Monday, November 5, 2012

Time Traveling Amanda, Pt. 1: Elementary School Years

I follow Richard Marx on Twitter.

Yes.  That Richard Marx.  Mainly because I loved him as a kid (um, hello?  "Right Here Waiting," anyone?), but also because he's dang funny, too.

On Daylight Savings day, he tweeted that he'd love to set his clock back to 1989.  I don't know why, but it made me start thinking about how cool - or horrifying - that might be.  And then, because I relate everything to how I might be able to come up with some writing project/book, etc. with whatever idea I might have, I wondered, if I did go back, knowing everything I know now, what would I specifically change about my upcoming "future"?

Trouble is, I can't just go back to one specific moment and think "Oh, I would definitely have done that one differently."  There are just too many pivotal moments in my past.  I've done one about high school before (and for the record - I haven't watched "Glee" since it got unbelievably stupid about a year ago), but that was just high school.  I was already set in a lot of my ways by that point.

So here's what I think I'm going to do.  I'm going to do a couple of posts about different periods of my life where I would (if I could) go back and fix some stuff that might make me a better/more interesting/less neurotic person today.

And listen up - I totally get the whole "our mistakes make us who we are today" stuff.  I do.  And I agree.  But this is just for fun (and maybe just for me).

Here goes.

Elementary School Years: 1986-1990

1.  First Grade, 1986: Johnny
I met my first boyfriend, Johnny, in first grade.  He may have set the tone for me when it comes to guys.  He was a great boyfriend for the whole week we were "dating."  We held hands.  He shared his Twinkie with me at lunch.  He let me wear his super cool leather jacket at recess so I could pretend to be Cyndi Lauper.  Then he introduced me to his other girlfriend, Shauna.  That was the end of Johnny. Although, I just sort of watched them walk away to the swings and went home and cried.  I didn't listen to Cyndi Lauper much after that, either.
Time traveling Amanda would keep Johnny's leather jacket and maybe punch him in his freckled little face.  And then I'd vow to not let that kind of jerk get the best of me ever again.  And then I'd go home and listen to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" on repeat.  Well, it was 1986, so more like I would go home and listen to the song, then rewind it on my cassette player and listen again.  Then rewind it...

2.  First grade - Fifth Grade, 1986-1990: Nap times
I would have listened to my parents and gladly - joyfully - taken a nap every.  Single.  Day.  I would not complain.  I would not lay in bed just counting the minutes until I could safely get up.  I would sleep.  I would sleep hard, with no guilt.

3.  Third grade, 1988: Memorabilia
I would have never let my mom sell my "Star Wars" and "The Dark Crystal" lunchboxes at a yard sale.  Or my "Star Wars" play figurines.  I would have convinced her that yes, they would totally be worth a whole lot someday.

4.  Third grade - Fifth grade, 1988-1990: Hair
I would have said no to the perm.  Enough said.

5.  Fourth grade, 1989: Barbies
My little sister, Holly Jo, loved to play Barbies. She's three years younger than I am, and I was totally over Barbies by fourth grade. I thought they were completely babyish, and every time she'd beg me to play with her, I'd refuse.  Sometimes my mom would force me to play with her, but I was pretty jerky about it.  Lots of eye rolling and trying to kill myself off (this was usually easy because Holly Jo loved to have a good death in our Barbie sessions.  She always left behind an orphan son or bereaved husband/boyfriend) so I could go read or something.
Time traveling Amanda would play with Holly Jo every time she asked, because she loved it so much.  I would definitely be a sweeter big sister.*

6.  Fifth grade, 1990: Swimsuits
There's a picture in one of my parents' photo albums of Holly Jo and me in our swimsuits, in front of a pool.  I think we were in Oregon or something.  Holly Jo is grinning in her butterfly one-piece, her arms out, totally and completely happy. I'm sort of shrinking behind her in my orange and black swimsuit.  You can tell that the body insecurity was already starting for me.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the last picture of me in a swimsuit in existence.
Yes, I was a chubby kid, and I've been "chubby" -- nice word for it -- for the better part of my life.  But if I could go back, I would tell myself to relax.  I was ten, for Pete's sake.  There's no reason I should have stopped enjoying swimming or felt like I needed to hide because I thought my stomach was too poochy.  I would go back and fill up entire albums with swimsuit pictures.

7.  Fifth grade, 1990: "MMC"
Every year, "MMC" (the re-vamped Mickey Mouse Club) held auditions in Florida for the new Mouseketeers.  I was convinced I could make it if my parents would let me try out.  But I never really pushed for it.  I just watched the show every day after school, crushed on Tony Lucca, and thought "what if...?"
Time traveling Amanda would convince her parents to let her try out.  Of course, I would make it.  I would beat out annoying Britney.  And then I would have dated Justin Timberlake (we would have had a disastrous and tear-filled ending, natch).  Keri Russell and I would still be hang-out friends, and I would have had a few guest spots on "Felicity," where I would have mastered my meaningful-looks-set-to-slow-music skills. And by now, I would so be married to Tony Lucca.  You know I would.

*Holly Jo - anytime you want to play Barbies, I'm down with it.


Lara said...

Love this! You may be a little younger than me - well really a lot younger than me - but I can relate to so much of this.

Love the part about the barbies. My sister is 4 years younger and I played barbies with her way past my time. If my best friend neighbor rang the doorbell, the barbies had to disappear fast!

And you would make a great mouseketeer!

Anonymous said...

LOVE!!!! By the way, I DID push my Mom to let me try out for the Mickey Mouse Club and she still didn't go for it. I rmember insisting that I was a tripple threat and that I had it in the bag. If only...


Amanda said...

Lara - I'm glad you still played Barbies with your sister! And I don't think age matters so much -- I think we all go through the same "things" (more or less) as little girls with a lot of insecurity, etc.

Ashleigh - Um, yes. You would have been a fabulous Mouseketeer. And we would have still ended up as friends, so I think it should have happened.

Anonymous said...

I love you!!! Next time I'm at your apartment, we'll bust open the Peaches and Cream Barbie box and play!

- Holly Jo

Amanda said...

You're on, chick.