Like, I Was a Valley Girl

Lynn Valley, to be sure, in North Vancouver, but that's about as close to San Fernando as you're going to get north of the 49th. I didn't realize it at the time, and it didn't even register when I hit university and someone pinned the label on my friends and I - we thought it was a joke. Everyone knew it was the Shaughnessy and West Van kids who fit the description (although we did say "Totally" and "Gross" and "Oh my GAWD!", and I still say "Like" far too often).

But looking back, there was some underlying truth. We were children of privilege (not PRIVILEGE, like the new-money West Van crowd, or PRIVILEGE, like the children of The Establishment in Shaughnessy) because our parents bought us beaters instead of Bimmers, and we went to public school instead of private, and we had part-time jobs to help pay our university tuition. But there was no question that we were all going to university - I didn't even apply to the local colleges, just fired off the forms to UBC and SFU, and only applied to SFU because no one applied to just one school, even though we all knew UBC was the only place to go. Until I met Dean, I'd never known anyone who couldn't afford to go to school.

We weren't complete mall rats, mostly because the malls in North Van were pretty pathetic. If you wanted to hang out at a good mall, you had to go downtown, which meant taking the bus, which was so not cool. But once we were there, we could easily spend 8 hours wandering in and out of the stores, trying on everything and buying nothing (because privilege, unlike PRIVILEGE, does not include an unlimited budget for wardrobe expansion). And we weren't empty-headed twits (although I'm sure we acted like it from time to time), at least not the girls who made it to UBC. There were other girls who fit the Valley Girl mold better than we did, who worried about clothes and hair and boys to the exclusion of everything else, but we weren't cool enough to hang with them. We were the Band Kids, the Smart Ones, the ones who got along with our parents.

Just as well, really. I still like my parents, but Valley Girls are, like, soooo last millennium.