Memories of Time Gone By

Well it is Saturday and a horrible migraine woke me up during the night.  I tried really hard to stay in bed and not get up (in fear of the pain that would hit me when I did) but it was going to hurt either way so I decided to just make my way from the bed to the couch.  I get these damn headaches at least once a week (most recently last Sunday) and more often than not they hit me on weekend.  This in a way is both good and bad.  Good because at least I’m not getting one when I have to work and bad because the weekends are when I try to get everything done.  Shopping, cleaning, laundry…you name it.  When I can hardly hold my head up, these tasks can prove to be pretty impossible.  So here I sit writing a blog post and watching my weeks’ recordings of “The Chew” — which seems to be one of the few things I can do without hurting too much at the moment.  I hate this.

I had a pretty cool experience last Saturday night…I visited my high school to see their spring musical performance.  My cousin’s daughter was starring as the Wicked Witch in their performance of “The Wizard of Oz” (she did a fabulous job by the way….Margaret Hamilton eat your heart out!)  Back in the day, I was a theater nerd.  Most of my free time in high school was spent in that auditorium, on that stage and in the dance hall.  The only year I didn’t participate in the shows was my sophomore year, when I went through a bit of a rebellious stage and when my grades started to slip a bit — my mom wouldn’t “allow” me to participate.  That sobered me up real quick and I got back into it the next year.

I went to a private, Catholic jr high / high school.  At the time, the school was from grades 7 to 12…so a greater part of my adolescence was spent at that school and I can’t tell you how many memories….both good and bad….were made at that place.  It would only seem true that when I walked through the doors last week for the first time in 18 years…..it was nearly and emotional moment.  I say nearly because I was with my daughter, my niece and my sister-in-law and I didn’t want to embarrass them by becoming a wimpy, blubbering mess.

The school was built in 1961 and although I’m sure there have been major changes since then…not much of the main building had really changed in the last 18 years, give or take a few mew pictures in the hallway.  God forbid they spend any money fixing up that auditorium; it still stands as it did when it was built in 1961. The gym and football areas have been given a major overhaul since I graduated…there are those tuition dollars going to work.

school entrance looking exactly how it did in the early 90's

school entrance looking exactly how it did in the early 90’s

As I stood in line for a soda at intermission, I saw the wall statue of the Virgin Mary….whose feet got stuck in my pants when I was in 7th grade…and it made me giggle.  No really crazy story there, I was just sitting underneath her waiting to go into the auditorium for our musical performance that year and when I stood up, the holy mother’s feet got caught in my jean’s waist band and proceeded to come completely off of the wall…laying squarely on my back.  All I could do was stand there petrified while balancing the statue carefully as to not drop her until someone heard my cries for help and put her back in her place.  Needless to say there was a huge gap in the line and I was late getting on stage.

I glanced around the auditorium and noticed that pictures adorned both walls, forever immortalizing our years of musical mayhem at the Catholic school.  Well, maybe not forever…but at least for the next few years until they run out of room and start retiring some of them.  The show picture from our freshman year “The Sound of Music” (in which I played a nun) was already taken down.  However, I did try to get a few shots of the ones still hanging (pardon the glare…they are pictures of pictures):

Junior Year musical, "Bye Bye Birdie" in which I was in the chorus one weekend and the role of "Kim MacAfee" the other weekend.  This pic was taken on my chorus weekend :(

Junior Year musical, “Bye Bye Birdie” in which I was in the chorus one weekend and the role of “Kim MacAfee” the other weekend. This pic was taken on my chorus weekend 😦

Senior Year fall play "The Man who Came to Dinner" in which I played "June" the daughter.

Senior Year fall play “The Man who Came to Dinner” in which I played “June” the daughter.

By far my favorite, senior year spring musical "Annie Get Your Gun" in which I was an indian, a townsperson and the affluent "Mrs. Adams" during the ballroom scene

By far my favorite, senior year spring musical “Annie Get Your Gun” in which I was an Indian, a towns person and the affluent “Mrs. Adams” during the ballroom scene

Along with these shows, I had been on that stage for numerous dance programs, choir programs and drama and speech competitions.  Hours of hard work, rehearsals, building sets, sweat and tears.  So many memories made there and it hadn’t changed a bit.  For a fleeting moment I felt as if I were 17 again and all the reminders of adulthood were gone. I saw myself on stage again…thought about my friends and all of the fun we had.  As I was skipping down memory lane during the show I noticed that the kids’ voices were coming out loud and clear, I leaned over to my sister-in-law and said “they have microphones now!!” to which she replied….”Yes Jenn, and we have cell phones now too!”. Geesh.  My youthful spirit went back into hiding as I was reminded of exactly how long it had been and how old I was now.  18 years is a very long time!

Life Before YouTube

My husband is going for a 2 day birthday trip with my father to Las Vegas next week.  Prior to every Vegas trip we have a ritual and that is to watch slot machine videos on YouTube to get the luck vibes flowing.  So last night we were doing just that and somehow we went from videos of the Sex in the City slot machine to videos of some creepy Korean boy band…which my husband found fascinating but I found utterly annoying.

While he proceeded to watch several videos of these guys singing in a foreign language while dancing like Michael Jackson groupies, I was Facebook chatting with my best friend R on my iPhone.  I was grumbling to her about what my husband had just discovered and that led us to start talking about another video on YouTube called the “Skype Laughter Chain” which my son had played for me the day before.  Now, this one IS hilarious…check it out.

You’re probably wondering what I’m getting at here.  Well, I commented to R “How did we ever live without YouTube as kids?” It seems as if YouTube is becoming more popular than cable TV.  I mean, I find that my kids watch YouTube more than the teenie bopper shows on Disney or Nickelodeon these days.  Rockstars and video bloggers are getting discovered and making millions of dollars….and, you can learn how to do ANYTHING on YouTube nowadays.  Want to learn how to play the guitar?  Go to YouTube.  Need to knit a scarf?  Go to YouTube.  Looking for a good Yoga practice? Go to YouTube.  It’s insanity!

But — I’m off track here….I digress…  The response to my question that I asked R, was her saying “Well, we DID make our own commercials…remember??” Then it came back to me.  We too, at the age of around 12, did act a fool in front of a camera and think it was cool.  In my room, with walls of pink, we set up the huge-honker VHS style camera that looked something like this:

and acted out our own “commercials” for household products we found around the house.  I remember one was for Soft&Dry deodorant.  It went something like this…

Cue Camera — I come into frame and say:

“Wow!  That was a workout! (looking distressed and tired…proceed to sniff my armpit..)
“I need some deodorant!’ (out of nowhere a Soft and Dry deodorant stick comes flying into the shot, as I catch it and proceed to apply under my arms)
“AAAAAHHHHH, that’s much better” I say.
The music in my head begins to play and I start to sing some weird jingle that I had just made up about Soft&Dry deodorant while doing some sort of disturbing Bob Fosse style jazz-hands dance.
CUT!

Or how about this one for Sea Breeze facial skin toner (yeah, you remember that stuff….)

Cue Camera — R comes into frame and says:

“I have a date tonight and OH NO! A Zit!” (R looks into an invisible mirror, completely surprised and troubled — makes Home Alone face)
“What am I going to do??  Oh, wait…maybe if I put on some of this…” (R picks up Sea Breeze and pretends to put on zit)
R Looks back in invisible mirror….”Wow!  All gone!  Thank you Sea Breeze….”
R holds bottle close to face in pure Vanna White fashion and says “Sea Breeze….it breezes you /pause/ while you’re on /pause/ the /pause/ sea.”
R then sidesteps out of camera range and waves goodbye with one Miss USA-like hand the way Jacob Marley did in that old Christmas Carol movie.
CUT!

Yup — we did.  We had our own YouTube videos back then.  Rather we should’ve called them You”Tard” videos but it was all in good fun.  Our ridiculousness was not played out on the internet for all to see, however we did hold a “viewing” for our parents.  I still can’t figure out if that was a look of horror or humor on my moms face but R and I thought we were the shit.

Would we have put this craziness on the internet if we could’ve back then?  I dunno, we probably would’ve been a little more reserved.   I have to give it to all of the kiddos out there now who bare everything to the world on YouTube.  They certainly are brave souls — the world has some very cruel people in it.  Have you read some of those comments people write?  It’s scary.

For now, I’m fine with my little YouTube channel. It hosts a variety of videos on it but you will not see me on there singing, juggling, tap dancing or anything like that.  I’ll leave that to today’s youth, they do a fine job.  YOLO!