I’m trying to decide if it’s a funny thing when your past makes a reappearance or it’s just plain weird.
You see, my sister and brother-in-law bought the house we all grew up in and last year when they were tearing up the kitchen to remodel, my sister found a piece of paper with a list on it but didn’t know who it belonged to. She showed it to my mom who said, “Oh, that was Lisa’s,” and so she sent it to me.
Yep. It was mine. It was my list of things I wanted for my birthday that would make me happy. I was sure of it. Here’s the list (click photo to enlarge):
Let me walk you through how these items would make me happy.
Satin Jacket. This was the item that was guaranteed to open doors for me as a 7th grader. It wasn’t just any satin jacket, but a baseball satin jacket in either baby blue, pink, or mint green. Every girl had one and I wanted one so badly. I knew that if I got that jacket I would never need anything else the rest of my life. I did get the jacket for my birthday (an awesome baby blue reversible jacket–denim on one side and satin on the other), but then I felt I needed Jordache jeans followed by a whole slew of fashion needs. I could never chase down happiness in the fashion world.
Jeans. A 12-year-old always needed new jeans. It was just a matter of convincing my mother that JC Penny wasn’t what I was thinking. (Sigh.)
Hoop necklace. I’m not sure but I think a hoop necklace was just a wire that went around my neck. I believe it was all the rage. Not so certain it’s a good look for me now.
School supplies. My birthday is in August and so school supplies always were associated with my birthday, so as much as I longed to separate the two events (I imagine people who have birthdays close to Christmas deal with the same sort of thing), I just capitulated and put the school supplies on my list anyway.
A mini hymn book. I always wanted those little pocked-sized hymnals people would have handy. I thought it was really cute. Now I’m too old and need the big print hymnal just to see the words and notes.
Hard-back dictionary. Yes, I was a nerd. Still am. I have two hard-back dictionaries in my house now. Plus a Scrabble dictionary. And a big hard-back Roget’s Thesaurus. Plus the Chicago Manual of Style. A bunch of Strunk and White books, a Dictionary of Problem Words and Expressions book and a grammar book. It all started here.
Barry Manilow record, Even Now. Gosh, I had nearly every Barry Manilow album growing up. (My career aspirations were first, be a concert pianist. If that didn’t work out my Plan B was to be a back-up singer for Barry Manilow.)
Stationary. No, I didn’t want to stand still at the time. I actually wanted stationery. The stuff with pretty flowers printed on it so I could write notes on it and pass around in class. Hence, the need for the dictionary.
Green eye shadow. I apologize for that one.
Eye liner (green). Again, apologies.
“Blip!” I must confess, I couldn’t remember what this was so I found it on this website.
Batteries for my watch. Isn’t this sweet? I knew that money didn’t grow on trees, so I was asking for batteries for my poor broken watch so my parents could gift them to me. I sure hope my parents celebrated when they read this.
Boots. And so the shoe obsession began. I still put boots on my list.
Suede shoes. All those mentions about dictionaries, school supplies and batteries was just the warm up to the good stuff–shoes. And who doesn’t want suede shoes?
Camera. I actually had to wait until after college before I got my first camera. And I bought it myself. But I was happy to see it made the list back then. I must have predicted that I’d fall in love with cameras later on.
A “game.” Don’t you love how non-specific I am on this? Again, my parents should be thrilled that I left the field so wide open for them.
Calculator. This one puzzles me. I run away from math and anything to do with calculating.
A set of ink pens. I loved to draw and one year I got colored pencils and this was the year I wanted to move up to color pens. I believe it was felt-tipped pens I was looking for. I’m pretty sure I got them that year for my birthday. (Thanks mom!)
Tape recorder. Not sure what I had in mind for the use of this. Tape player, maybe, but a tape recorder?
Sheet music for piano. I was a good piano student and always looking for the latest Barry Manilow song to play. Or something from The Carpenters. (Sorry Beethoven.)
So yeah, it’s a little weird finding this list. I can remember writing it and hoping that I would get at least a few things from it. I sure wish I had that Satin Baseball Jacket now. There’s no way it would fit on my body but I do remember that it was one of the few things I really, really wanted. I’m glad my mom found it for me and helped make my 7th grade experience somewhat tolerable. (Yes, tolerable. A satin jacket can’t fix everything.)
Sweet list…a nice mix of childish, practical and grown-up. I think some suede shoes are in order.
I think you just described my whole persona: a mix of childish, practical and grown up. 🙂
I think I had the same list one year 🙂 Good post. Do you remember recording tapes of the music and shows on FM radio? I can remember my tape recorder and sitting it in front of the fm radio when Casey Kasem was on. It was the thing to have at school, a tape of the top 40.
I think you’re right, Rose. I remember that recording radio shows was pretty standard practice for 12-year-olds. That’s probably what I had in mind. I know it wasn’t to record my own voice for playback later. I remember being a little freaked out when I heard my own voice played back to me on a tape recorder.