I don’t normally have change around. I am a debit card type of person, and when I do have change it goes into my giant coin jar as I find it. I did dig around in an old purse and found the key element for today’s challenge. A penny from 1994.
This one is easy enough. March of 1994 I would have turned 17, a junior in high school. I was making As in Chemistry and Algebra II (though I should have been in Trig at that point). I was asked to take AP level Chemistry the next year but I knew I would not be able to, having been told over and over that I would have to find a job to help support my mother and brother as soon as possible.
My parents’ divorce was still dragging on from where they had gotten separated two years earlier. The more it looked like it would not be resolved before I turned 18 in 1995, the more it became clear child support would not be paid for me, thus the requirement to work.
I had a core group of friends, not all social misfits like me, but those who truly did not care about labels and made me laugh every day. Some of them still do. I joined the prom decorating committee like a good junior, but had no plans to go to the prom. The idea of dressing up and spending the money for just one night appalled me. Besides, I didn’t have a date. Going stag is no big deal for those who have confidence, but I surely did not have that.
My friends and I would have lunch everyday outside in the courtyard area of our school. “Lunch” for me would be a Diet Coke and a mini-donette or two via the ala carte line in the cafeteria. Out of a pack of 6, I would throw away four or five. I would try to hide this, but I also could not keep them where my mother would see that I was not buying a full lunch. Everyday I would do this, to the point where the employee on the ala carte line would make a big deal if I got something different. This I remember fuelling my food paranoia and being judged, and not seeing it as a person recognizing a regular customer Monday through Friday. I never ate breakfast and didn’t always eat much for dinner, if at all. I did always have gum with me, sugar free of course, chewing it constantly through the classes where it was or wasn’t allowed, to stave off hunger pangs.
Thinking back, my 5′ 9″ self weighed 125 pounds and was a size 4 or 6 depending on the brand. Shocking now if you watch Top Model or similar shows, that large a number. Tall clothes were not as available as they are today for teens, so a lot of my jeans would end up being too big just to be long enough, one time a 12 with a super-cinched belt, or I would put up with high-waters exposing my skinny ankles.
My clothes were usually too big, in my effort to hide my “fat” or the weight loss when it got me down to the size 4. I was very fond of oversized sweatshirts and the above-mentioned jeans. Fashion was never a priority for me, and my lack of wearing short skirts or the latest “thing” did not get me any attention from the guys at my school. I had friends who were guys, but never boyfriends.
September of 1994 would be the beginning of my senior year, and I would meet ex #1, The Weasel, in October. He was seven years older than me and said all the right things to get me through the situation with my mother at home. For a short while, I even was able to accept my body and started to eat more (though still not enough).
That would be a short period indeed. 1995 would be the beginning of a lot of change, some already predicted with my home situation, some unexpected, and not all of it for the better.
But I didn’t get a 1995 penny, so that will have to wait for another day.4 This many people loved/liked this post!
Categorised as: Daily Prompt