Laura Cotton at 17 years old: Showing off her “flattering” cheerleading warmups, her childhood best friend, and a disregard for the benefits of makeup.

(This is for you, Sheldon.)

I was flipping through the TV channels to get some inspiration for future writings (kinda going through a bit of a creative dry spell) and the first show I stopped on was MTV’s “When I was 17.”  I didn’t know the show existed (I don’t normally watch TV at 4:30 p.m.) but what a jackpot of ideas! I immediately started to jot down the first 10 things that popped into my head about when I was 17.

  1. My Eastland “Bucks” were so cool.
  2. I finally got my driver’s license after my family teased me that I waited so long. And the Cotton teenager vehicle – a silver Honda Civic affectionately named “Silver” – didn’t have one element of automation. If I wanted to roll down the window, I had to use good ol’ elbow grease.
  3. I was jealous of my sister, Waveney, because she got all the boys.
  4. My summer job was as a Winn Dixie cashier.  I still have that ugly red smock (I makes a fun Halloween costume).
  5. I was privy to Oldham County High School teachers’ gossip since I was a copy room aide and it doubled as the teachers’ lunch room. I heard some juicy stuff.
  6. I, and a few other OCHS Boy’s Varsity cheerleaders, tried to steal an Oldham County sign as part of a cheerleading bonding slumber party. We were unsuccessful in getting anything but grass cuts, though we dedicated the song “The Sign” by Ace of Bass in honor of the event.
  7. I completed my college applications to Ricks College and Brigham Young University using a typewriter … yes … a typewriter.
  8. Getting desserts or potato skins at TGI Fridays was the hot weekend outing. Maybe a dollar movie, too!
  9. Going to Hometown Pizza was a must after home football or basketball games – still in my cheerleading uniform and hoping to sit in a booth with other “cool” people.
  10. I was so tired of hearing “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow multiple times every Saturday morning at Gym Tyme gymnastics practice.  In fact, still when I hear that song, I automatically mentally prep for a back handspring … five, six, (clap) seven, eight, (down) one, two, three, four …