It was compartmental.
In the 1980s
ad campaigns flooded our school.
One whole year
we had McDonald's for lunch every Tuesday instead of cafeteria food.
One whole year we collected bags
of Golden Flake potato chips for an unknown prize.
We jump roped for heart and won
dime store prizes from the American Heart Association.
We watched the entire DVD series Where There's a Will
There's an A with Michael Landon.
We were obsessed with Whitney and Tiffany. We made up
dances to Billy Ocean and Paula Abdul hits on the playground.
We bought Dr. Pepper in the coke machine.
In the 90s
Peter Jennings came to our school to talk about health care reform.
We saved up enough money
to go to New York City on a bus.
I had yellow bow earrings for Desert Storm. I had a six-piece
yellow, black, and pink outfit from Benetton.
My dad worked for Warner Bros. I hung out
at his office and watched Bugs Bunny cartoons on a huge screen TV.
I flipped off
the couches and picked my favorite fish in the 100-gallon tank.
We ate out and said "charge it" because we were always
running into someone we knew and could write it off as a business meeting.
We went to Key West and ordered room service pancakes. We sold
enough Girl Scout cookies to win a trip to Florida.
My little brother won a few hot thousand on a March Madness pool with a $5 bet
and took us all to Disneyworld.
I started a gardening business, and my only client
was a musician down the street who had one hit song.
We cut the grass with scissors because we
weren't allowed to use the lawn mower.
We lived behind interstate 440. At night the sirens rolled by. Kids
came to our house to play on the only basketball hoop in the neighborhood.
The ball bounced at night as each
lonely teenager showed up to master a new shot.
When there was too much to do, we ate Taco Bell for dinner. I was allowed
to order one high price 65¢ item and two low price 35¢ or 45¢ items.
I went to the picture show every Sunday with my grandmother
to watch the latest romantic comedies. We paid in quarters.
I walked the neighbor's dog after school for 50¢. I babysat on weekends
We were early takers to computers. I sat in chat rooms and made friends with
the kids who didn't fit in, even in chat rooms.
I wrote a screenplay about a girl
named "Pixie" who was not me, but was me.
I dated a football player who was in a band. He dumped me
because my friend dumped his friend.
He wrote me a song but I don't remember
what it was called.
I was obsessed with
the musical version of The Who's Tommy.
I wrote letters to one of the characters
for a year. He wrote back with a generic autographed headshot.
I said novenas to get a boy
to come to my prom.
I cleaned my room by stuffing
things under the bed and in the closet.
I kept every piece
of gum I chewed for an entire year.
My mom put maxi pads in my Easter basket. On Saturdays, I walked for hours
around the city listening to mix tapes on a Walkman.
I smoked cigarettes; I don't know why.