with towels draped over my legs.

When we went to the doctor, he said, “Typical. ¬†Only way to get rid of them is to kill the mother. ¬†Kill the mother and you’ll kill them all.”

“Which is the mother,” we asked.

“You won’t know until you kill her,” he replied.

So we bought liquid acid in a small glass jar, stuff that dried in hard white caps, and put it over each wart on my knee. ¬†We liked to guess which one was the mother and and my mom would cuss as she put the acid onto my skin, “Damn you, mother wart.” ¬†Mom made jokes, her permed hair brushing my arm as she bent down to look at my leg. ¬†I watched her dip the wand into the brown bottle and lean down close. ¬†I cringed through the burning sensation that came with each dab of the brush. ¬†Mom blew onto the clear liquid, turning it white as it dried.

Once she covered them all, she stood up and twisted the top off of a glass bottle of Diet Pepsi. ¬†“Do you want the first swig? ¬†It’s my favorite, but I’ll let you have it,” she smiled. ¬†Her eyes twinkled and I looked at her hands as she extended the bottle to me. ¬†Her skin was the same color as my shoulders and her knuckles were large between slim finger bones.

“Sure,” I said, taking it from her with both of my hands. ¬†I looked up at her as I tipped the bottle back and leaned into the vinyl. ¬†Mom lit a cigarette – a Misty Menthol – and took a long draw while I admired the rainbow on the square package sticking out of her jeans pocket. ¬†She wiggled her eyebrows at me and I handed her back the bottle with my stubby fingers. ¬†I was always envious of her long sturdy digits and the strength in her hands.

She took the Diet Pepsi from me and tilted her head back.  She drank it like Cindy Crawford did in the commercials, lips relaxed so that I could see the pop passing from the bottle into her mouth.  She handed it back to me and I greedily took a sip.  It was so different from that first sip, now tainted with smoke and menthol Рand I loved it.  But she was right.  Nothing beat that first drink from a bottle of Diet Pepsi.

I felt her hand, cool and wet from the bottle, on my shoulder as she pushed me off the vinyl chair. ¬†The rough edges of the cracks scratched my skin and the concrete floor felt cool against my bare feet. ¬†“Now get back outside,” Mom said. ¬†She took one more drink of the pop and handed me what was left of the bottle and sent me back across the blacktop to my grandparents’ farm house.

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One night toward late summer, I climbed into bed and pulled my knees to my chest. ¬†When I looked down, the warts were gone. ¬†I yelled for my mom and she came bounding in to rejoice. ¬†We’d killed the mother.

I have never slept as good as I did that night. ¬†Each time my mother let’s me take the first swig of a Diet Pepsi we’re sharing, I remember the smell of vinyl and summer and victory.

 
 

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Generation Y – Thanks for Making Me Cry, Microsoft

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I don’t know how much I have to say about this. ¬†I desperately want that time back, when the only thing buzzing in my pocket was a pet.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in 1990's Nostalgia

 

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Kokomo

When I was younger and throwing a hissy fit, there were two things that calmed me down.

The first was a VHS tape of Michael Jackson’s Concert at Budapest that my parents recorded from VH1. ¬†They popped it in, I shut the hell up.

The second was also a VHS tape of the Beach Boys video “Kokomo”, also recorded from either VH1 or MTV.

For whatever reason this morning, I watched this video, and I was taken back.  By the music, but the old cocktail footage, by UNCLE JESSE IN A PINK TANK TOP PLAYING DRUMS.

First of all–he has always been hot. ¬†I love him–still–always. ¬†I think John Stamos in this video was the cause of my sexual awakening. ¬†Well, that might be a little exaggerated. ¬†It was the moment that I realized I really liked boys–even greasy ones with pink tank tops. ¬†Gimme a break, it was the ’80s.

Anyway, here’s the video. ¬†Happy nostalgia!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in When I Was Young

 

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NOSTALGIA – Nano Babies

I had a Nano Baby.  All my cousins had Nano Babies.  And we loved those damn things.

We fed them, cleaned up after them, and took care of them until they were 3 years old. ¬†And then the game started over. ¬†Here’s what I remember about Nano Babies:

  • There were GigaPets, Tamagotchis, and Nano Babies. ¬†Nano Babies were my favorite.
  • The sex of the Nano Baby changed each time you reset it. ¬†Then you got to name it.
  • I named every single boy Nano Baby JTT, Jonathan, Taylor, Thomas, Jonny, etc. ¬†You see where I’m going with this.
  • I named the girl Nano Babies after the Baby-Sitters Club: ¬†Stacey, Claudia, MaryAnne, Dawn…but never Mallory or Kristi.
  • If you were mad at your cousin, you’d press the circle and square buttons simultaneously to reset the ¬†game and “kill” their baby. ¬†(Many tears were shed over early Nano Baby death.)
  • When Nano Babies pooped, it left a big steaming pile on the screen and the baby crawled around it till you cleaned it up (surprisingly close to real life).
  • The graphics on Nano Babies made them all look like lil blobs.
  • If you didn’t “start” your baby at the right time, its sleep schedule would be off and you’d be up all night feeding the damn thing so it didn’t die overnight (again, surprisingly close to real life).
  • You freaked out if you had your Nano Baby on your backpack or you left it in your locker and couldn’t get to it.
  • Nano Babies got sick, and then they were even more of a pain in the ass.

Mostly, I remember that I loved that damn thing. ¬†I wish I could find it. ¬†Anyone want to give me theirs? ¬†I’ll trade you a bag of candy and two weeks’ allowance. ¬†ūüôā

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in 1990's Nostalgia, When I Was Young

 

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Gene’s Drive-Thru Carry-Out

Growing up we spent every weekend and many weekdays at my grandparents’ house in Clyde. ¬†The big white farmhouse stood with a sort of authority, the same authority that rang through the air when Grandma called us for dinner. ¬†And across the drive from the farmhouse stood Gene’s Drive-Thru Carry-Out.

In between Clyde and Green Creek Township, people drove out of their way to go to Gene’s. ¬†Some say he had the coldest beer around, others came to sit at the counter on tattered stools and scratch lottery tickets and talk about the Cleveland Indians. ¬†Some came because Gene and his kids remembered their orders and had them waiting as soon as they pulled in.

After hours of playing in the yard and being turned away from the cookie jar at Grandma’s house, us kids would run barefoot across the scorching asphalt and open the metal door to the back of “the store.” ¬†Stepping in and cooling our feet on the smooth concrete floor, we sneaked through cardboard boxes and overstock Pepsi and Miller Lite cartons to the doorway that led to Grandpa. ¬†He always stood behind the counter with either my mother, my Aunt Karen or Aunt MaryLynn or Uncle Mike.

As soon as we appeared, all of the customers would ask which of Gene’s kids we belonged to, and what we were up to. ¬†We answered them, reaching into the cooler for a cold pop and then walking out from behind the counter to the wall of candy on the side wall. ¬†We took what we wanted, sometimes daring to go to the freezer for a frozen Snickers bar, and we left.

It’s a wonder we aren’t all kleptomaniacs. ¬†It is NOT a wonder that I was pretty chunky throughout my childhood.

I did a lot of growing up in that store. ¬†I learned to play the clarinet with my cousin Heather. ¬†I got locked in the cooler with a dead pig and my cousin Meghan. ¬†“Momma Cat” had a batch of kittens in a garbage bag back by the bathroom and then left them for dead. ¬†I scanned lottery tickets to my heart’s content.

I was heartbroken when Grandpa sold the store. ¬†He retired and began working at Wilson’s¬†Clothing¬†part time instead. ¬†They sold the store to a local couple, and during a chain of drive-thru robberies, Denise was shot:

“Less than 30 minutes after Hovis reported The Gables robbery to police, the body of 42-year-old Denise Clink was found at Gene‚Äôs Drive-Thru, just outside the city limits of Clyde, a small town in Sandusky County best known as the home of a Whirlpool factory. Robinson, police concluded, had shot Clink during a robbery of the drive-through that she and her husband owned.”¬†¬†-Brad Dicken, The Chronicle-Telegram

It was terrifying. ¬†Grandpa’s store became a place where a murder happened. ¬†It was a friend who was killed…and worse, it could have been our grandpa.

Gene’s Drive-Thru is still standing, although vacant. ¬†It’s mostly just memories now, memories that I hope someday we can revive. ¬†I don’t know how to run a business, but it’s always an option. ¬†It took Grandpa a lot of years to build up that clientele, and he was as loyal to them as they were to him.

I do miss that carry-out though.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in When I Was Young

 

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