This post is part 13 in a 15 week series sponsored byMommy's Piggy Tales that encourages women to record their youth.
My Junior year brought many new opportunities that I joyfully embraced. One stereotypical change was my ability to get a job. Although both my parents offered to get me a job with their companies, I, like most teenage girls, was more interested in working at . . . the MALL. So when I saw the local Sears was hiring, I applied and interviewed.
Dressed in one of my best church dresses (I knew how to make a good impression) I entered the store and asked to be directed to "Bob" the man who was going to interview me. I was led back into the storeroom, past all the pretty clothes and shoes and I sat down in front of a short, balding, skinny older man and he began to tell me about the job. No questions about why I would be a good fit for the company and such like I expected, just a short job description and an explanation of pay and when to start. And just like that, I was gainfully employed. Except I had to change out of my best Sunday dress into jeans and a tshirt because I was going to work in the storeroom. Definitely not as high-class of a job as I had imagined, but it was work, nonetheless.
Bob was gruff and coarse and kinda intimidated me, and the fact that we were working in a darkish warehouse made me more nervous. I was glad there were other girls my age back there with me, specifically Jamie and Wanda. The three of us became fast friends and Bob turned out to be the most gentle, kind, almost fatherly boss. He watched out for us and generally made work a more fun place to be.
I made many friends at Sears, all of them teens from local public schools. I learned a lot those years (probably some stuff my parents wish I hadn't) and I tried to be a "good Christian example." Most of all I learned that I could be in the world and not necessarily of it. I worked at Sears until my junior year in college, moving from the warehouse into the junior department and finishing off in shoes. I still have very fond memories of my time there, and most of the friends I made there stayed friends for years.
My junior year also found me doing more at our school with plays and musicals,even singing my first (and only) solo. I competed in dramatic prose and poetry and found I was quite comfortable performing, which ignited a love of the theater that influenced my decision for my college major
Probably the most exciting adventure of that year was going to Mexico with a friend and her family for their vacation, but those stories and pictures deserve a separate post altogether. You'll have to stay tuned for that one at a later time!