Friday, May 15, 2009

Why Pens, Prom Dresses and San Francisco

NOTE: This is part of the San Francisco Chronicles, essays on how four trips to San Francisco marked life-changing events.  If you missed My First Time--A Teen in Trouble, CLICK HERE.  If you've come for prom photos, keep reading.


I was never like the other kids.  In the second grade my teacher told my mom she was worried about me because I talked to my pen.  True. I even spanked it when it made mistakes.

But what my teacher labeled as odd, I thought of as imaginative.  And perhaps later, as rebellious.

And this Imaginative/Rebellious Nature got me into trouble more than a few times.

In junior high school I got reprimanded for bringing in a cover from Life magazine with two semi-nude people on it.  My Alcoholic of An English teacher loved it and pinned it on the board. The principal, did not.

Nor did the principal love the bare midriff I wore to school one day. He called my mom and the three of us had a meeting in his office.  "You are supposed to dress for school as you would dress for a job," he lectured us.  My mom replied, "And what if she were working as a belly dancer?"

Yep.  Now you know where I get it from.

In high school I got in trouble for not saying the Pledge of Alliance during the National Honor Society Induction and for wanting to write an article for the school newspaper on the Marijuana Coalition.  I was the news feature editor, after all.  And decriminalizing marijuana was news.  And a damn good idea.

I also got in trouble for skipping school one day so I could go up to Detroit--50 miles north--and stand in line for tickets to Paul McCartney and Wings.

Somehow the principal found out and tried to suspend me.  Mom, my co-conspirator and chauffuer,  came to the rescue again.   She wrote a letter:  "If boys can skip school on the opening day of hunting season to kill those poor baby deer, my daughter can surely miss school to get tickets for one of the greatest bands in the world." 

Music was my life back then.  And also art and poetry.

So is it any wonder an odd girl like me would wear this dress to her senior prom?

No I wasn't that odd.  I did go with a guy--a Jeep worker, much older of course and broke.  We couldn't afford to get our photo taken, but that is the dress I wore.  Notice the cool bangle bracelets on my upper arm?  It's all about the accessories, isn't it?

Anyway, because one prom is never enough, two years after high school I went to another in solidarity with Poetry Pal and his date. This time my boyfriend (who also worked at Jeep) and I could afford a photo:

Notice I'm wearing a pearl bracelet?  I dropped the beads and bangles for a 40s Vintage Look. 

But skipping school or refusing to wear a traditional prom dress aside, an even more significant sign of my rebelliousness was my refusal to take college-bound classes in high school.  

You see, I didn't need them.  I wasn't going to college.

I was a smart girl and my counselor advised me to take advanced math and science and foreign language.    I wasn't having any of it.  

I took four years of art, four years of English and three years of journalism.  I wanted to feed my passions, not prepare myself for what? To be another cog in the wheel?  Hell no.

I think now that the reason I had no interest in attending a university was simply because I didn't want anyone else dictating what I should learn and when I should learn it.

Which is why after high school, when other friends went for further education, I went for further adventure.  My BBF and I hitchhiked out west for a month.

See that suede fringed coat?  God, I miss it.

Yes, that was the decade of long hair parted in the middle, hippie clothing and hitchhiking.  

Big sunglasses.  They're back.

My Friend and I made it up to San Francisco to meet up my now-deceased buddy (pictured with me above in the prom dress).  It was my second visit to the city.  

I remember this Odd Hippie Rebel dancing in front of the Greyhound bus station off of Market and having a bit of fun with the street performers near the Wharf, but I'll leave the details to another post.

Notice the poppy?  I'm not too cool to support the veterans, you know.

So what happened next?  You might think after her big adventure some sense would come to a smart girl--that she'd see the need to continue her education.

Not this smart girl. 

After I returned I worked in my dad's restaurant, and the next summer I returned to San Francisco again. This time to shack up with my boyfriend:

No, not Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac.  His name is Amjad.



Stay Tuned:  Shacking Up With (or Shagging Up) The Boyfriend--A San Francisco Treat

posted at Humor-Blogs


The Stiletto Mom said...

I liked both your dresses! The hair though on the guy in the second picture is truly the stuff of miracles though.

I love that your mom stood up for you that way, mine was kind of the same co-conspirator in crime.

Thanks for playing, you are linked up!

Peggy said...

I want to be you! You had some good times! I truly feel like I was born just a few years too late!

blissfully caffeinated said...

Your date in that second photo is rocking some serious hair. I love your dress and arm bangles in the first pic. Thanks for sharing these pics, I love 'em!

Chasity said...

I love your dress in that first pic. But even more, I love love love that fringe jacket! What I wouldn't give to have one like it today. Although I have to confess I am not a fan of big sunglasses. Even now.

How great that you took advantage of the opportunity to travel and have an experience of a lifetime- lots of people don't recognize that opportunity even when its staring right at them.

Jeff said...

Groovy post man. I bet you coulda been my chick back then.

Debbie said...

Like a blast from the past! I love the fashions in this one.

Chickiedoodle said...

Surfed here on the prom pic wave... I grew up 50 miles south of Detroit, too, in Perrysburg. Love your hippy style back then!

Jan from the Sushi Bar said...

I think I love you.

But I KNOW I love your mom.

Sprite's Keeper said...

I happen to love the first dress which you would be able to get away with now. And Jan's comment? Can I second that love for your mom? My own mother refused to let us skip on Senior Skip Day even though the TEACHERS weren't planning on coming in!

bernthis said...

I LOVE YOUR MOM! I would love to have that relat with my kid. Time will tell

Jenni said...

I love that first dress! And your second date? that was some serious hair.

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, Meg, you are who I wanted to be growing up! I also thought, "Damn! Lindsey Buckingham after a little of Stevie's gold dust woman, perhaps?!" when I saw the first picture, so I laughed in delight at your closing footnote!

Bex said...

that was awesome! now i know why you won the nobel prize for awesomeness!

great pictures!

Angel said...

I love that your mom stood up for you! Mine would have joined sides with the Principal in fact she did more often than not. or He was on my side and she wasn't. Anyways I love both of your dresses and wish I had the courage to have gone somewhere after HS I just ended up working and getting ready for college.

TwoBusy said...

You went to the prom with Teen Wolf?

Casey said...

That flowery white dress is gorgeous and completely back in style now. I hope you still have it! The guy in the second prom picture looks exactly like my dad in the 70's. I'm hoping you didn't take my dad to the prom but if so, let's not tell my mom.

Lilacspecs said...

You've had such an interesting life. I love hearing about it.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Okay... Ashley's NEEDS us to get together. You and I were twins separated at birth. Seriously.

You had my teen years.

Your first prom dress was my graduation dress.

(We didn't have prom because we were anti-prom).

My mom wasn't as cool as yours was, though. As I got in trouble (um... daily) I was on my own.

When are you next in A2? Promise I won't flake this time.

BTW... been on hiatus.

sage said...

You're mother is a hoot! Down south, the prom was formal (even though it was held in the gym) and I had this light blue tux... :)

Candice said...

Awesome pictures! I loved going down memory lane with you.

By the way, I also want to borrow your mom. She sounds like a pretty cool chic.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love the idea of having that much confidence in what you want out of life. That definitely wasn't me.... In fact - I think I'm only just getting there at 37.

Your dresses were great! I want that first one to wear NOW.

Jocelyn said...

1) You are so gorgeous. Always have been.

2) Your mom is Killer Awesome.

3) I like you.

4) Even with college, adventure is possible. Six weeks of driving and camping around the West preceded the start of grad school for me. Not to mention all sorts of other activities and passions pursued while in college. However, I do take your point!

Matt-Man said...

Your obvious desire to be non-cool, is so damn cool. Cheers Meg!!

Jenni Jiggety said...

LOVE your prom dresses! And you had a WAY more exciting teen life than I did...I am al ittle jealous!

A Free Man said...

Now Meg, you know I like you and think you have great taste in music, but come on - Wings? The greatest rock band in the world?


I posted a prom photo a while back, I think you looked much better in your non-traditional prom dress than I did in my traditional (though 80's style) tux!

Bee said...

Hot mamacita! Times were safer and it's good to see you enjoyed yourself.

♥ Braja said...

Wow! That's a book, girl! Well done :)

Diesel said...

Man, people just don't set out to go hitchhiking out west any more. Sounds like a groovy time. :)