Stellie Pearl's Thoughts......

I Keep Hoping That My Tomorrows Will Catch Up With Yesterday

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Eighteenth Birthday

There are certain times of your life that really stand out in your memory....some more clear than others. I remember the year that I turned 18. As much fun as it was, there was a little sadness along with it.....

1982 was the year I turned 18. November 20th is my birthday, and if my memory serves me correctly, it fell on a weekday. My mom let me stay out of school. She and I took the train down to NYC to spend the day shopping and eating. I loved the city, especially the shopping! We went to my favorite store, Strawberries. Mom bought me a pair of black suede boots, and some Guess jeans. We ate cheesecake at Lindy's. What a memorable day it was.

That weekend, I had a party at my house. My mom was there. All of my friends came...there was loud music and beer.... everyone was having a blast, until my dad walked in.

My mom and dad legally separated in 1982. In November she had asked him to please move out of the house. He had left, but stopped by the night of my party to pick up my brother to take him with him for the weekend.

My dad walks in....the music stops. Someone has their feet propped up on the coffee table in the livingroom, and as my dad walks by, he pushes their feet off into the floor. There were muffled "Hi, Mr. Mingrone"...."How ya doin' Mr. Mingrone...." but my dad said nothing. He came in, grabbed my brother and a suitcase, then left. I remember at the time feeling embarrassed. My dad could be hateful if he wanted to. But everyone liked him and respected him...he was the band director at our school. A lot of my friends were his students. I know it was hard for him to see his students smoking and drinking beer. But most of all, I felt his disappointment in me. But....this was MY day! I was finally legal....I was drinking, but I was at home! Back then, my mom stood up for me. Where I always felt disappointment in my dad's eyes, my mom was always there for me.

The year went from bad to worse. This was my senior year of high school, and my family was falling apart. I wanted to pretend it wasn't happening, which was hard to do. I don't remember much about the springtime months. My granny, my mom's mom, passed away in June...right at the time of my graduation. I missed my graduation because we flew to West Virginia. My classmates could be cruel, and I was often the subject of untrue rumors. Someone started the rumor that I missed graduation because I got pregnant and had to be sent away.

Turning 18 was exciting as much as it was devastating. Little did I know what lie ahead. For the longest time, I was the only one in our "group" of friends whose parents were still married. Now my family was breaking up, and I was falling apart.


  1. And the hug that goes with that honey. I know exactly what you mean... except my parents got a divorce when I was 8 instead of 18. But you are right, some years or memories stand out more than others...
    Here is to having a friend with you when things fall apart! Love ya honey! You know I am a phone call away and no you are not bothering me!!!!! Tell my hubby #2 I said HI! LOL!!! I am still waiting for him to come clean my house and go grocery shopping for me... so jealous!!! See you are smiling!! ha! Love ya!

  2. Wow! An eighteenth birthday brings memorable moments to mind, but yours had so many!

    Hey, I haven't been here in what you've done with the place!

  3. My dad waited til I was eighteen and off at college to leave and divorce my step-mother, and I don't think that in itself is all that unusual, waiting til the kids leave home or whatever. I'm glad you had a mom who stood by you, because that memory surely helps soften the current situation. Or not!

    I like your new decor!