Two Weeks to Sweet Sixteen - Article

In Memory of 1984 - The Year I Turned 16!

10th Grade School Picture in THE burgundy sweater in my bi-level (not mullet) hairstyle!

He, N------ N--------, hunk of the school, my best friend's older brother, and my partner in exploratory "making out", asked me out two weeks before my "sweet sixteen."  What would I wear?  How would I fix my hair?  My excitement and anticipation of this new development in our relationship almost strangled the "yes" from my throat.  Maybe he should have waited to ask me - two weeks of torture would give me a heart attack before my birthday arrived.

As to clothes - he especially liked my burgundy sweater.  I could wear it with my navy blue wool skirt or blue jeans.  The only problem with the jeans was we both went to a private, "Christian" school and if anyone saw us out and I was in jeans, I would be considered "worldly" and "sinful" [we had strict to your knees girl's dress codes and the boys' hair couldn't touch their collars, etc.].  Also, if he took me somewhere really nice, jeans would be too casual.  The problem with wearing a skirt was that I hated my navy flats; if I were to wear the burgundy sweater and navy skirt, I really needed some sexy, NEW pumps.  If I didn't wear the burgundy sweater, I could borrow something from a friend, but then what if he saw my friend in the same clothes later, he would know I had borrowed it.  Besides, he knew every piece of clothing I owned!  Burgundy sweater and navy skirt it would be - now I just needed money for the new shoes.

As for my hair - it was all the style in an 80's bi-level with a curly perm in the back.  I achieved great success with the curling iron in the front and hot rollers in the back.  I would practice the style to make sure it would work.  Or, I could get it cut - but what if it turned out badly or too short?  Better to leave it and fix it as best as I could.

With my birthday money from my parents [$20], which I had weasled out of them early, I bought some great burgundy alligator pumps to match the sweater - I couldn't have cared less about getting a special "keepsake" like they wanted me to. 

The day of the date:  I had fixed my hair three times - too flat to begin with, too curly the second time, and, horror of horrors, too pouffe the third time.  I had had to tie it down with a scarf for an hour to settle it down!

After three hours of preparation (not including the long bubble bath in the morning), I was ready and hurriedly picked up the house - throwing all the dirty clothes in the bathtub and closing all the doors so he couldn't see the messy bathroom or my bedroom (with the mountains of tried on and discarded outfits everywhere, even with my planning I still tried on everything I owned).  Now all I had to do was wait without ruining my clothes, my make-up, my panty hose, or my hair.  I was exhausted!

The date, after the excruciating two-week anticipatory phase and endless conversations with every girlfriend I had, finally arrived.  My family was away and there was no one to greet him at the door but myself.  So I did.  He arrived on time - smelling of Ralph Lauren Polo and Trident Original Flavor - to this day that combination of scents makes me weak in the knees.

He thought I looked great and I was immensely relieved.  Unfortunately, he asked if he could use the restroom before we left!  Crap!!!  Double Crap!!!  Besides the dirty clothes in the tub, I had left every blow dryer, curling iron, hot roller, article of make-up, hairspray, perfume, and other beauty paraphernalia that my mother, myself, or my sisters owned, strewn throughout the bathroom, including the sink!  I stammered . . . "I guess so, but my sister left a mess".  I let the words trail off.

When he came out, he grinned and asked, "How long did it take you to get ready"?

"Two Weeks"!  I exclaimed.