I totally thought I was punk rock.
Sure, when the real, original punk explosion happened I was knee-deep in play-doh and barbies, but dammit, I needed to rebel and I liked leather.
And, I liked rebellious "bad" boys who liked leather.
Living in a very small town outside of an 80's, Reagan-era, depressed smallish city to a teenager was equal to living in the seventh circle of hell. I wanted excitement and noise, I got farms and a town square that consisted of two gas stations, a beauty shop and a museum devoted to the milling of grain. No car and no one to drive meant another Saturday night listening to records by Fear and the "Let them eat Jellybeans" compilation at Waffle's house while her mom brought us sodas and rice krispy treats and we pretended we were listening to NKotB. Sure, the treats were delicious, but we were pretty sure that Sid and Nancy never sat around wishing they were cool while snarfing Doritos and Funyuns. Sid and Nancy didn't have to hide records with songs like "Jesus entering from the rear" from their Moms.
Sure, there was that whole heroin thingy, but you get the drift.
I was growing out of my love for Duran Duran and bubblegum pop. I started listening to the local college radio stations.
It just clicked.
Where before I loved Wham! (god, how I LOVED Wham!) (O.k, still do) and Huey Lewis and the News, my interest now leaned towards bands like GBH, The Germs and the Dead Kennedys.
Today I found a box that had a bunch of buttons I used to wear back then.
Such a rebel.
Seems I was a Gumby-lovin', peaceful sort that volunteered occasionally for Planned Parenthood (keep your debates to yourselves, people.) And I guess I thought I was of English descent and had visited New York, though I hadn't.
I also wore a lot of black and embraced my darkside. Soiuxie and the Banshees, the Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus and Christian Death provided the soundtracks to our darker moments. "Darker" moments meaning not getting asked to dance at the local teen dance club "Faces" when the Smiths were on, or chipping my blood-red nail polish on my longish fingernails.
Looking at what we wore and what we did to our hair, you can tell we still had a pretty good sense of humor. Sane people don't pair clunky, knee-high lineman's workboots with green fishnets, a vintage sundress, an army surplus bag and spiky orange hair. The Violent Femmes, The Dead Milkmen and The Dickies kept us entertained those days.
I suppose I should regret the hair, the unfortunate clothing choices and the time spent huddled over a record player that could have been better spent studying for my SAT's.
I suppose I should.
But I don't.
It was silly.
It was at times really, really stupid.
It was difficult and liberating.
It was perfectly flawed, perfectly perfect.
I don't regret a single second of it.