1980, Age 4 - I'm on a huge Smurfs kick, so mom tells me she's going to order a Smurfette cake for my birthday party. Only she must not have spent a year of Saturday mornings with her butt planted two feet from the TV screen like I did. At the party, she gathers all the kids around the cake box and proudly lifts the lid. I gasp in horror. "Mom, what IS that?!" She looks puzzled. "What do you mean? THAT'S Smurfette!" Um, no, mom. ALL smurfs are blue. Not pink. Not even girl smurfs.
1982, Age 6 - While sitting in my desk doing schoolwork on a warm, sunny afternoon, I hear a faint thumping sound of music in the hallway. The music got louder as it grew closer, and then all of a sudden, Miss Piggy appears in the doorway of our classroom. THE Miss Piggy, with bouncing blonde curls, a boombox on her shoulder, and a clump of brightly colored balloons. She walks up to me, and I nearly wet my pants. First she leads the class in singing "Happy Birthday" to me, and then she produces a box of chocolates, which I get to hand out to all my classmates. As I walk home from school proudly holding my balloons, I see my mom, who surprised me by meeting me halfway down the block. I am so overcome with happiness that as I run toward her, I burst into tears.
1986, Age 10 - In the middle of the night I am awakened by rustling noises in my bedroom, along with some "shits" and "goddamns." I lift my head up and see two figures huddled at the foot of my bed. It's mom and dad, trying to set up my a new stereo so that I'll be surprised when I wake up the next morning. I pretend to go back to sleep, but I'm too excited and my heart is pounding. I listened to the whole thing. The next day I unwrap my first two cassette tapes: Janet Jackson's "Control" and Johnny Cash's "Man in Black," both of which I had specifically requested. Within a week, I had memorized every single word of "Nasty" and "A Boy Named Sue." That's right, folks - even back THEN I was this cool.