Under My Thumb

It’s summer 1988. I’m 15. I’m wearing Cover Girl champagne pink lipstick, blue eyeliner and probably blue mascara (because, you know, if you do that then your brown eyes will look blue, uh huh), short shorts and some tye-died half shirt. I’m tan, I’ve got Sun-In highlights in my huge 80s hair, but I look GOOD because, hey, it’s the 80s.

I have just discovered the Rolling Stones and I’m playing “Hot Rocks” or something on our brand new, super high-tech CD player. (We were the first people I knew of to have one of those. My brother won it when his team clinched IU’s Little 500 Trike Race.)

“Under My Thumb” comes on. Classic Stones. For instance:

Under my thumb
The squirmin’ dog who’s just had her day
Under my thumb
A girl who has just changed her ways

It’s down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what she’s told
Down to me, the change has come
She’s under my thumb
Ah, ah, say it’s alright

Under my thumb
A siamese cat of a girl
Under my thumb
She’s the sweetest, hmmm, pet in the world

I’ll never forget the next moment. My mom turned down the music, looked me right in the eye, and said, “Don’t EVER let that happen to you, Ceci. You should never be under any boy’s thumb.”

And that is when this woman’s feminist self was born. Thank you, Mom, for teaching me to respect myself, my mind, my body. I hope I can pass that on to my daughters. (Along with a healthy appreciation for Mick and Keith’s music, of course.)

4 thoughts on “Under My Thumb

  1. Awesome. That is so great that you remember that. And I love that you will teach Val and Bella the same lesson. Now, don’t forget to teach them to appreciate some Tom Petty too…..

  2. I remember the Ceci of 1988. You were fun and funny and I liked hanging out at your house because, despite how much I loved my parents, yours just seemed so much cooler.What a good lesson your mom taught you. I know you’re already starting to pass that on to your daughters.

  3. Ceci, I am flattered you remember this with such clarity! You will teach your darling daughters well…I know this with all my heart.

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