This Week’s 2nd Reader Memory From Jacki Carr

Better late than never (uncooperative airport wifi is to blame for botching yesterday’s double feature guest-post plans), here’s this week’s 2nd reader memory from the one and only Jacki Carr (if you don’t know who she is you should, check her out all over the place: jackicarr.comFacebook, and Twitter @jackicarr):

Favorite Memory from Jacki Carr, Venice, CA: Cotton Candy Bubble Yum

I remember my first real big high school crush.

His name was Brent. He played baseball and wore gel in his hair. He was the more goofy type and was always tan. Always.

My very awkward attempt at flirting with him was through asking for bubble gum week after week. He always had Cotton Candy flavored Bubble Yum with him and this was my way of speaking to him, saying hi or even just asking for gum and then rushing to class.

What a nerd.

So when the holidays rolled around, I wanted to get him a present. I could not be too over the top or obvious. You know, you want to play it cool and send a message. Keep in mind I was 15, had never kissed a boy and was very uncool. Some might call that a late bloomer. Anyways, before the December break, my best friend, Katie R. and I had made up a master plan to get a little more face time with this guy.

Katie R. had a car at the age of 15. She had a single parent at home and had filled out some form to get a permit and was given the car keys to an army green Saturn a whole year early. This was huge. So my crush lived close to school and we would always see him walking home every day. Enter the master plan: it was Midterms week and no one had any sports practice after school and we thought we would be the super cool 15 year old girls that could offer Brent a ride home. From there I would give him the present in the car and life would take off and we would date, hold hands in the hall and then go to the same college, get married and have a dog. At least that is how I had pictured it in my mind in that very moment of planning and expectation creating. Now, when it came to the day of execution, I freaked and made sure my best friend knew that she had to ask him if he wanted the ride home and not me. She was the driver after all, it only made sense.

Alright, it is 3:30pm on that Friday. We are lingering at our red lockers and I am looking all over for him in a very poor attempt at nonchalance. I swear I think my heart was beating through my padded bra and t-shirt. He turns the corner. I almost run for it.

Katie says ‘hi’ from all way down the hall. I say ‘hey’ to spice it up. What next? Now what? I mean, should I ask for gum again? Best friend for the win, she goes straight for the kill and asks if he wants a ride home today. I mean come on, how obvious!

He says YES!

So, we all walk down the hall and out the door, across the Senior parking lot and 3 blocks in the opposite direction of his house to the morning parking spot we had found 8 hours earlier while singing John Mellencamp and going over the plan.

We get in. Katie drives, I had called shotgun and Brent in the back. Cue butterflies and nervous glances to my best friend driver. It must have been painfully obvious to Brent in the backseat.

I turn around in my seat and I am talking to him about school and the upcoming break. And then I just blurt out that I got him a present. I quickly turnaround, almost giving myself whiplash with my carefully planned ponytail held by my favorite blue and white scrunchie, I reach down into my backpack, hands shaking and sweating, smile gushing. I turn around with an entire pack of Cotton Candy flavor Bubble Yum and say, for you since I am always stealing your gum. Smile. Sweat. Eyelashes. Smile. Sweat.

He smiles back. He thanks me for the gum and our 3 and ½ minute car ride comes to a halt in front of his house.

And there he went. Off to holiday. With the gum.

Upon returning from break, we pretty much dated on and off the rest of high school.

Win for the Bubble Yum and best friends with a green Saturn and guts! Oh, the memories.



Memory #11: My Senior Prom or, A Modern Day Cinderella Story

In high school, I definitely wasn’t one of the “cool” kids that the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch would have wanted wearing his clothes*. I was one of these kids:


Um, yeah…

I was painfully shy, I was incredibly awkward, and because of these 2 things, I pretty much had no interest in school dances (especially after I attempted to go to the homecoming dance senior year and found myself paralyzed in shy-girl fear on the sidelines the entire time). But the prom is one of those “things” you’re supposed to do, and since all my friends were going I figured I would too. I definitely didn’t think much of having a date though, and I certainly wasn’t holding my breath waiting for someone to ask me…

Enter: Jordan Ahnquist

I had known Jordan a little bit through high school—we were both in the marching band and the chorus together—but we really bonded on a school trip to Washington D.C. for George Bush’s first inauguration (the awkwardness and general discomfort of watching small children hold up graphic anti-abortion signs at a “March for Life” rally will really bring any 2 people closer). After the trip, we both went back to our separate high school lives, but then one day—out of the blue—my friend Kiley stopped me in the hallway to tell me that she heard that Jordan was going to ask me to the prom.

Wait, what? Me? To the prom?

Let me paint the picture for you too: Jordan was on the baseball team, he won the “Best Personality” superlative in our senior yearbook, and also “Best Friends” with his best guy friend Andrew—oh—and he was currently cast as Joseph, in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in our school play, a role which required him to be shirtless for the duration of the show, which in turn had all the girls swooning.

And he wanted to go to the prom with me?

I don’t remember exactly how he asked (in the band hallway after practice one day I think? Am I right Jordan?), but obviously I said yes, and because of this, I had the best time ever at my prom. I bought an amazing $18 purple lace dress at Plush and Plunder, he got me a matching purple corsage and wore wing tips, we rode in the same limo as the class president, we danced all night, we stayed up until the wee hours at the epic after party that my high school threw, and it was perfect. Perfect. The quintessential prom experience that honestly swept me off my feet and made me feel like some sort of Cinderella.

So, thanks for asking me, Jordan (and sorry for posting this picture on the internet, ha!):


*My ¢2 on the whole Abercrombie & Fitch thing: I usually don’t get into this kind of thing, but am I the only one who wasn’t at all surprised that A&F blatantly tarets the “cool” kids? The CEO didn’t have to say it for it to be apparent, and personally, I really don’t care if their marketing strategy is to target all-American douchebags. Is anyone upset that Hot Topic targets the exact opposite demographic? I’ve worked in both the marketing and retail worlds and I can tell you that every single clothing company out there, including the one I work for,  has a target market, and I really don’t care if Abercrombie’s is the popular kids—who, let’s be honest—are really only popular amongst themselves anyways. Oh, and can I also say that I was completely turned off by the guy who thought that exploiting the homeless by dressing them in A&F clothing was a good idea. I mean, really? Ok, rant over*