The Summer I Was 17 (Or Any Other Year)

17 is an interesting age.  It is nestled between driving age and adulthood, a prime number that is written using the numbers 1 and 7.  You add 1 and 7 together you get 8.  If you take the number eight and lay it on its side, you have the symbol of infinity.  What does all this mean?  Not a damn thing really.  Seventeen connotes the last exhilarating steps toward the huge change into adulthood, the end of high school, when most of us have gotten laid for the first time.  We need seventeen to be this little island in our minds that we can refer to when we want to reminisce about simpler times.    Imposing sunkissed summer days on the number makes it even warmer and fuzzy to curl up in when the complexities of life as we know it turn our emotional skies gray.   17 is simply what we make it, regardless of the year. Read More The Summer I Was 17 (Or Any Other Year)

The Summer I Was Seventeen

I turned seventeen in September of my senior year of high school, so the summer I was seventeen was the summer after I graduated from high school.  I worked for a day care center that summer, and it was my first job.  Well, my first non-babysitting job.  Read More The Summer I Was Seventeen

1987 – The Year Music First Expressed My Love

Subtitle: The lyrical journey of a hormone-crazed 17 year old

When I was offered the opportunity to submit something to do with the summer I was 17, only the topic of music would do as it defined me at the time. Coincidentally, it happened to be the first summer I found myself penning odes in a letter that would accompany the “mix cassette” I would painstakingly create for the objects of my desire . So I decided to review some of my favorite sonnets, and to my awe there was a common carnal thread flowing subtly and insidiously through them. Here are five that eptiomized my perverted chivalric bent. Read More 1987 – The Year Music First Expressed My Love

Losing My Religion

I didn’t drink, smoke, or experiment with drugs when I was in high school. I didn’t stay out past my curfew; I didn’t even have a curfew.  That’s because my adolescent rebellion took place between 9 am and 11 am on Sunday mornings.  That’s right; my rebellious teenage phase was that I went to church.  A Baptist church, to be precise.  I became a Christian the summer before my freshman year in high school after watching a particularly persuasive crucifixion video at a church camp I went to with my best friend.  My parents, both having rejected the Catholicism they were raised in, were not thrilled about my “conversion” but they allowed me to be active in the church and I went every Sunday and many Wednesdays and went on two mission trips to Mexico (oh yes. I was that girl).  I turned 17 in August of 1999 and I had been involved in my church for three years. Read More Losing My Religion

Gonna Party Like It’s…

Like most people, I hated high school. The spring of 1999 was mostly uneventful. I minded my business the best I could as I served out the rest of my time. I went to prom with some douche from one of the boys’ high schools in the area who I met on the internet back in the good old days of AOL on 28k dialup. The music was terrible, the girls were bitchy, and I never heard from him again. (My dress was fabulous, though. Lavender was big that year, but mine was a gorgeous, Pepsi can blue. Man, I love that color. In fact, it’s the same color as the sash on the wedding dress I just ordered.) In June, I graduated and never looked back. That was the summer I was seventeen.
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The summer I was seventeen was my first summer of freedom.

I signed up to be a resident camp counselor at the girls’ camp where I had camped as a camper for the past six summer, I was SO READY to be on the other side of the camp program. Read More 1991

It was the Summer of ’99

The summer of 1999 I was preparing to be a senior in high school. I’d listlessly compiled the list of colleges I’d applied to, but my heart wasn’t in it. It was a hot summer, and I had an easy summer job as a receptionist at a dentist’s office. The dread of departure was starting to creep into the back of my mind. Read More It was the Summer of ’99

1989 – I Had It (The Right Stuff)

I would never, ever be seventeen again, but what a hoot it was to do once.  I wanted to try everything, in my relatively sheltered way.  I dyed my hair, I traveled a little by myself (well, to see my very best life friend on the East Coast), I smoked a cigarette, I slept with This Boy, who was a little bit of trouble and a lot of intellectually incurious. Read More 1989 – I Had It (The Right Stuff)