Just 16 and Almost 25

Celie Wells
11 min readNov 15, 2020

Finding life in the dismal summer of 1987.

Image from abezikus, Getty Images via Canva

I earned an audition for a company in San Francisco a month earlier when I was a solid B cup. Now, after losing three more pounds, I was still pushing a full C. My genetics were pulling me away from the only dream I knew existed. A woman with a flat chest and a thick blonde mustache asked me to give my audition spot to another physically better-suited girl.

I should give up my barre for a pole if I wanted to pursue a career in dancing. Perhaps a drama team might be an artful use of my talents. I was shocked to the point of mutism. I ran out to my waiting carpool and tried to process all she said.

My mother was on her way to Vegas with one of her boyfriends while her fourth husband was busy at a biker run. It was a perfect time for me to have an early life crisis.

The following is an excerpt from Chronicles of a Valley Girl.

Being the last to arrive for a sleepover is never ideal. Everyone has broken into clicks, the pizza is gone, and the parents are frazzled. Lisa lived in Turlock’s rural area but went to a Modesto school with me so she could avoid attending high school with her white-trash cousins.

I arrived after my mother’s errands and straight from Ballet. I didn’t mention the disturbing conversation I had with my Ballet instructor over the size of my tits. My mother was already functionally high. No conversation would stick with her for long.

My friend’s house sat off the road behind a full walnut orchard. Besides the stereotypical broken down cars in the front yard, several fallen logs were littered with broken glass from target practice. The pungent smell of weed hit me as I opened the door.

Lisa’s mother came out to the car to talk with mine. I went inside looking for my friend and a shower.

“There she is. This is my dancer friend I was talking about.” The girls sat around a table playing cards and drinking wine coolers. They looked at me like I was an insect. Lisa promptly kissed me on the mouth, as she liked to shock everyone, and handed me a diet soda.

“I smell like ass from practice. Can I use your shower?”