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1990

Continuing a Year of you Life meme from this post

I was 20 years old for most of 1990.

One of the biggest events of the year for me was moving out my mom's home for the 2nd time -- I'd only lived away for  few months the year before, but this time I'd live away for a year.

I moved into the 2 bedroom apartment that I was going to share with my new roommate Kelly (a high school friend) in late May of 1990. It was on Elizabeth Street, just a couple of blocks from the University of Utah which I would be starting at in the fall. It was a very quite side street with no car outlet. Going for a walk with Michael once led us to the discovery that the street curved down at the end to a dead end, but there was a set of stairs at the end that took you down a steep hill to the next street which was 1100 East. There was abundant folliage so it was nearly hidden from view of the street, you had to know where to look.

I had been dating Michael since January of 1989 and we were still going strong for most of that year. I would in the future end up having a long on again, off again history with Michael, and I would end up having a child with him later. At this point it was just nice and romantic.

I didn't have a car at this time, and I had a driving phobia in any case, so I would usually bus to and from work unless I worked an evening shift, in which case Michael would pick me up and take me home.

I worked at Fred Meyer in Sugarhouse at the time. It was the smallest of the Fred Meyer stores. I had been working there since I had graduated from high school in 1988. At the beginning of 1990 I was still working the apparel department where I had been hired. Early in the year I'd been "promoted" to head the infants apparel, which meant more responsibility, but not more pay.

The manager at the store who transfered to the store early in the year didn't like me too much, and one of the first things she did to me is force me to dress up as the Easter Bunny the day before Easter. I had no prior warning, and I had dressed nicely that day since I was hosting a bridal shower as maid of honor for a friend of mine after work, so I wasn't happy about sweating inside the costume. I was even less happy playing the Easter Bunny. I was supposed to hand out balloons to kids in the parking lot where some Easter activities had been set up. My tail was pulled and I was kicked at and teased by several mean children. When I was finally allowed to quit playing Easter Bunny, I found that quite a bit of fur and come off the costume and static clung to my nice pants. I spend the good part of an hour (paid thankfully) trying to get it off with an improvised lint roller made out of wide packing tape and a fat marker.

A month or so later, that same manager transfered me from the apparel department and had me trained as a cashier. This was just a few months before we were to get UPC scanner registers. At that time, everything had to have a price tag and everything was entered by price and code, which was real pain.

I mostly enjoyed cashiering, but there were some down sides. 1990 was the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, and the customers had seemed to become more environmentally conscious. When I asked, "paper or plastic?" I would (at least once a day) get a dirty look and a disgusted answer, like "of course I want paper. Plastic fills up the landfill and doesn't biodegrade" or "of course I want plastic. I don't want to kill a tree".

A couple of months after being trained as a cashier, the manager that didn't like me was transfered and we got a fun new manager, Craig. He was friendly and teasing. He also had no arms from about the elbow down, just complicated hooks that could grip things. The only downside to Craig that I could tell was that he usually hired young blondes orgood looking girls, and he hired them at wages slightly above what I was earning after working there for two years. I don't believe there was any sexual harassment of mistreatment, but it was the first one of the first times that I felt the sting of being discriminated against for not being pretty in the traditional sense.

Craig had me trained to work the service desk and also trained me for a new position (front end PIC -- person in charge) that would be required by the new cashiering system we were getting in. I was in charge of the cashiers, giving them change and manager overrides, and getting them set up and making sure they got counted out each day. The service desk was very stressful, but I thrived when I was scheduled as PIC for the most part -- I did have trouble being assertive with the cashiers and having them keep busy at certain projects because most of them were older than I was.

In September I went with Michael and his family to Lake Tahoe, where we celebrated his grandmother's 88th birthday. His half brother, who we had car pooled with had teased us about getting married as we passed all the little wedding chapels on the Nevada side of the lake. That led to a discussion on the trip about marriage. He expressed that he wanted to do it and so I felt safe enough to say that I hoped we would someday, too. Little was I to know that this conversation started a thought process for him, and a month later I started to notice him withdrawing from the relationship, and that was when it really began to fall apart.

I enjoyed Lake Tahoe and spending time with Michael's relatives. After Nanny's birthday, the rest went their separate ways home, and Michael, Michael's mother Lily and I headed northwest to a wonderful little town on the California coast called Medocino. I hope to go back some day. It was a very charming little town. We stayed in an adorable bed and breakfast called the Seagull Inn. It was my first time at a Bed and Breakfast and I think it's one of the best ways to travel. We had fresh blackberry muffins every morning from the blackberry bushes on the property.

In October I started up at the University of Utah.I started out with only one class, Survey of Theatre, to see how I'd do. I hadn't been the best student in high school and it had been quite a while since I had to worry about studying. But I found for the first time in my life that I loved school, which was a surprise to me.

October is when things started to fall apart with Michael. We started fighting a lot, and he started backing away. It was a very devastating time for me. It was my first major relationship and we had been together at this point for nearly two years. The struggle really colored those last few months of that year and I spent a lot of time crying and depressed. We would end up hanging on for a little more than a year after that before breaking up officially. It would almost be like Michael was playing the daisy game -- I love you, I love you not -- each phase lasting a few weeks before the next petal.

The user pic on this post was taken in 1990 at Lake Tahoe by Michael. It's a bit washed out because I developed it myself and it was underexposed. Normally, Michael would throw away mistakes like this one, but I kept it because I really liked it, and I never did print up another of that exact one.


As a bridesmaid, April 1990