As penance for skipping a day of exercise, I’m doing a little extra today.
That’s right: five, count ’em, five, slices of the communicatrix as underclassman.
For the most part, I have given up the follies of my girlhood: Long fingernails (bad on short nailbeds). Track suits and green plastic sunglasses (bad on everyone). Wheat products. Smoking (both tobacco and feminine hygiene products). Bad hair accessories. (Although come to think of it, the rest of my outfit here is surprisingly, um, timeless.)
But in addition to evoking feelings of shame, embarrassment or plain old befuddlement, these trips down Memory Lane also bring out a surprising tenderness in me, surprising, because the tenderness is for myself, an infrequent recipient of that particular feeling from that particular quarter.
On the one hand, how can I help it? I see that face, cheekbones still swaddled in baby fat, and want to grab it in both knobby hands to kiss it. So sweet! So pure! So impossibly earnest!
I mean, look at me: I’m wearing a cowboy hat, for cryin’ out loud!
But don’t take my word for it; let me go back in time and speak for myself.
This, from the earliest journal of mine that still exists, started in November of 1979, also known as the first official chasm of my grownup despair:
If that doesn’t melt your cold, cold heart, you might not have one to begin with…