Throwback Thursday – 1982

Throw-back-Thursday-DAZZLERRemembered a happy moment of my childhood today, which is not that common. The year was 1982, and my mother and stepfather had taken me to Knoxville, Tennessee to see the World’s Fair.

While we were visiting family in the city, we did some shopping in the downtown core. My Aunt Barb was stuck watching me for some reason, and I (predictably) dragged her into a comic shop. I had just started buying some X-Men comics and a few later issues of Dazzler.

In the comic shop they had all the back issues of Dazzler, and I had probably five dollars to spend. I took all the issues of the comic that I had not read out of the long box in their bags and laid them out, trying to make a decision based on the covers and characters which precious few issues I’d be able to afford. I imagine every kid who loves comics has gone through similar rituals. There is always more to read than a kid can afford.

Anyway, God only knows how long Barb watched me doing this. I will never know what was going through her mind when she finally came up to me and looked at the pile of comics with the roller-skating laser-blasting Disco Barbie on the cover. But what she said was, “Do you want all of these?”

As a child, I was seldom asked what I wanted. I can imagine I must have hesitated, but I must also have nodded or said “yes”, because with a few brisk efficient movements Barb gathered up the whole pile, took them to the counter, paid for them, and gave them to me.

I still keep a few boxes of comics that I’ve saved over the years. Most of them were acquired after age 21, but the old run of Dazzler 1-28 is still in it, along with a few Spider Woman and Red Sonja comics I bought as a child. At age 12 I was looking for a female-bodied idol, someone I could aspire to be. But that day, Aunt Barb was my hero.

It remains to this day one of the most affecting memories of adult kindness I can recall.



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About Arinn

Author, Game Developer, Anthropologist, Feminist, reformed Supervillainess.
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