One of my all time favorite teenage memories was a river trip we took with my church group when I was almost sixteen. In a rather stunning display of all kinds of rule-breaking, we went as a coed group and rafted and camped for three days in Southern Utah. Now, we were Mormons and we were heavily chaperoned so I really don't think any funny business happened but there was something a little illicit about spending our days in swimsuits and sleeping in tents inches away from the handsome boys we'd grown up with.
Then of course, there were the river guides. I don't know if you have to pass some sort of pheromone test to be a guide but ours were completely irresistible to nearly every female on the trip. From about fifth grade on I had a hard time getting boys my own age to pay any attention to me but because I was smart and talkative, older gentlemen usually got a good kick out of me (this is still true by the way, grey hairs tend to think I'm the greatest). I loved sitting up front on the raft and and hearing them talk about college and the terribly adult things they were doing when they weren't running the river. We were an underage church group so I'm sure they were far better behaved than they may have been had we been drunk sorority girls but there is a kind of innocent flirting a college boy can do with a high school girl that gives both of them a nice little ego boost without crossing any creepy lines. And especially for a sort of serious teenage girl who worried constantly that she might never, ever go on a date, it was awfully nice to get some extra attention from the ridiculously good looking "men" leading the trip. There was one in particular who I thought was probably my dream boy and although I have forgotten his name or any other details about him, when I hear the Shawn Colvin song he recommended I check out I can still get an image of his impressed face when I told him I did, in fact, know who she was.
Yesterday we went to a little town about 90 miles from the Springs to do some white water rafting on the Arkansas River, a thing I haven't done since that trip. I was with two couples so I suppose you can guess who ended up sitting with the guide? It turned out he was my age and we had quite a bit in common, including having lived on the same street in HB at different times so we had a fun conversation when he wasn't making us work. I kept wondering exactly what that teenager me would think-"34 and still flirting with river guides? Get a grip older me!" or "34 and cute enough river guides still want to flirt with you? Good job older me!" So I decided that if I remembered the summer of 92 correctly, she'd probably go with the latter.
I guess no matter what we do, our younger selves are knocking around in there somewhere. It was fun to spend the day with mine.