During the short time that I was in Portland for FeastPDX, I had the pleasure of meeting Missy Maki. In my memory, she is impeccably dressed, surrounded by friends, gracious and smiling. At some point, I found out that she doesn't cuss, which triggered a perverse hyper-mode of my horrible profanity habit. She was gracious enough not to chastise me about that.
Missy, if you don't already know her, is a food blogger and talk radio host. Her show, Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki can be heard on Portland's AM860. Last week, she posted a blogging challenge that I absolutely loved and accepted right away. Then I went to write the Day 1 post. The prompt was "Describe where or what you came from. Describe how this makes you YOU." Naturally, I fell into a deep hole of contemplation.
I thought about how I was raised. Who was around me. The traditions and beliefs I grew up celebrating and honoring. Then I thought about major life situations that formed who I am now. I thought about all the little things and all the big things. I was in a big fog of faces thinking about the people in my life that have left an indelible print on who I am today. During all that navel gazing, some cool chicks from junior high started coming to mind. Although we haven't seen each other in years, the times we spent hanging out together for those few formative years have stuck with me in a way that I just can't dismiss.
We weren't what you would call "good girls."
We did things like smoke in the bathroom (the one by Mrs. Redmond's class. She was a heavy smoker, so it could have just as easily been her.) We snuck liquor on to campus and drank it before class. We would sneak out of Christine's house on sleepovers to go meet boys under the freeway. I got in a slapping and hair pulling fight with Susan once. I think we were both on our periods. Or just bored. Not sure. We would meet at Christine's in the morning and listen to the radio while putting on eyeshadow and lip gloss before getting back on our cruisers to ride to school.
But we weren't really "bad girls," either.
We cared about our friends. We had each other's backs, even if we piled on with the teasing. We were close enough that we could call each other out on bullshit when we screwed up. I can still hear Shani smacking me and telling me to toughen up. And I can hear Moch telling me "That's messed up," when I would mess up.
"Nowadays" is a word I hate because it sounds like an old person looking back at some ancient time, but a word that I'm going to use here because that characterization of the word fits in this particular story, so fuck it (sorry Missy).
Nowadays, I will see their updates on Facebook and smile. I see beautiful babies that we were all blessed with. I see how all of our screw ups have shaped us into the moms and women we are today. Seeing where life is taking us is truly amazing. We are all doing good things, but we're not exactly perfect. We're not bad girls. We never were. We were just a little rebellious and probably more challenging than our parents expected. But we all turned out pretty okay.
So here's to the good bad girls that helped make me who I am. It's all your faults. ;)