I'm not as innocent as I seem

Monday, February 9, 2009

I stopped at the drugstore on my way home from work tonight and I saw the strangest thing. A payphone. An actual, live payphone. I can't even remember the last time I saw one. I'm sure they exist in lots of places that I don't frequent but here was one outside of a drugstore. I was fascinated. I got out of the car and had to take a closer look to make sure it wasn't some installation of modern art or something.

And at that moment, I had a flashback to the year 1979. My friends and I were 13 years old and our Saturday ritual was hanging out at the local mall. Our parents would take turns dropping us off and then picking us up 5 hours later. We would leave the house fresh faced and innocent and turn into mall walking Lolitas after we rolled on our Kissing Slicks in the Sears bathroom.

First, we would head to Cunningham Drugstore where we would steal something we just didn't feel like paying for. Then we would go to Spencer's where we would immediately head to the back room and marvel at the fuzzy posters that glowed under blacklight. We would sneak our way over to the "18 and over" section and giggle and snort over booby mugs and penis pens until we got caught and were told to leave.

Our last and longest stop was the game room,the pinnacle of our Saturday mall experience. The game room was off in a hallway across from the movie theater and as you approached, you heard the DING, DING, DING of that silver ball being ricocheted around the machine. There were a few video games, PacMan and such, but the real cool guys were the ones who played pinball.

One in particular, shaggy haired Mike, was the Richmond Mall's resident pinball wizard. He wasn't blind like the pinball wizard in the Who song but I would have thought so. I spent hours dreamily watching the flippers dance under his touch but he never even knew I existed. Girls stood around staring at him and guys wanted to be him. He had it all.

Since I was invisible to him, I latched onto the next best thing to heal my wounded ego. A boy named John, who attended a school for "troubled teens" and had a chain attached to his wallet. Looking back, he reminded me of Willie Ames(Tommy Bradshaw from Eight is Enough) gone bad. I secretly hoped that Mike would see me with him, become jealous and profess his undying love for me.

At the end of the day, bad boy John walked me to the entrance so I could wait for my father to pick us up. My friend waited off to the side so that I could have some private time with my personal hooligan. We were leaning against the payphones and John was whispering some dirty things about my Love's Baby Soft perfume when I saw Mike coming toward us over John's shoulder. This was my chance. I grabbed John and kissed him and he fell against me and the phone booth.

To this day, it was THE most disgusting kiss of my life. He tasted like cigarettes and gum and I almost choked on his tongue when he thrust it halfway down my throat. When I came up for air, I saw that shaggy haired Mike was gone and I looked at John, who was wiping my Sinnamon Sin lipgloss from his mouth. What a waste.

And yes, all this because I saw a payphone today. God forbid, I see someone wearing a tube top.


  1. THAT is hysterical! Love it Chrissy...your blog has become my daily much needed laugh. THANK YOU!

  2. OMG...Chrissy!!!

    This post was FABULOUS!!!!!

    I swear to god, so many of the things you mentioned in this post, I remember as things from my young adulthood!!

    Love's Baby Soft was the BOMB when I was in my early 20's. Every girl wore it!

    And I think you and I are on the same "brainwaves" because just today, I was thinking of payphones and how you never seen them anymore. Even in the city of Philadelphia they don't exist! And if by chance you do find one, they NEVER work!!

    Great post! Thoroughly enjoyed it!

  3. Hi Ron,

    I knew a lot of people would be able to relate. Glad you liked it! It's so funny that I can remember explicit details of things 30 years ago but I can't remember what I had for breakfast.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Mall days, arcades and the skating rink, all were a huge part of my childhood. Loves Baby Soft and Wet N Wild make-up could never have enough of it and SPENCERS, my boyfriend who was 18 and therefore an adult, took me there when I was 16 and I got my ears pierced. Then we looked at the "dirty" stuff went back to his house and had sex. Thanks for the Seconhand Post...What a trip down memory lane!

  5. I too hung out at the mall in my pre- to mid-teen days, but until this very moment, I never knew I could actually pick up a girl with my mad pinball skills.

  6. Funny Girl,
    I didn't spend as much time at the skating ring because I couldn't skate worth anything. I didn't even understand half of the stuff at Spencer's.

  7. Ah Carlos....a wasted opportunity.

  8. I'm over the oversideo of the pond and yet I can absolutely relate to this. Brilliant post x.. your blogs fab.

  9. @Rosie,
    Oh, good. I love when my posts hit a chord with people. Thanks!

  10. I get the same flashbacks when I hear ELO. =)

  11. @thatgalkiki,
    I love ELO! And Foreigner.

  12. I saw a corded phone @ a truckstop Mc Donalds and thought how retro today. Don't know the last time I used a corded phone?
    GREAT memories...kiss sounds horrible!!

  13. TC,
    I just saw on TV today that we should have at least one corded phone because they use far less energy than cordless. I don't know...

    It was the WORST!:-)

  14. Hi Chrissy,

    I think I just about fell off the coach reading your post.

    OMG! Spencers and their giggling gadgets, OK, I think you and I are 13 yrs old soul mate. Mine was at the Quaker Bridge Mall. Love's Baby Soft - mmm, didn't you adore that it was pink? and WHAT was your favorite flavor Kissing Potion (yup Kim Basinger back when she was a MODEL for Maybelline). Mine? Cinnamon. Who could keep it on our lips we were always licking it off, right?

    I was at a hospital in the Los Angeles area today with a bank for where the (Gasp) public phones used to be. Now they are like skeletons from the 1980s.

    Your post is adorable.

    Cheers lady!

    April Braswell

  15. Hi April,

    How funny. I liked the Cinnamon, too!

    I loved the pink. My sister like Jean Nate. Blach!!

    Glad you liked the memories.

  16. Great blog! Once I started reading I just laughed and laughed,.....at every story.

    I did visit CLE for a few months in 1984 building Channel 19's transmitter facility in Parma, just down the street from a beautiful Greek Church.

  17. I was a stripper in the 1980s


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