Stellie Pearl's Thoughts......

I Keep Hoping That My Tomorrows Will Catch Up With Yesterday

Sunday, September 27, 2009

~My First Real Kiss~

I remember the exact date of my first real kiss. It was Sunday, August 19th, 1979. It was carefully documented in my diary from that year, and every 1979 day planner that I had at the time. It was written in the side margins of old notebooks. It was written in notes to my friends at school. Missy Loves Micky Forever!

The guy was "Micky." He was a friend of my cousin Dawn's brother, Jay. He kissed me on my granny's porch, while we sat on the glider. I got dizzy and lightheaded. I will never forget it.

As I got older, my visits to WV mainly consisted of staying at Dawn's house. There wasn't much for a 14 year old girl to do out in the country, with just a brother and younger boy cousin to play with. I was fortunate enough to have met Dawn, and our friendship bloomed instantly.

Dawn's granny and my granny were sisters. My mom and Dawn's mom played together and stayed close while they were growing up. They lost touch after my mom moved to NY. Then about 1976, they re-connected, and I met Dawn. She and I have been as close as sisters ever since.

Dawn's house was fun. First of all, it was air conditioned, had four bedrooms and a full basement with a pool table. And, it had her older brother, Jay, who had cute friends! That's how I met Micky.
During the school year, I had my crush on "The Boy". During the summers, I had Micky.

Me and Micky August 1979 Me and Micky August 1981

Saturday, September 26, 2009

~Junior High School Days - Part 2 - Seventh into Eighth Grade

Junior high was a confusing time! I just "didn't get" math and had to stay after school for extra help. I remember liking english and health class. Gym wasn't all that bad, either. Of course, any class that I had with "The Boy" that I had a crush on was a definite plus. I had such a crush on him! He didn't ask me out again after he had asked me to go to that party with him the previous year, which made me want to chase him more. There is nothing more fun or heartbreaking, than chasing a love interest in Junior High.

This is one of my favorite movie quotes of all time. It described me and my situation perfectly:

"School is still the same.. there's still that one guy that you get up and go to school for in the morning. The one with the mysterious confidence that every girl falls for. Those years of school wouldn't have been the same without him. I wouldn't have been the same without him."- Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed

He was the one person that when I passed him the hall, my heart would nearly jump out of my chest. On Friday nights, my school would open up the cafeteria and gym for teens to come hang out. They usually had a live band, and you could dance, or play ping pong. I loved going because "The Boy" was usually there. My friends and I would follow him around and giggle...I know that probably agravated him to no end. One Friday night when we were hanging out at the school, he spoke to me, and told me that "He would remember the day that he asked me out forever." Then he goes running off to hang out with these other 2 girls. How irritating....inside I was screaming "ME! LIKE ME, NOT THEM!" Oh, how my heart would just break!

He was such a pivotal part of my early teens. I remember being at a talent show at school, and he was sitting in front of me in the auditorium. I had my feet propped up on the chair in front of me and was wearing white painters pants. Little did I know that I had started my first period ever that night. It was not noticeable through my pants, thank goodness. The very next day I went to the drug store to buy pads for the exciting "first time life changing" event. I came bopping up the aisle with a huge box of Kotex in my arms and who do I run right into? "The Boy." I wished at that very moment that the floor would open up and swallow me. He just grinned at me and kept walking. That memory is a keeper!
Me and my buddies at a End Of School Year Picnic

~Junior High School Days - Part 1 - Sixth into Seventh Grade

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My School

Fall always brought on excitement and anxiety for me. Beginning a new school year was traumatic, to say the least. My mom always made sure I had some new clothes to start out the year. It didn't matter what I had, it never compared to what everyone else had.

My school was a very prestigious "college preparatory" school. It was K-12, so basically you were with the same kids from kindergarten until you graduated high school. The school was located in a pricey suburb. The families that lived there had money. There was one area of that particular suburb that was a little less desirable. It was located across the railroad tracks. Naturally, the kids that lived over there were thought of differently. The friends that I had lived over there. I didn't live in the pricey suburb at all, but in another town. I got "the priviledge" of going to that particular school because my father was a teacher there.

I can remember starting 7th grade. The night before the first day of school, it was warm in my bedroom, and I couldn't sleep. I had my window open, but no air was coming in. I had my clock radio on, and Heart's Barracuda was playing. I was filled with dread about the next day. The only catastrophic thing that happened on that first day of school, was that I broke out in one hive, on my face. ONE HIVE and I thought it was the end of the world. I wanted to go home.

There really was only one reason that I looked forward to school at all that year. It was a boy. This boy was someone that I had had no prior interest in in elementary school....until the end of sixth grade. Someone was having a boy-girl party, and everyone was pairing up to go. "The Boy" that sat in front of me turned around and said "Will you go to the party with me?" I can remember being ecstatic. You must know that I had not had any interaction with boys up until this point. Sure, I had crushes....on John Travolta, Andy Gibb...not people that I associated with on a daily basis. We did not end up going to the party together. He got a concussion the day of the party, so I went with my girlfriends. From that day forward, I developed a huge crush on "The Boy" that would last into our senior year!

There is a painful memory from that party that I will never forget. A game of spin the bottle was started. When the more popular girls were chosen to be the ones kissed, the boys who got to kiss them had big smiles on their faces and hi-fived each other. I got chosen to be the one kissed. I got up out of the circle and walked to the chair. I remember a few boys running out of the room. The boys that the bottle landed on were horrified at the thought of having to kiss me. They did all kiss me, but wiped their mouths and spit after they did so. What was wrong with me? I tried to act like I didn't care, but of course I did.

Right after that party, school ended for the year, and my family and I made our annual trek to West Virginia. That summer was pretty special; we got to watch my granny's cat give birth. It was also the summer that my cousin Dawn and I became best friends.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

~Elementary School - The Difficult Years~

Me & Mary 1969

I remember starting school. My mom tried to do the right thing, to ease me into the experience gently, instead of throwing me to the wolves. She started me too early, though, and I was held back in second grade. I don't remember it bothering me. Instead of being with a bunch of kids that were older than me, these kids were younger. I fell somewhere in the middle.

Mom sent me to nursery school first. It was at a church, and my best friend's mom ran the program. So of course, my best friend was right there with me. I remember playing outside...there were these huge sandboxes that we were never allowed to play in, because neighborhood cats used them as litterboxes.

We colored pictures, and took naps. We drank AM and PM juice. We rode tricycles out in the parking lot.

I can still remember a little about kindergarten....especially the naps...I was big on sleep, apparently. My dad always said that after I was born, any time family members came to the hospital to visit me, I was asleep.

School ceased being fun after kindergarten. I struggled with math, had stomach aches every morning, and cried....wanting to stay home. My parents dealt with this the best that they could. They decided to change schools, and I went to a school out of our district because my dad was a teacher there. It didn't make things any easier. If anything, it was more difficult. I felt that some of my teachers picked on me because they didn't like my dad.

In elementary school, I was friends with everyone. There were no cliques yet. I had lots of friends and went to many birthday parties....I was a social butterfly. Little did I know what loomed ahead...Everything changed in seventh grade. What happened? It was like I had been thrown into the middle of a hurricane. Why aren't Kitty and Allison speaking to me? We were best buddies in 5th grade. Now they won't speak to me!!! I cried many tears my seventh grade year. Other unexplained things began happening. I would have friends that I hung out with on the weekends. During the week we would pass notes to each other, eat lunch together in the cafeteria....then, for no apparent reason, they would just one day not speak to me anymore. This damaged my little psyche more than anyone could know. I had a friend named Susan...we went to the same orthodontist (we would write notes to him and send the notes to him by each other when we went for our brace tightening) we slept over each others houses, went to movies, talked on the morning I came to school and she wouldn't speak to me, wouldn't look at me. She wouldn't tell me what was wrong, she just shut me out, and started hanging out with other girls. I must say that broken friendships were the most painful part of my school years. To this day I am still haunted by some of them.....what had I done to these people? My mom dealt with a lot of tears and would tell me to forget about it...these people had not been my real friends. When would this change? When would I have real friends?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

~The Summers Of Our Youth~

Both of my parents were originally from West Virginia. That is where they met and got married. My grandparents on my Dad's side moved from West Virginia to New York in the late 1950's. My maternal grandmother lived in West Virginia all of her life. After my parents married, they moved to New York. I always have thought of myself as a West Virginia girl, though. We spent every single summer there, and every Easter break. Brother & I would count down the days until our trip down south to stay with Granny. Those summers were filled with so much love and laughter.

Dad & Mom 1958

Granny lived "out Aarons Fork Road" which was "up a holler" in Kanawha County, WV. It was about as country as you could get. She had a huge yard, complete with a dirt road driveway that led to her house. It was always enjoyable listening to my Dad rant as our over-loaded Country Squire Station Wagon (complete with wood paneling, I might add) would bottom out while crossing the creek that went across the driveway to her house. It was a 12 hour drive from NY. By the time we would arrive, it was usually dark and we were all tired, cranky and hungry. Granny would have her homemade vegetable soup and a pan of fresh corn bread waiting for us. Then, with full bellies, we would fall into beds smelling of bleached sheets that had been dried out on the clothesline. The windows were open, for there was no A/C, and we were lulled to sleep by the Night Sounds; crickets, frogs and God only knows what else was out there making all that racket. I always enjoyed it though. There was nothing else like it and I miss it to this day.

Everything would look different in the daylight. Granny was up by 6:00 AM, banging pots and pans in the kitchen, listening to her radio. As soon as our eyes opened, we smelled bacon. Every morning there would be a breakfast of biscuits and gravy, homemade. The closest thing I have found to Granny's biscuits and gravy is Hardee's...except they put sausage in their gravy. Granny used bacon grease and a little BV beef flavoring...and lots of black pepper.

All of us grandkids in Granny's front yard.

Days were always spent outside. Granny had outside pets, so there was usually a dog or two...and some cats. My brother and I would fill our days with playing with them, riding our bikes around the house, and usually trying to sneak down to the creek to play. Of course, the creek was off limits. We had heard all of the horror stories: If we played in the creek, we would get sick with some dreaded disease (I seem to remember it being hepatitis) and we were also told that under the bigger rocks at the edge of the creek there were nests of copperheads. We were rebels. We were invincible! Inch by inch, we would get closer and closer to that creek....until finally...we were there. I swear, as soon as one of our toes would touch that water, the front screen door would bust open and there was Granny, yelling "You fellers get outta that crick! Right now! I'll get a switch to you directly!" We would scramble up the bank and away from the water, madder than hornets. But you did not want to get switched by Granny. She got her switches from the willow tree that was in her yard. She would strip them of every leaf....then watch out....legs and butt be damned. Granny showed no mercy.

We would play all day out in the heat, until Mom would come outside and tell us that we were "all white around the mouth" and needed to come in and rest, drink something cold. Summers were filled with Kool Aid and Popsicles.The Popsicles were the kind that came in the long clear plastic wrappers. Granny always had Popsicles. She also always had big, thick slices of bologna, fresh tomatoes from her garden, and white bread. A bologna sandwich with a thick slice of tomato with Miracle Whip on it was our lunch. For dessert; Purity Maid Oatmeal Creme pies. My brother affectionately called them "Cakies". Granny always had those things....she loved us so much.

Granny & Brother 1969

Saturday, September 12, 2009



I started this blog because my memory is not as good as it used to be. I want to chronicle my life while I can still remember things. I am not totally senile - I used to pride myself on my great memory. Others were fascinated by it as well. My dear cousin Dawn would ask "What were you wearing on June 25th, 1983?" And I would tell her, astounding the others in our presence. Of course, it helps if you actually have photos of yourself on the day in question. Or kept a damn good diary, listing what outfit that you wore each day of your past....that is what kind of nerd I was growing up. Every day in my diary was a written inventory; what I wore, what I ate, who smiled at me. Ask me what I wore on August 6th, 1977...I can tell you!

This is me and Nono...Dad's side of the family is Italian. My Christening Day.

Well, there is no better place to start than the beginning, I suppose. My earliest memory...I was having a hissy fit in my crib when Mom put me down for a nap. I remember holding onto the bar, jumping up and down, screaming....watching my Mother's back retreat down the hallway. I still remember the bottoms of the boots she was wearing. They were some sort of snow boots, and the bottoms had deep ridges in them. I remember my tears, how hot my face felt. I am not quite sure of my age...I would guess maybe 2 or 3. My brother was born when I was 4, and this was definitely before he came along, because I was in the room that became his AND I was in a crib. Wild, huh?

~Me & Bro; his first birthday~
I had (kind of) accepted him by then.

Fast next memory is the day my brother came home from the hospital. I had stayed at a friend's house while Mom was in the hospital. I remember my Dad standing at my friend's front door. I came down their steep steps in black Mary Janes...I remember that because I was afraid I was going to slip and fall. Outside it was a beautiful fall day....sunny...lots of colored leaves. What I don't remember is my parents preparing me for this new person that was now in our lives. When we got home and I heard him make a small noise (I had not seen him yet) I perked up. "Was that a cat? Did you get me a cat?" I jumped up and down, excited beyond belief. "Say hi to your little brother..." I peered into the bassinet. "Can you take it back?" I asked. I do not remember their response. They probably laughed...I know that they thought it was hilarious as hell when he peed on me. Mom was changing his diaper...he peed straight up in the air and into my eye. From that day forward, I wanted him gone. My Mom still gets a kick out of remembering me watching her change his diaper for the first time. "What is that?" I pointed at his private part. "That is a penis," Mom said. "Do I have a penis?" I asked. "No, you have a vagina," she said. I thought about this for a minute, then in my most serious voice, with my most serious face told her "Penis and vagina....those sure are funny names for your bottom!"