Life with Mod: January 21, 1989

I’ve told this story so many times, I figured it was time to write it down. I hope you enjoy another glimpse into the life of Mod.

I woke up on the morning of January 21, 1989 feeling kind of glum. I was an eighteen year-old girl who lost her mom to cancer almost six months prior, I broke up with my only real boyfriend a month earlier (because he had sex with one of my ‘friends’), it was a gloomy day, and I was simply feeling low. So, I did what any other college freshman in 1989 would have done—I went to the mall, walked in to a hair salon, and got a perm.

It was a glorious perm. I even let her perm my bangs. I bounced out of that salon feeling like a fabulous new woman. The plan for the night was to go to a frat party at the house my friends and I always went to. We were little sisters at DU and the parties were always a blast. This freshly permed girl was up for a night of dancing!

I lived in University Hall, U-Hall, floor 4A. My pal across the hall had the cutest clothes and she lent me an outfit for the night. Friends, it was everything I dreamed of in an outfit. I donned a pair of kelly green stir-up leggings, which (of course) came with a matching kelly green mock turtleneck top with shoulder pads. Which I then added the matching sweater that was black with large, primary colored, polka dots… and more shoulder pads. I finished the look with chunky black socks and my black, lace-up granny boots. I. Was. Ready.

My high school friend, Jill, was visiting for the weekend. The night before, we were at the DU house, laughing about the fun we had the previous summer, touring Europe with our high school A Capella Choir and specifically discussed piercing our friend Dave’s ear. This is an important thing to remember as my story progresses.

Jill and I hit the scene. Also, I’m pretty sure we didn’t wait until 10:00 to go out back in 1989. Why waste such precious time sitting around when we could be dancing in the house basement to Erasure, Depeche Mode, and Billy Idol?

Back to the scene… I’m freshly permed, fully shoulder padded, and ready to take on the world.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see my biggest crush walking towards me. I cannot believe it. The perm must have worked!


Mike Brothers: Hey. Do you know anyone that can pierce my ear?

Mod: Um, yeah. I can. I can pierce your ear!

Mike Brothers: Okay great. Meet me in room 13 at 2:00.

Mod: I’ll be there.


He walked away and I turned to my friend and may have squealed. I definitely squealed. I had a serious crush on Mike Brothers.

2am rolls around and I am ready for some ear piercing. I head to room 13 with Jill close by. Funny thing, there was a line of guys in the hallway. We asked them what was up. They were all in line because they heard some girl was going to be piercing ears and they wanted in.

What?! Well, it didn’t matter to me! Mike Brothers was waiting and he talked to me and I had a new perm and I was wearing my favorite color and I was having a great day!

A large safety pin was secured, a quick pass over the open flame of someone’s lighter guaranteed it was sterile, and I told Mike to take a seat on his desk chair so I could pierce his ear. I tried. And I tried. I tried some more. But you see, I really had a crush on this guy and I didn’t want to hurt him. I’m not kidding you, at one point I was actually squatting on his lap trying so hard to get that pin through his lobe.

I could not do it.

After what seemed like an eternity but was likely five minutes, another pal, Lisa, took the safety pin, jammed it through his earlobe, and fastened it on the other side. Thank God for my friend Jill because she somehow cleared the room, hit the lights, and then cleared the line out of the hallway.

It was at that precise moment that Mike Brothers and I shared our first kiss. And let me tell you, it was some kiss.

January 21, 1989:

  • My last perm.
  • Mike’s last ear piercing.
  • My last first kiss.

30 years of kissing, 26 years of marriage, 3 incredible daughters, laughter, tears, all of it.

How lucky am I?

This photo was taken soon after January 21, 1989.
Note the excellent perm.


30 years later.


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