I’m participating in a project called Mommy’s Piggy Tales where I’ll be writing stories about my childhood once a week for 15 weeks, starting with birth and ending with graduation in the hopes that my children, and possibly my children’s children, will one day appreciate it.
Senior Year! Yay! We made it! Senior year was the year I cut all my hair off and became a short-haired girl. When I look back at the pictures now, I think I look sort of goofy, but I know it looked good at the time. (I think that’s actually true for many things in the ‘80s.)
Senior year was also the time when I got my first slight taste of adult-hood and freedom: my friends and I drove across the state to see our high school compete in the State Basketball Championship! Sometimes I’m still surprised our parents let us do it, but we were almost 18, I guess they had to let us practice some before we all left for college.
Several of us caravanned for the 5 hour drive across State (me and a friend in my cute little red RX-7!). I believe the drive was fairly uneventful, though I’m sure my friend and I did a lot of rocking out to Erasure and Technotronic. When we arrived, we headed straight to one friend’s brother’s downtown apartment where we slept on the floor and the next morning we explored the City. How fun is that? 5 friends on our own for the first time in a big city. We were pretty giddy and had a blast.
I can’t remember if our team won the championship, though I think we might have. I guess that wasn’t really the point of the trip. After the game, I was going to spend the night with one of the friends at my mom’s best friend’s house in a suburb outside the city.
I had been given directions to the house from downtown, but what I didn’t know at the time was that my mom’s friend was navigationally challenged: she had told me to get on the freeway going the wrong way! Our host from the night before tried and tried to tell me that the directions didn’t make sense, but I figured it was more likely that my mom’s friend knew where she lived than he did. Whoops.
When we left the stadium that night, we first had to find our way to the freeway in question, which meant getting on a different freeway. Of course, we didn’t know how to get to that one either. After asking for directions and many wrong turns and a correct decision made for the wrong reasons, we eventually got on the correct freeway. At one point, I got concerned that we really were going the wrong direction, so we turned around and drove back a ways. Then I decided that no, it was the right direction, so we turned back around again.
We finally got to the suburbs around midnight and when I looked down at my gas gauge, it was nearly empty. THAT freaked me out a bit, which is probably why I remember this experience. I just kept thinking about how awful it would have been had we run out of gas on a freeway in the middle of the night. I’m sure we would have figured something out (even withOUT cell phones) and we would have had an even more exciting story to tell, but at the time I was very thankful for that last little bit of gas.
Now I live in this city (well in the ‘burbs) and I know the freeways that caused us some much confusion that night and I have to laugh. They’re really not that confusing and my mom’s friend really could have used a GPS!