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.
FOR OTHER PROM PHOTO PARTICIPANTS, VISIT THE HOSTS STILETTO MOM,
Stay Tuned: Shacking Up With (or Shagging Up) The Boyfriend--A San Francisco Treat
posted at Humor-Blogs