What I Was Like When I Was Eighteen

Victoria English

 

For most of the people in this group, they don’t have to think back very far, but for me it was just over three decades ago. That would be somewhere around 1972. My hair was blonde and like Cher’s—waist long and straight. I was Twiggy-like skinny. Not skinny because I dieted but quite the opposite. I could eat everything in sight and not gain an ounce. That’s probably when my thyroid was burning itself out. I weighed a whopping ninety pounds at 5’2.

 

We all wore bell-bottom, hip-hugger blue jeans. Guys were either enlisting or being drafted into the military and sent to Vietnam. Nixon was president. I was in college. The legal drinking age was eighteen then, so occasionally I would go out drinking and dancing with friends. I still lived at home.

 

Valdosta State College students complained about the parking problem—not enough places close enough to the campus. The pedestrian overpass had been built over Oak Street, and we complained that it was too physically demanding.

 

My sister would have been the age that her daughter is now. I barely remember my sister as a kid. Vague recollections from old photographs.

 

At eighteen, I was silly, quiet, playful, naïve, clueless, but knew-it-all nonetheless. Smart enough to stay away from drugs.