Saturday, November 21, 2009

Missed Opportunities

So, I was over InJaynesWorld a little bit ago, reading about how utterly cool she was in high school. I was having a lovely movie party in my head, imagining Jayne cruising around in her Spitfire, getting high and hanging out with the Airplane, Creedence, CSN&Y and Santana. Do you know how cool I might have been if only I'd had a friend like Jayne to hang out with?

Of course, to be that cool, it would have helped to have grown up in California. Me... I was stuck in Iowa, where nothing much was happening. Every once in awhile you heard about somebody scoring some Iowjuana... the home grown version of the coveted dope. And you heard tales of acid, but never actually knew anyone who dropped any. We just weren't that sophisticated.

To hear any awesome bands, (like the ones that Jayne was hanging out with on a regular basis,) you had to make a 100 mile road trip to the University of Iowa fieldhouse in Iowa City. My first trip there was to see Laura Nyro. We were so bold, we got up on stage and sat next to her piano. She was very kind about it and didn't order us thrown out. But that's the closest I ever got to a real, live, famous musician.

Later, I enrolled at Iowa because it was the "cool" school. (My parents told me they'd pay for any of the three state schools and the others just didn't cut it for the cool factor.) The Grateful Dead and Moody Blues became my bands of choice... along with chick favorites Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins & Joan Baez. And I laughed uproariously at showings of Reefer Madness at the dorm.


But, cool I was not. I'm afraid that even if I'd been transplanted to California, I would never have been cool enough to hang out with Jayne. For a very simple reason...

I am a wuss.

Yep, no question about it. I am not a daring person, despite having been incarcerated briefly at an early age for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I was a "good girl" who believed everything I was told about how you could drop acid just once and suffer a lifetime of flashbacks. How heroin would leave you addicted after the first time you shot up. Not to mention the fact that I was so squeamish about sticking a needle in my body that heroine addiction was never going to happen. After all, I was the only person in my high school science class who couldn't get up the nerve to poke my finger to determine my blood type, resulting in a failing grade for that particular assignment.

In college I finally succumbed to the demon weed and thought I was a real badass. (But I always mooched off of other people because in my mind I would undoubtedly get arrested if I ever tried to score any on my own.) And we hung out at the bars regularly, getting drunk on cheap beer and dancing to whatever local band was booked for the night. (Again, sneaking in because I was too afraid of being caught with one to have a fake ID.) But that was the extent of my wild and crazy ways.

So, yeah... I suppose I coulda been sorta cool, even living in Iowa.

If only I wasn't such a wuss.

*sigh*

So many missed opportunities...

26 comments:

otin said...

Sounds exactly like me! I never tried cocaine because I just knew that my heart would stop! tried not to drink too much for fear of alcohol poisoning. Was always the first one to say"What if the cops catch us?" LOL!

Jayne Martin said...

Aw, thanks Cat Lady... Actually, the really cool people of the time were the hippies -- but that would have involved giving up my mascara. And who knows, maybe everything I wrote in my post actually was an acid flashback.

FreakSmack said...

Every time someone tells stories about how cool it was hanging out with the Airplane, Creedence, CSN&Y and Santana, let them know that's not cool, that's old. First they'll say your the same age, the reply with a cool "No I'm not." I don't care if they've already seen your birth certificate, denial is key. If they continue to press it, simply laugh, and hit them with a "Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young" while walking away shaking your head. Or give it a "You hung out with the people who created Jefferson Starship, and they ruined music". If nothing else, they will think you're crazy, and crazy has always been cool!

p.s. The statements made here have not been approved by the "cool" panel, and every time the author of said statements looks at the frog prince (below post) he sees a floating corpse.

gayle said...

Well you were more daring than I was!!!

Stephanie said...

Oregon was very dull too. California was very enticing. So was Woodstock. I got to see the movie at least!

ReformingGeek said...

You were a "wild one" compared to my college days. Now who's the wuss?

IndigoWrath said...

Hey CatLady, and there was me with a mental picture of you as a "reformed" (ahem) stoner! I was a total wuss as university, which is a misdirection as I still believe I'm one now. My blog is all smoke and mirrors ;> Indigo

I Wonder Wye said...

That was a fun post. I don't believe it - you sound cool to me. Anyone witi that taste in music has gotta have it going on.....

Phillipia said...

Cat Lady, if only you knew...you are not nearly the wuss I was....I believed everything they told me....everything...

Laoch of Chicago said...

One loved Laura Nyro.

Jen said...

I won't have a lifetime of flashbacks?!?

CatLadyLarew said...

Otin: I think we must be kindred spirits!

Jayne: I don't care if it was just an acid flashback... you're way cooler than I could ever be! But, give up your mascara? Only if you're driving a VW bus instead of Spit! I gave my mascara up in college and didn't go back to using any for 20 years.

FreakSmack: Okay, so I'm old... you figured that out! I was never cool in my formative years, so maybe my craziness now will finally make me cool.

gayle: Ah... I don't think so!

Stephanie: I know... I finally got to Woodstock last year... not much to see now. *sigh* The actual town of Woodstock is a total tourist trap. Commercialism in tie-dyed t-shirts!

Reffie: That's because you're a reforming GEEK! When I was in college geeks weren't even identified by that moniker yet!

Indigo: Smoke and Mirrors... my life is entirely smoke and years! I had a couple of good stoner years in college... once missed class for three weeks straight, including a midterm exam... ooops! But my wussiness kept me from hitting the hard stuff.

I Wonder Wye: Concerts were definitely more fun if you were high... once I got out of college, though, the music changed and I kinda got stuck in the late 60's, early 70's. Therefore, I was saved from the travesty that was Jefferson Starship.

Phillipia: That's because you're such a good little Catholic girl! Bwahaha!

Loach: Laura Nyro was one of the most gifted artists of the 60's. Most people have no idea that she was responsible for so much great music.

Jen: I think you're having one now... are you enjoying all the colors?

Quirkyloon said...

Well I didn't know you back then, but now? You are uber cool!

And if you weren't cool back then, that just means you were a late bloomer (like me)!

Groovy, baby, grooooooovy! *smile*

Me-Me King said...

Wow, I wish I could have lived in Jayne's world! I have a feeling that me growing up in Arkansas was a lot you growing up in Iowa. I would watch Where The Action Is, American Bandstand and Shindig with wide eyes and dreams of going to California.

CatLadyLarew said...

Quirky: A late bloomer... yeah, that's me! Kids think I'm groovy now... just not people my own age!

Me-Me: Oh, yeah... television kept our dreams alive!

Jen said...

Minnesota was just as uncool as Iowa. Or maybe it was just me who was uncool. I was a wuss too. I passed on the acid and heroin but did try coke once during the '80s. Thankfully I was a poor college student or I would have taken to that drug like a fish to water. Now I'm just hooked on the Diet Crack. Come to think of it wasn't Diet Coke introduced in the 80's? Hmmm.

You are pretty cool now even if you were a wuss back then.

Beth said...

I've always been a wuss, too! More or less...

Great flashback... er... story!

Collette said...

Who cares about back then? Now, we're all cool here! That's all that matters! :)

frigginloon said...

Just think of it this way, you are still alive to write about how uncool you were :) . How cool's that!

buffalodick said...

You were cool, in the Midwest style of cool.. West Michigan has more in common with Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana, than most people ever get to know.. They just think our state is a suburb of Detroit- it ain't!

JennyMac said...

I would have loved to hang out with CCR! I grew up in Seattle but my Father, the police officer, vetoed many a concert. LOL.

K a b l o o e y said...

I had Moody Blues albums and saw them in college. Nothing says cool like a flute solo followed by a spoken word interlude, right? AH, I still like me some Nights in White Satin, ooh...

julochka said...

don't underestimate yourself, iowa is totally cool! as in the university of (some of the rest of iowa, not so cool). and tho' we called it "ditch weed" in south dakota (potentially even less cool than iowa), i too never really went for it. i think we were raised not to. my sister came to iowa as well and she had some pot and cool paraphernalia of her own, but it always made her so paranoid that i never got into it. you'd take her to a funny movie when she was high and she'd think everyone was laughing at her. poor dear.

did you ever go down into the pipes below campus? there was a way in from a manhole, i think near jessup hall. that was always a daring thing to say one had done.

oh maybe you're right, we weren't cool at all...

Brian Miller said...

like that ide of midwest cool...happy flash back...lol.

CatLadyLarew said...

Jen: We thought people from Minnesota were cool... especially those who lived in Minneapolis!

Beth: Flashbacks are always interesting!

Collette: At least we can be cool in our fantasy lives!

Frigginloon: Yeah, at least I'm not dead!

buffalodick: The midwest definitely had its own version of "cool".

Jenny Mac: Father a police officer? Talk about a buzz-kill!

K a b l o o e y: Time to get out some Moody Blues vinyl!

Julochka: Ah... someone who knows Iowa! Yay! No wonder you're a kindred spirit! It was definitely the cool place to be. Never made it down the pipes at Jessup, but I lived right downtown behind C.O.D.Steam Laundry... the happenin' bar back then.

Brian: Midwest cool... that was us!

JD at I Do Things said...

You should be proud of your "good girl/wuss" status. I was not such a good girl (tho I definitely did mooch off my friends, as I, too, had that same fear that "scoring" a joint would result in a prison sentence of 5 years). You know how most people remember things? Sadly, I don't. And I blame the drugs. Oh, well. I bet I have some really good memories. Maybe.

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