Is such an in between age, not quite an adult and not a little girl anymore, or is that an old way of thinking of age? Aren’t we all every age we have ever been, in small vestiges of our past? Isn’t a seven-year old little one hiding in the shadows, longing for one more piggy back ride, or hug from Mom? And what about that in between age of seventeen, a girl becoming a woman, but not experienced enough to keep from getting hurt?
A Summer born girl graduates from high school at seventeen, ready to assume her own life either by going away to college, getting married far too young, leaving home for a wandering trip around the World or like myself, all three? Desiring a lifetime of experiences in one year, and wanting to hurry up and become a woman too soon, is the predicament of many girls just out of high school. In my case I wanted everything, right now. And I got some of all of that too.
What about that last year in high school? After a tumultuous lead up to Senior year, in the late 60s and ‘trying’ everything there was to try, for my senior year I settled down, buckled down, I wanted to graduate with my class but the previous year and a half I had not gone to school much, having been a wild child and fleeing to the Bay Area as often as every weekend, and much of each week, my school work was left by the wayside. If I was to graduate I would have to finish two years of work in one. I did with Scholastic honours and a 4.0.
And what about my feelings? Oh my feelings. Much of the time I was mixed up and confused, but clear-headed enough to understand I had a goal and to stick to it, luckily earlier in high school I had amassed many extra credits and so in a way it was the perfect scenario for me to go nuts in my Junior year. I did not get to travel abroad the way I wanted to, but in a way living as a peace-loving hippie thru much of high school was like being in another country, because suburbia was just not ready for me.
What about boys? Well, that’s another subject. From the time I was 14 I’d had serious boyfriends, Dave Ramsey was the first, I was in ninth grade and he was a junior. He asked me to go steady at our nighttime St. Patrick’s Day Parade we used to have in Sacramento, he’d pushed me up against a brick wall and kissed me hard on the mouth, making me gasp for air then whispered into my face, “Be my girl, I want you to wear my ring.” It was 1966, and I wore a beehive hairdo and miniskirts and I was thrilled an older boy wanted me to be his. We often went to church dances together and he was the first boy who put his whole thick, searching tongue far into my mouth and I had NO idea what the hell was happening. Talk about a baby, sheesh!
So we became boyfriend and girlfriend, I rode on the back of his Honda 90, and when he tried to teach me to drive it, I flipped it over into tall dead grass and the exhaust landed on the inside of my inner lower leg, ouch. I carried that oval skin burn for years. He asked me to go to the Junior Prom, I was so happy. My Mom and I shopped and found the perfect lace over linen empire gown with a thin yellow ribbon around the bust. I got heels dyed to match and Mom gave me a rabbit stole that Easter, so I was a picture in white. We doubled with my friend Linda and Dave’s best friend Bob Cowan, who were the same age difference as Linda and I. First we went to a little Italian restaurant and I had my first Veal Parm, and then to the lovely Prom at Scottish Rite Temple, with the theme of the new Righteous Brothers song called Cherish. We danced and enjoyed each other and kissed. We kissed constantly, but never anything else. Our sweet love story was very 1966. After the prom we went bowling, which was always a fun diversion and more in the way of our thing. I’m sure those rented shoes looked sweet with my prom gown. And we topped off our fun night with breakfast at midnight. I still remember it as the only perfect date I ever really had in my life. I broke up with Dave a few months later, he was so very old-fashioned and he didn’t like the same music as I did either, he was a 40-year-old man trapped in a 16 year olds body. Of course I was a virgin.
But by 16 I wasn’t, because of course I had run off and gone to live in Haight Ashbury, so being a virgin was really considered out of step, my first time was no fun. The young man from San Pablo was much to big for me and we both made a mess of things. Golly how is this ever charming and fun the first time? I doubt it rarely is, unless people actually wait until they are mature enough to know what the dickens they are messing with down there.
Free Love was in like flynt and basically people were humping like bunnies in any open cranny possible. I joined in and well, it was a very long time ago. When I finally decided to go home, re-enter high school and attempt to finish all in a short time I had my work cut out for me, and it was not til the Spring just before graduation that I choose to have another boyfriend, Rick. We played music together, we were both 17 together for a time and we became very mad about each other. It had been about 9 months since my wild hippie time in San Francisco and Bezerkley, I was going to be able to graduate with the friends I had been going to school with since grade school.
Rick and I had a passionate love affair and we were caught more than once going at it. There was the time we thought his parents would be gone all day and came home early, Rick shoved me in his clothes closet and I think I put on his knickers, when Barbara saw me she called my Mom and said she thought I needed birth control. Yikes. And there was the time my Mom was out of the house, but not long enough and poor Rick had to jump out the bathroom window into Mom’s rose bushes, scratching him up pretty good, because he was not yet fully dressed.
The biggest story of our young life though was the long weekend we spent house sitting in Grass Valley for my aunt at her lovely mountain home. OMG! We got going and didn’t stop, and I counted 36 times we did it (meaning he entered me). That sounds like a lot, because that is a lot for about 40 hours of time together. I was still 17. Before I graduated he put a tiny diamond ring on my finger and we were engaged, I felt so grown-up accepting my diploma on the stage of Memorial Auditorium with that ring on my finger. Our marriage lasted about 4 years. We still play music together and now my first husband is named Sara and is transitioning. So you never know what will happen in our Worlds.
And regarding feel our age, or the ages I have been, I still recall so much that I can picture myself at every year since about age 4. I was all those ages of me, I am all those ages of me. Seven year old Jilly, and seventeen year old Jill are alive and well and a part of me today. I can no more divorce myself from those ages as I can forget how I felt at seventeen, laughing, playing, enjoying my body. I did not love myself every moment of every day, the way I feel now, I am much more self-respecting and loving today.
I had body dismorphia issues that I had to overcome, I still have trouble with refined carbs who are not my friend, I know I have to stay away from wheat and refined sugars. I have to stay out of my floating head syndrome and live in my whole body, feel my body, walk in my body. Otherwise I am in my head too much. I do not have the energy I did at 17, but most days I feel about 25 so that’s acceptable. The main thing is I do not relish those days when I feel 100+. I am aiming for that sensuous, sneaky, full of fun age of seventeen anyway. It was after all a very good year.