We all go through phases. This morning, as I splashed to work in the midst of my latest one (more on that later), I began a mental catalogue of some of the phases I’ve been through – some of them were the kinds of phases everyone goes through, but others were… strange. I threw myself into them, strange or not, with passion and commitment. Some of them lasted a long time (still going!) and others were blessedly short. Here are the ones I remembered during the morning commute:
When I was about 5 I went through two phases simultaneously. The first was insisting that I would wear nothing but dresses. I had short hair and an irrational fear that people would think I was a boy (um, SO not boyish, ever) so I only wore dresses. And right around the same time I was flouncing my way through my first school years, I also discovered a catch-phrase that I worked into a surprising number of conversations, given how basically un-applicable it is to most everyday talk: “Who do you think we are? The Norman Luboff Choir?!” And I would make a very melodramatic face of surprised disbelief and shrug. To this day I have only the vaguest notion of who the Normal Luboff Choir is, and NO IDEA why I knew who they were when I was 5.
When I was about 9 I developed an interest in cars. Nothing too mechanical, just an awareness of them I hadn’t had before. Two things really caught my attention. Any time I saw an El Camino I would freak out and announce loudly, “Ew! Gross!” as if I’d stepped in dog poop. It was the late 70s. There were El Caminos EVERYWHERE. The other car-related phase was almost an obsession. I lived in small-town
Ages 10-12 were simply a welter of phases. I was in love with plaid ruffly button-up shirts that HAD to have a metallic thread running through them. Also, anything to do with Laura Ingalls Wilder was sacrosanct. I boycotted the television show because Pa didn’t have a beard – and I was, after all, devoutly pure in my love for the books. I owned my very own red calico sunbonnet – and I wore it. Indeed I did. I wore my long brown hair in braids just like Laura too. This was the time in my life when I would quote things that Laura said or did in any situation just as if she were one of my school friends. After a while though my passionate love for Laura (while never-ending) yielded primacy to other things I was crazy about: dinosaurs, Greek mythology, Nancy Drew, how good and pure Pam was on Dallas, the origins of people’s names, helping my grandmother cook, dance classes, Flashdance, and going to the rock shop. I loved going to the rock shop. My sister and I would head out there with our grandfather, who had his own life-long ‘phase’ of being interested in geology. It was on
Oo, sparkles. That’s a phase I’ve never really outgrown.
When I was about 11 or 12 my friend Marny and I spent all our time together. We were best friends at school and in our dance classes. We went through a phase together which drove our mothers crazy. (Mom, if you’re reading this, prepare for an unpleasant reminder of a phase long past.) If we saw something we liked that had definitely earned our stamp of approval, Marny and I would solemnly pronounce it, “Cool.” But not just ‘cool’ the way normal people say it. We added a syllable and drew out the vowels so it sounded more like, “Kew-ehl”. The longer you drew it out, the cooler your estimate of coolness. After this phase wore on for a bit, Mom was vocal in her opinion that saying ‘kew-ehl’ all the time was NOT cool.
In high school I went through a brief phase of religiously reading the debutante pages in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. (I have no idea why really – maybe it was related to my Gone with the Wind phase…? They did wear giant poofy white dresses.) Oh and the curling iron/hot rollers phase. I’m not sure we can call that a phase since it was the 80s and I lived in
Speaking of college, while a freshman I went through a phase of calling anything I disliked (which was apparently almost everything) ‘heinous.’ I used this word so often that my entire family banned it from our collective vocabulary and in fact, even telling you about it now is giving me a bit of a law-breaking thrill. Just the mere mention of it as historical fact is flirting with repercussions for having broken the ban.
My most recent phase is an infatuation with rain boots. I have a new pair of pink and green plaid rubber rain boots, and I have become a connoisseur of cute rain boots on the slick and shiny streets of
What about you? Did you go through a Normal Luboff Choir phase? Maybe dinosaurs? Maybe you too have gorgeous rubber rain boots? C'mon, 'fess up. I want to hear your stories!