Historical Awkwardness, part 2 (Amanda)


“Onward, Sparky!”

I feel as though I would be remiss in letting you believe that my history of awkwardness ended with cut out pictures of baked goods taped pornily onto my headboard. Oh no, friends, the awkwardness continued, and at least one more incident had to do with cutting pictures out of magazines. At some point my mother should have just taken the scissors away from me, I think, but you know, fine motor skills and all that.

So a few years after the chocolate cake porn incident, we had moved halfway across the state and I had made a friend (A! friend) in the neighbor girl who lived a mile down our gravel road. Her name was Dawn and at 9 she was already cooler than me. Her parents let her have magazines with names like “Teen Beat.” I felt lucky to get a pink transistor radio for Christmas, but Dawn got TAPES. She was pretty B.A.

So, I went to Dawn’s house one day and saw a poster on her wall of the most glorious men I had ever encountered–taken from the aforementioned Teen Beat.


I was like, “Who’s that?” and she was like, “Duh, it’s BON JOVI.” As before, my close-but-not-quite reasoning was, “Wow! It’s cool to put pictures of famous people on your walls!”

So close. So close, Amanda.

So I went home and again raided my only available resource–mom’s stack of Family Circle and Women’s Day. I searched and searched, but alas, there were no pictures of men who looked even remotely like the guys from Bon Jovi. In fact, in my estimation, there weren’t that many pictures of famous people period. LAME. Finally, though, my persistence paid off and I hit what I felt was surely teen idol gold.

Holding up the page, I asked, “Mom, is she a famous person?”

She glanced at the page. “Uh, yeah. Guess so.”

I looked at the picture again. This nice lady with lots of make up seemed really happy about prunes. “Well, who is she?”

“Barbara Mandrell.”

Good enough. I ran into my room, clutching the magazine, and oh so carefully extracted the page and proudly put it on my wall. YES. FAMOUS PERSON ON MY WALL. FINALLY COOL.


For all my google-fu, I couldn’t quite find the exact advertisement, but this still from a tv ad should give you a pretty good idea.

The next time Dawn came to my house, she noticed Barbara Mandrell and her prunes and asked, “Who’s that?”  Oh, how the tables had turned! Smugly, I replied, “It’s a famous person.” And then for good measure I added, “DUH.”

* * *

Luckily for me, the book fair soon came to school and I was able to beg my mom into getting me a REAL poster of a REAL heartthrob. Remember that pink transistor radio? Well, in the middle of North Dakota in the 80’s, all you were gonna be able to tune in was country, oldies, or adult soft-rock. SUE ME THIS IS ALL I KNEW. So the poster I picked out?


That glorious mullet…that braided belt…those tight stonewashed jeans.

Total score.

Not too long after that, I got lucky again and Dawn’s dad, who was also my Tae Kwon Do instructor, had scored for us posters. Signed posters. OF VIRGIL HILL.

Who’s Virgil Hill, you’re saying?  DUH. ONLY THE BEST BOXER TO COME OUT OF NORTH DAKOTA.  He too had a glorious mullet that was proudly displayed on my wall:



Some time after this my grandparents came to visit again and I again(when would I learn?) went to show them the tangible proof of how cool I had become. My grandmother stepped into my room and locked eyes with two be-mulleted men, one with very tight jeans and the other shirtless and fight-y and GASP BROWN.

She walked back out without saying a word. Bless her heart.


2 thoughts on “Historical Awkwardness, part 2 (Amanda)

  1. Bet Grandma was missing your cake pictures. Seriously, this made me laugh so hard, mostly because it’s so something I would have done if I had been allowed to have scissors.

    PS – Bravo on your use of the word “pornily”

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