NORMAN — It’s always a humbling experience to spend the night in your girlhood bedroom.
It’s been more than 20 years since I called that Kansas bedroom home. Gone are the posters of rock stars with long hair and devious looks in their eyes. Gone are the dirty clothes on the floor. Gone are the nail polishes and the piles of shoes. Yes, now the room in the house that I grew up in is filled with photos of family and assorted knick-knacks. Apparently, my mom has different decorating tastes than the 16-year-old me.
But what isn’t gone are the memories. The closet is where I once hid the Ouija board after my friend, Ashley, convinced me that it was evil. She’ll never admit it, but I’m pretty sure it was her that moved that plastic message maker around that game board. After all, why would the ghost of Kurt Cobain talk to us simple Kansas girls?
My first broken heart was mended in that room. At the time, I never knew pain like that existed and I figured I’d never find anyone else who I loved so much. First loves are brutal that way.
Hours I spent in that room wondering what I did wrong to deserve such heartache. I’d play the same sad songs over and over on my cassette player. Eventually, I wiped the tears and realized he was just a jerk and I was better off without him.
I also realized that listening to the same song over and over on a cassette player was a lot of work. Now I realize he wasn’t worth the endless amounts of time I spent pushing the rewind and fast forward buttons.
After college, there were times I would return to that bedroom. In the summers, I’d be back to take classes at the local community college. Again, there were the shoes, the nail polish bottles and now college text books. That bedroom was like an old friend; it was always there to greet me when I returned.
Now I have a bedroom at my own house. My husband doesn’t believe in Ouija boards, and I doubt he’d appreciate posters of wild rock and roll singers on the wall. No longer is there a pile of clothes and shoes on the floor. They are all neatly hung in a closet where they belong.
I’ve gone to great detail in my adult bedroom to make it look and feel nice. I searched for months for the right pillows and comforter. It was so nice that when we first bought it, the dogs weren’t allowed on it. That, in case you were wondering, lasted for about two weeks.
It’s always nice to spend the night with nostalgia, but it’s also nice to go home and dream new dreams. Dreams that don’t involve jerk ex-boyfriends, but instead a wonderful husband. Dreams that don’t have me listening to sad songs, only happy ones. And dreams where Kurt Cobain doesn’t communicate via a Ouija board.
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