Sunday, November 20, 2011

Decade Memories

OK just for grins I'm going to write about the first memory that pops in my head for each decade since I was born.

In 1965 when I was four years old my family spent a year in England while my Dad did research for his book at the British Museum.  We rented a house and this house had a staircase that was covered in carpet.  This was a new experience in my short life as our staircase was hard wood.  I then discovered the joy of sliding down the carpeted staircase on my tummy.  It was incredibly fun and I sort of remember that stomach dropping feeling it gave me.

In 1974 we had a big old elm tree in the front yard that was afflicted with Dutch Elm disease.  To attempt to get rid of the disease my parents had half of the tree cut down.  There were two big branches coming out of the trunk and they had one lopped off.  Then my big brother threw a rope around the stump of the cut off branch and climbed up the tree to the stump.  I was 13 years old and he challenged me, my younger brother, and my neighbor friend to climb up the rope.  The first of us that could do it, he would give a quarter to.  We tried and tried and I was thrilled to be the first one to succeed and the proud recipient of a quarter!

In 1983 I was a junior at Purdue.  I knew quite a few seniors and got invited to a graduation party.  I went to it with some trepidation as I was usually a wall flower at parties and felt very shy and awkward.  But somehow this party felt different.  I felt like I belonged and for the first time in my life I managed to shed some of my inhibitions and had a fabulous time dancing down a dance line.  Two lines of people lined up on either side of the living room and we took turns dancing down between the lines.  I don't know why this time was so different than any time before or any time since but I just let go of my worries and let my self go and danced and danced.  I often wish I could recapture that moment.

In 1991 I just turned 30 and had been doing a lot of thinking about who I was and what I wanted from my life.  And I made a decision on my 30th birthday to check out this group meeting I saw in the San Jose Mercury News about a Palo Alto Lesbian Rap group.  This was not a musical rap group but harkened back to the 60's meaning of rapping which was getting together and talking.   I went to the group and was amazed to find a group of women dressed like me in jeans and t-shirts and I immediately felt comfortable.  I also happened upon a night in this group where the discussion topic was being new in a group.  So I felt doubly welcomed as I could talk about being new to this group!  But the main memory is just that I felt that I had found my people and this was an amazing feeling.

At 12:01 a.m. on Jan 1, 2000 I was in London, England to greet the New Years with my parents.  We went to a party at a friend of theirs and at 39 years old I was the baby of the party.  It was a surreal but fun experience.  I remember eating a pasta that was just chock full of the most delicious shrimp.  At 12:00 we all spilled out doors to glimpse fire works going up around London.   Then my parents and I headed to my parent's flat in London and I remember staying up late watching TV as the New Year came to the U.S. cities.  And it was all very impressive since it was the millenium!

On June 26, 2011, I marched with the Asexual meetup group in the San Francisco Gay Pride parade.  A young woman in the group did a fantastic job of making the group look cohesive.  We all had similar t-shirts on and we had these great big silver ballons that spelled ASEXY if carried in the right order and we had a wonderful banner.  I really felt like part of group that was doing something important in raising awareness of asexuality by participating in the parade.

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