tonight, i gave my friend somer a prompt that i gave my students several weeks ago: write about something forbidden. when my students wrote to this prompt, it was because we were beginning to read a book called, my forbidden face, and the narrator tells all about how the taliban forbade the women in afghanistan to do anything–hardly even breathe. so, when i wrote with the students, i wrote about school–it’s forbidden to have a class period when mrs. mccabe didn’t nag a yell for 90 minutes!!
tonight, though, i was thinking about growing up and all the things that were forbidden in my house…i couldn’t watch soap operas or the dukes of hazzard (weird, but i could watch hee haw—weird, and i bet no one even remembers how freaking short those girls’ shorts were or how low their tops!!)…i couldn’t walk outside at night without thinking i was going to get shot by a car driving by (what an irrational fear!)…i couldn’t go to the doctor when i was sick (my mother’s religion at the time)…
but one of the main things i remember being expressly forbidden when i was growing up was to listen to music, specifically the popular, rock-n-roll kind. i know, i know….who tells their kid they can’t listen to music? who wants their kid to be the outsider in the group who isn’t invited to parties or who can’t play the freaking music game the freaking music teacher insists on playing most every single week? well, my mom, that’s who.
her man made her get rid of all her records (and i still think some of those neil diamond and elvis 8-tracks would be worth a little moolah)….and the entire house was on lockdown. what was a poor girl to do? i played along with it as long as i could…then, when i’d hit, oh, i don’t know–12 maybe? — i decided to take matters in my own hands. mama wasn’t looking out for me, so i had to be the big girl!
we lived beside my grandparents, and their house was laid out very weirdly. there were two living areas—it was almost like a duplex. anyway, grandma was able to keep my siblings and me out of the back rooms by spreading the rumor of its haunted nature–but by the time i was 12, i’d figured out that if i could survive my step-asshole, i could definitely handle a freaking ghost! so, i started sneaking to the back rooms and listening to the radio….
i know, i know….i can’t believe what a rebel i was either!! i think that’s what set me up to be the winner i am today (hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!). anyway, i usually kept the volume on the radio low, so i could hear the madre when she came into my g-ma’s house. i wouldn’t stay for extended periods of time, but long enough to hear several songs in a row. i began to notice that some songs were more popular than others, and that the tunes in music class were becoming familiar.
life wasn’t always good, though, and i got caught probably more times than not…and the song that was ALWAYS on the radio when mama walked in????
yep….EVERY SINGLE TIME… every time!!–the woman walked in, steve perry was serenading me and making me feel some weird emotion that i totally didn’t understand…but when i got locked in the gym locker room with marty mcdreamy in 8th grade, i totally got it!! and there in my head, was journey making the lock-in so much more romantic!! ah…those were the days!! haha….