What I was doing in September 1983

On September 18, 1983, I turned four years old. In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first African-American Miss America and Michael Jackson released his “Thriller” video (which I, like every other kid in the world, watched crouched behind the living room couch).

At first glance, I didn’t remember this party at all. I mean, in the picture below, my Aunt Heather is wearing a “Playgirl” shirt. What? She doesn’t even remember that. (We’ve discussed it.)

I have one of these flat 110 cameras at home. I just have to find the appropriate film and I NEED to take pictures with it.

That Sit and Spin was my favorite toy I owned. ALTHOUGH I regularly got hurt on it because I had insuppressible need to stand on it. You can take it from there.

Here is my Nana and PopPop patiently watching me open a prezzie. This prezzie might be the game that Christine later ate. Lately I can’t seem to keep it straight but it was either Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. Obvi, the former seems likely but IDK. All I remember was that we were sleeping in the living room on our mattress because our room was being painted. It was summertime. We woke up in the morning and were watching tv. I opened the box and found that Christine had gummed all the cardboard gamepieces and wrote on the board in blue pen, haha. Man oh man.

Also, one time (right around this time actually), I fell and scraped my knee. I would not bend it under any circumstances because the scab hurt so damn much. Rather than walking up the street, I crawled (doesn’t make sense, I know). Nana was all, “Oh my god how DRAMATIC. Get up fool.” There’s nothing like wisdom from your elders.

Here’s me and Gram. Gram is my Great-Grandma/my mother’s Grandma/my Grandfather, PopPop’s mother. This was her house. We lived on the second floor and she lived on the first floor. She was the bomb. She’s the one who was born in 1906 and lived in Kearny when it was all farmland. She taught me how to read, helped me memorize the “Our Father” and the “Hail Mary” and told me, with firm confidence, that although license plates had letters on them, trust her, they weren’t usually legible. Thanks Gram! I also remember getting that Barbie Corvette, yes!

In this picture, Nana, Pop Pop, Aunt Margaret and Aunt Heather seem to be having a varied time.

Here me and Christine are hitting the ground running playing with the Barbie Corvette. We loved that thing.

Here’s me receiving every kid’s worst gift: clothes. (And thank you to whoever prized me with them. I sure would like a pair now but back then, clothes were the gift that said: I like your parents a little bit more than I like you.)

Although I liked opening presents, I have never been comfortable with the attention that opening presents brings. If it were up to me, I either wouldn’t get presents (but that’s a bummer) or I’d open them all in a dark closet and then lay them all out to viewed/thank everyone. I know that this is not an example of acceptable party behavior which is why I don’t do it.

I did, however, enjoy getting pajamas. Isn’t weird how everyone likes getting pajamas? At our core, all any of us wants to do is lay down.

Here’s my cake. I hope it was an ice cream cake.

Here’s me and Christine blowing out the candles. Good times.

I don’t know why my parents, other Aunts and Uncles or other Grandparents didn’t make a brief cameo in these pictures. Maybe they were all working? Maybe they were camera shy? Maybe they were in the kitchen? IDK what happened but whateva.

* ADDENDUM: I looked back and can spy my other Grandma’s legs in the Aunt Heather Playgirl pictures. The other legs, I assume, are my Grandpa.

4 thoughts on “What I was doing in September 1983

  1. I love you Coleen. I can’t get enough of your blog- find it very funny and really the bomb. I want to have the whole thing. To read it ANYTIME I WANT. Funny how two people can be at the same exact place at the same exact time and be feeling and thinking very different things.. I look at those photos and see the best time of my life. NOTHING can ever compare in the slightest way to to the way I felt then. So happy- funny that you never stop to appreciate what you have until it’s all done. Sometimes I wish with all my heart that I could be back there. But then I couldn’t know you now as the beautiful/smart /lovely/ funny woman that you are now. It has ALWAYS been my privilege for God to have given you to me. I must to have done something right in my life to have 3 of the best people in the worls to be my children.. What an honor to be given my children.

    • Awww that made me tear up a little (lot) haha! I love you too Mom!!! I know what you mean too. It’s so weird how fast time goes by and then suddenly you realize that you ended a time you really were fond of. I think about Upstate like that all the time. God I was always so boooored and wanted to stay home with my friends and now I wish I was back there…whaddya gonna do I spose? I was actually thinking of finding a way to print all this, if I do, I’ll give you one haha.

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