Flashback (Um) Friday: All Grown Up

I love Flashback Fridays at Mylestones. Not only is Jo a fantastic writer, able to paint stories of her life into the brightest of word pictures, but she picks fun topics to get fellow writers sharing memories of their own. Yesterday's suggested theme was "All Grown Up," and while I loved Jo's story, I couldn't think of anything that related to me. Until this morning, when I was eating breakfast in my sunny kitchen. Then this memory came flooding back.Note to my parents: This is all a lie. A LIE! I can neither confirm nor deny its truthfulness.

I was going to be late to work. I could feel it in my bones. A quick glance at the clock confirmed it. I had exactly 15 minutes to get from my current location, the student broadcasting studio, back to the dorms, so I could change into my uniform, to the college’s van shuttle that would take me to the nearby strip mall to the restaurant where I waited tables. Normally, that was a process that would take at 45 minutes, minimum. And the crew I was working with in the broadcast studio wasn’t even done yet.

I squirmed. The production’s producer, an senior who just happened to work at the same restaurant, sensed my discomfort.

“Oh no, do you need to go?” she asked.

“Well, my shift starts in 15 minutes,” I said, “and I need to get back to the dorms so I can catch the shuttle….” My voice faltered. I hated being the bad guy.

Lynn was clearly caught between sympathy for me and the pressure of finishing her show.

“If I let you take my car, would that save you some time?”

An electric current flew down my spine. Take her car? Yes, it would save me time.

Problem is, I didn’t have my driver’s license.

It was a conundrum few would have suspected. I was 18 and a freshmen in college, but I had never bothered to test for my license. I just didn’t feel the need when my friends drove me everywhere. Plus, it wasn’t like I didn’t know how to drive. I had completed a driver’s education course just a few months earlier, to better my future insurance rates. And my friends would occasionally let me get behind the wheel of their cars so I could test my intellectual knowledge.

It was just that I was missing that tiny slip of paper that made it all legal.

But Lynn didn’t know that. And her nonchalant suggestion made it clear: She would never have suspected I wasn’t an adult.

So I agreed to take her up on her offer as casually as I could muster.

Fifteen minutes later, I drove the three miles to work with sweaty palms. I think I looked at the rear view mirror for flashing lights more than I looked at the cars in front of me.

But while my hands couldn't stop shaking, my face couldn’t stop grinning.

By the time I finished my shift that night, I was heady with the power of being a grown-up. I had freedom! I had control! I had a car!

Before I left the mall, I stopped by Claire’s to get my ears double-pierced.

Because now? I was a young adult. And anything was possible.


  1. I thought you were going to say you stopped and got your license on the way home! When did you finally get it? That makes me feel better that I wasn't the oldest one!

    I had no idea anyone else had a Flashback Friday meme when I started mine last week. Last week mine was about driving lessons/getting the license and yesterday it was First Date.

  2. Oh you REBEL you. Driving illegally and getting your ears double pierced to boot! (Claire's is the scene of many a coming of age stories, no?)

    Love this! So glad you finally had a chance to jump in!!

  3. Oh man, I didn't get my license until 19. Same reasons, and I probably would have gotten my ears double pierced after that, too. :)


  4. I was a rebel and didn't get my ears pierced until I was 28. Always said I would do when I could afford diamond studs, didn't get them until I was 33.

  5. The last two sentences crack me up. I got the double piercing at 18; then a 3rd; then I stopped because if I were to get any more holes in my ears, the girl doing the piercing at Claires told me she would have had to poke into my cartillage, and I was not willing to suffer that much for beauty.

  6. And I looked up to you as my youth leader. And this would be why! Ha ha!