What My Teenage Priorities Sounded Like

Priorities Sign

Priorities. We all have them. And for many (if not most) people, priorities change over the course of their lives. When I was 17 years old, my priorities were very different then what my priorities are now.

My top priority at the time was love. I was in love with the idea of being in love. I had a boyfriend who was a couple of years older then me. He was a man of the world, or so I thought. I was sure he knew everything. And of course, he could do no wrong, proven by the fact that he could walk on water. Yes that’s right. I said he could walk on water. Or at least that’s what I thought when he bought me a car. Not only did he buy me a car, but he bought me my first car. It was a 1969 Pontiac Tempest.

a 1969 Pontiac Tempest car

Now Billy was a man of the world. He had a car. He had a job. He accepted me for me. He knew everything. As such, when he presented me with the car, I fell even more madly in love with him. (I know now I was just mad.) He promised that before he’d spent his hard-earned $250 on a car for me that he’d checked the car out thoroughly, using all of his years of mechanical expertise. It’s paint wasn’t bad at all, it was a blueish gray. The first thing the car needed was a stereo. If I was going to drive around I had to have a good stereo to listen to. So, I went to the store and spent my own money on a kick-ass car stereo with a cassette player. I think back then it cost me like $100. It had hundreds of knobs and buttons.

Car Stereo Cassette Player

My boyfriend installed the stereo and I was good to go. I was one step closer to being an independent woman now that I had a car that my boyfriend had bought for me. I grabbed my favorite cassettes and put them into the car. The first one to go in was my favorite cassette at the time – the soundtrack from the movie Purple Rain. I actually bought a second copy of the cassette, so that I wouldn’t have to take the one I already had out of my bedroom. I kept it there because as all parents and teenage girls know, that is the room where teenage girls sing and dance.

Prince Purple Rain Soundtrack Cassette

Now, Purple Rain was my favorite for a couple of reasons. First of all, my boyfriend had taken me to see it in the theater a couple of weeks before. That alone made it the best soundtrack ever. Second of all, I just liked most of the music. Don’t judge. I was far from being the only person to like the Purple Rain soundtrack. A look at the chart of Billboard Top 100 Songs from 1984 will reveal that a number of the songs from the Purple Rain soundtrack wound up on that chart.

I also tossed in a couple of other favorites, includng Back In Black and Highway To Hell by AC/DC.

On the third day that I had my car I was driving home from work. The car broke down. I couldn’t reach my boyfriend, being as there were no cell phones back then. So I had the car towed to a nearby garage. As it turned out, the car was done. To have it fixed would have cost a lot of money – money that I didn’t have, and money that the car wasn’t worth spending for. The towing and storage bill alone for a couple of days was a couple hundred dollars, which I didn’t have. So, heartbroken, I had to let the car go. The guy at the tow truck place told me he’d waive the towing and storage bill if I signed over the title to him. I checked with my Dad, a real working mechanic who did and still does know everything. He assured me letting go of the car was the only option. I wanted to take the stereo out but the tow truck guy said he’d only do the exchange if I left the stereo in it. I went to clear out my things, and found that my Purple Rain cassette, along with both AC/DC cassettes, were mysteriously missing. The only cassette I got back was a cassette by Shannon.

Let The Music Play. A song about a boy and a girl, and music.

Ironic, isn’t it?


No compensation was received for this post, I’m just sharing some memories. As always, any personal opinions stated are my own.

About the Author

NJ Mom of 2 boys. – TJ, a 21 year old, and CJ, a 17 year old with Down Syndrome. Jersey girl. I have three younger brothers, all of whom have children. Social media enthusiast. Ds Advocate. Cat person. I love rock music! I HATE the misuse of the word retarded. I take it personally and find it very offensive.

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  1. Shame on your ex boyfriend! What happened after you got home? Ohhh and I loved Purple Rain! Even though I’m deaf, i know the beat and soundtrack was terrific!!

  2. That is just sad! The car looked really good. I feel like you got scammed by having to include the radio, which was new.

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