Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oh Those Glory Days!

When I was in the eighth grade, I had an interesting year. Prior to that point, I had attended Catholic school from kindergarten on. A couple weeks before the school year, I had told my mom I wasn't going back to the school again.

Apparently I made a pretty compelling argument for abandoning the small school with a Spanish teacher who didn't speak Spanish. We went to go register, at which point my mom realized that we didn't live in the district she thought we had. For four years. So we registered in the correct district about three days before school started.

I went from having 31 students in my grade and knowing every one of them to having three hundred in my grade, having a locker, going from classroom to classroom by myself, and making all new friends... with people who had gone to the same school together since they were in kindergarten themselves.

Luckily there was a new girl in my neighborhood (who recently found me on Facebook, yay!) that I clicked with. We didn't have the same lunch period, which meant that we ended up being friends with slightly different groups, but the two of us still hung out at my house every day after school watching tv, making nachos in the microwave and sometimes even doing homework.

When my birthday rolled around, she stopped by right after dinner. She had a present for me. I was so touched, as I don't think we did birthday parties in eighth grade so this giving a gift just because was all new to me.

I eagerly unwrapped the small square-shaped present to find a CD. My very first CD. It was INXS Kick. I had never heard of INXS before, nor had I ummm seen a CD. I was so stoked though, as my friend explained it to me. Keep in mind that my parents still had a record player in the great room at that point. We hadn't even moved on to tapes yet.

My face fell as I realized that I couldn't actually listen to it though. It's possible (knowing me -- not from memory) that I started to throw a bit of a fit. Just saying that I know myself at the age of 12.

My parents then brought out their gift to me. It was large. And heavy and rectangular. I ripped off the paper to discover my own personal CD player boombox! It rocked. It had two tape decks, a CD player, AND a radio.

I. Was. Cool.

My friend and I raced upstairs to my room and plugged it in. We put in the CD and turned it up loud. To this day, I can still tell you the songs and what order they are for that CD. I can sing every word of it. On the fourth track of the CD, I swore (quietly, of course) for the first time along with the music.

It's one of those things I can't quite give up. Even (OMG, I just calculated this and I don't like the answer) twenty-one years later.

The antenna doesn't stand up so well anymore, so you have to use the handle to help position it. Other than that, it works just fine. The batteries in the remote control -- yep, it even had a remote control -- need replacing, but other than that it's just like new. Minus the tape goo that's still stuck on it in a few places. And the dust. And the scratches from who knows what.

Right now, it's sitting in the garage, as it doesn't really fit anywhere. I'm thinking, though, that maybe it's time to pass this gift on to Mister Man. After all, his first CD player has already bitten the dust. They just don't make things the way they used to, do they?


MaBunny February 12, 2009 at 10:28 AM  

Yeah, hehe I still have my parents OLD stereo - complete with 8 track!

Melisa Wells February 12, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

I ADORE Kick. And INXS. Your friend had impeccable taste. :)

I love looking back. :)

Jen Sue Wild February 12, 2009 at 12:05 PM  

OK that cracked me up a spanish teacher that cant speak spanish.
How crazy is that?

Melanie February 12, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

What a great story.

WeaselMomma February 13, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

How cool that it still works!

Aunt Julie February 13, 2009 at 8:50 AM  

Oh, gosh. I remember my first tunage, too...although it was an LP, played on my parents' hi-fi in the living room. Can you say The Monkees?

Debbie February 13, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

Wonderful story! I bet that was a shock to you to transfer to such a different school.

Michelle February 13, 2009 at 4:08 PM  

MaBunny - Cool that you've still got that. And ummm how sad that I've never seen an 8-track. I can't quite picture them... and I think I'm ok with that!

Melisa - Of COURSE you do! She did have good taste, didn't she?

Jen Sue Wild - Ummm yeah. Don't get me started on the "computer" classes we were also going to be forced to take. Gotta love Catholic education at a small, struggling school!

Reluctant Housewife - Thanks!

Weaselmomma - No kidding. But of course, everything from "back then" still does. It's only this newfangled stuff that isn't so good!

Veggie Mom - Ummm, sorry. But I can say the Monkees, and I did own their greatest hits CD, too!

Debbie - It was very different, but I liked it a lot more. Definitely challenges, but challenges I enjoyed. It would have been easier to have done it at seventh grade where there was more of an orientation, etc., but ... then I would never have played Liesl in the Sound of Music!

anymommy February 14, 2009 at 11:51 PM  

I had that, um, tape. Yup. I. was. not. cool. Lol.

Michelle February 15, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

anymommy - Hey, we all make up for our past sins, right? And you're plenty cool now. I think I would disagree that the tape made you uncool back then.

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