Sunday, January 18, 2004
Week 1: The ‘80’s
Omigod! It is so totally heinous to open the door on the closet that I shoved the ‘80’s into. The big hair, along with that seemingly uniquely Southern phenomenon known as the front porch bangs (Liz knows that of which I speak). Football-player-sized shoulder pads that, if you had to wear a jacket and a shirt, made you look like something out of science-fiction B movies. The ‘80’s were, I’m afraid, my defining decade in a lot of ways. I entered them as a relatively squeaky-clean, fresh-faced, thin, soon-to-be college graduate, innocently thinking that now that I was an adult, life was mine to define any way I wanted. The world was my oyster, so to speak. By the time the ‘80’s were done, I was a divorced, belly-dancing, appliance salesperson/backup singer, eyes-wide-opened with disillusionment . But I get ahead of myself.
I graduated from EKU in August of 1983 with a degree in Marketing that I still have never used in a marketable way. At that point, I think I had in mind to be a top buyer for a major department store, since I had laid aside my previous dream of being the next Donna Karan. However, a month or so later I was married (to the man I “settled for”, as it turned out), living in Oklahoma as a military wife. That ended up being the best part of the whole marriage. Before this, I had never seen a prairie grassfire, never interacted with Native Americans, and never (except for the dorm) lived away from home. Lawton was like an itty-bitty global community, in the days before such a term was even coined. I met people from all over the country, and fed a good many of them. My ex hung out mostly with his single Army buddies, and they would often come over for a home-cooked meal and some of my homemade pecan pie. Pecans were plentiful in Lawton. We even had a pecan tree in the front yard of the house we rented (not that we ever picked anything from it). It was a wonderful experience, for the most part (meaning, except for my ex and I being constantly at each other’s throats), and it gave me, I think, the hunger that I now have for seeing the world. I mean, how cool is it to be working at a rural WalMart alongside a girl that you later find out is a real live Indian princess?
Unfortunately, that was only one year out of three years of pain and suffering (for both of us, I think). But it did change my life, in that it solidified in me things that I wanted by illustrating those things that I didn’t have. I’m not talking about material things, really; more like internal things such as a sense of self, a spiritual life, independence (but yet, oddly, there was also the need for support, too, both physical and emotional).
Wow. This could easily turn into an autobiography if I’m not careful. I don’t want to recount my entire experience of the ‘80’s, just one pivotal point in my life that happened to occur then. I often look back on my life as a sort of “flow chart”—you know, those things we did in computer classes in the ‘80’s where you have the little boxes that say, “if yes, then this” and “if no, then the other”. There are plenty of times in my life that I wish I had chosen the other fork in the chart, but that’s not possible. I guess the only thing one can do is take the lessons of the choice and use them to make better choices in the future. That’s what I’m trying to do with the ‘80’s.
Hi, I'm Debi. Once in a while I have a thought and I like to write it down before it goes away. This is where I write it.
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