1996 [ 2004-03-09, 11:14 a.m. ]

I just found this picture from my 21st Brithday:

When I was 21 I thought that friends were more important than family, that my youngest brother was happy and that he didn�t need to hear me tell him I loved him. At 21, I wanted independence, and the notion of care-taking cramped my style. I thought my parents never fought, nor cried, never missed nor longed for anything.

I thought that blow jobs would make boys like me, that talking about boys and blow jobs would make girls like me, and that being liked was very, very important.

When I was 21 I thought the DGs were sluts, the Tri-Delts were over, the Kappas were snobs and the PiPhis were alright. I thought the friendships I had would last forever and that Diet Pepsi and a mixed tape could fix anything.

I liked Lemon Drops, Otter Pops and pear cider. At 21, I thought Thursday night was the most important night of the week, that if I stayed home one week everyone would forget my name, and that $2 was a lot for a cover charge.

When I was 21 I thought sex meant love and love meant forever and forever seemed impossible to grasp.

When I was 21 I thought that I would go to graduate school and marry a nice boy and settle down in California and have a baby girl who would be named Claire or Natalie or Avery. I thought I was ready for that.

I thought New York was far away and dirty and difficult. I thought women who dated younger guys were weird. I thought Ska music rocked the house.

When I was 21 I never wore sunscreen or mascara or jewelry. I painted my toenails light blue and I was always tan. I ate Jack in the Box and Dairy Queen and ran almost ever day. I rode my bike everywhere and would go to the grocery store wearing a bikini top, shorts and flip flops.

At 21 I thought that 30 was a long way off, and that before I got there I would earn my doctorate, write a book, find a career, and go skydiving. At 21, skydiving seemed harder than finding a career.

When I was 21 I only wanted to wear sneakers or sandals, jeans or shorts. I thought suits were for sell-outs and had never heard of a blow-out or a bikini wax.

When I was 21 I imagined I would marry a tall, blond man who swam and surfed and snowboarded and called his friends �Dude,� and drove a Jeep. I didn�t even talk to guys who were short or unpopular or unathletic. I didn�t see anything wrong with that.

I thought most things were black or white, that cheating was the worst thing someone could do to a partner, that only trashy girls had vibrators, that saying �I love you� meant you really did. I thought soul mates existed in perfect pairs.

When I was 21 I saw �Jerry Maguire� three times and cried to the Indigo Girls and thought that only my friends considered Galileo to be �our� song. I was glad when Ross and Rachel broke up, but I acted like I was sad, because everyone else did too.

I wished my chest was bigger.

I wanted to be petite and blond and a better dancer.

I was afraid to let people know what I really thought.

I was just a kid.

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