**I do understand that the Confession Bear meme is meant to be anonymous, so at the time of my writing this, I have yet to decide if I will publish this privately or publicly, but after all this time, I am ready to bear *ahem* I mean, bare my soul.**
It was 1988, I was 13 and my sister was 15. She worked at Physical Whimsical in Sharpstown Center Mall in southwest Houston, Texas. I admit, I was jealous. (But that is not what I am confessing.) It seemed like the coolest job ever at the time and I remember thinking that when I grew up, I would have a fun job, too. (Here I am, working on the Guadalupe River at Camp Huaco Springs in New Braunfels, now in my 7th season and I love every single day of it… so yeah, that worked out the way I planned. Sure, I thought I would be world famous actress, but this is a pretty good gig, too.)
Let me just say, my sister was (and still is!) beautiful. She was friendly, popular, thin, had great (80’s) hair, and was loved by everyone. I was, well… I was kinda weird. I idolized her. On top of which, she was (and still is!) my very best friend. So, along with everything else, she had a cool job and was getting paid to do it.
….And now, the confession….
Kat had just gotten paid, got home from work, went to the bathroom, then went to her room to change out of her bright blue “Phys Whiz” polo shirt. That’s when I walked in the bathroom and noticed her horrible blue and tan paisley wallet just sitting there on the counter. (I’m sorry Kat, it’s true. That wallet was so ugly.) What can I say? I was 13. I couldn’t resist. I peeked in her wallet and saw what seemed like a stack of brand new crisp $20 dollar bills. I knew it was wrong, especially to do that to my sister, but I took a $20 and stuffed it in the pocket of my overly baggy jeans. If she ever noticed she was missing it, she never let on to me.
That cash was burning a hole in my pocket and I was dying to spend it. I got my mom to drop me off at the mall. Before exiting the car, she handed me the usual $20 bill. Now I had $40 and a guilty conscience. I met up with my girlfriends, grabbed a slice of Sbarro pizza, had a scoop of peanut butter ‘n chocolate ice cream from Baskin Robbins, and headed to the promised land in the mall – the record store. Now that was a place I could see myself happily working for the rest of my life, or at least until I got my big break and ended up on the big screen.
After probably hours of wandering around the store, I made my final selections, went to the checkout, spent the rest of my (stolen) money and from that point on…
my life was changed forever.
I walked out with the ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’ album from the Cure, the ‘Music For the Masses’ album from Depeche Mode, and the ‘Something So Strong’ single from Crowded House. Up until then, the majority of my music collection was mainstream pop radio artists like Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, The Go-Go’s, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper. (All of whom I still listen to, btw.) But my first taste of “alternative” (God, I despise that label) music in the comfort of my room, on my record player, that I could play whenever I wanted, as often as I wanted and I was hooked for life. (Yes, I know many songs from those albums were radio-played, but they weren’t “pop” in the 80’s sense of pop music.
Thus began my love affair.
So, I owe more than an apology to my sister. I owe her a thank you for unwittingly providing me with the opportunity (and the cash) to explore my musical tastes and listen to what was considered outside the norm. I’ve carried the guilt of this theft for 25 years. I want to tell my sister I’m sorry. I know her, she will forgive without thinking. I can imagine her laughing at the situation so hard she will probably snort. But that is the beauty of her, she wouldn’t have held it against me back then and certainly wouldn’t today. In fact, if I had just asked her, she probably would’ve given me the twenty bucks. So, in the famous last words of Kurt Cobain, to my sister Kat, I say this…