Pointless Passions

Even at the age of 13, I was obsessed with cats. And a lot of other things, too.

At this age, I was way into dieting, Scott Baio, and being preppie. My cousin and I attempted the Scarsdale Diet. It was awful. Like you only got 750 calories a day. I remember lasting about one day. All I remember eating was boiled chicken, unbuttered toast, and plain grapefruit. About a day and a half of self-imposed starvation later, I dramatically lay immobile on the couch. I was convinced I was going to die. Barely able to lift my head, I was determined to last more than a day, but I just couldn’t so I remember crawling on my arms and legs to the kitchen to make myself a bowl of forbidden oatmeal and break the fast.

Scott Baio was my next passion. I used to peruse my cousin’s collection of Tiger Beat magazines and see his angelic cheeks (face!!! Face cheeks!) glisten across the glossy pages. His sweet grin would send waves of happy zings in my belly as I gazed into his eyes and melted to Air Supply’s “All out of love” tantalizing my eardrums. If I had a new picture of Scott (or if I hadn’t looked at him for a long time) and I had the music timed just right, I could close my eyes and literally feel Scott Baio holding me in his arms. Not a harmful passion per se, just a tad unrealistic.

And being preppie. I discovered the Preppie Handbook with the help of my friend, Margaret, in Connecticut. I had to have the khaki pants in order to complete my outfit one day, so I remember giving my dad the cold shoulder treatment in the car for a long time until he agreed to buy me a pair. I must have acted morose until he pulled the truth out of me.

“What is it, Lara?” Silence. “Come on – what’s going on?”

Finally, I replied, “Oh, I don’t know. It’s just that… well… nevermind.” (sigh).

“Come on, now.”

“It doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about it…. It’s just… oh, you’ll never buy me these so it doesn’t matter…” I got the pants, but I also got a good dose of guilt since I still remember that fateful day I lorded it over my poor dad.

One thing I’ve realized now that I have teens: the teen years are all about passion. Highs and lows. Extremes. I’m kinda glad I’m not there anymore. The drama is a bit much. Passion is fun but I think the trick is figuring out how to be passionate about healthier stuff. Like it’s probably better to be passionate about exercise versus snorting cocaine. Or being vegan versus gambling. I guess Scott Baio and Preppiedom weren’t all that bad. Scarsdale and his diet though can suck it.