Living on and around Navy bases spoiled me. I was used to being the center of attention when it came to guys. I was used to having a lot of guys around me and being able to choose which one I wanted. So I was in for a bit of a shock when I started school and none of the guys seemed to even notice me. I had forgotten how many beautiful girls there were in Southern California. Every girl seemed to be striking in appearance. The competition was fierce.
In Hawaii we had dressed very casually because of the heat. Upon my return to school I was amazed to see the competition in how girls dressed. There seemed to be a hierarchy in clothing. The "in" girls wore the most stylish of clothes, dyed to match skirts and sweaters. The sweaters had to be cashmere or angora, the skirts were wool. Fur trimming was very popular too and was frequently worn as a collar over a sweater. The rich girls had authentic fur, often mink, and real leather; the girls from middle or lower class families wore fake fur and leather, or just went without.
I decided in order to "keep up with Jones" I needed a job. I still did babysitting, but I was going to need more than babysitting money to keep up. I had received a surprise check when we arrived home. I had been paid for the volunteer position I'd worked as a Recreation Leader over the summer. I was thrilled, but I still wanted an income coming in each week.
There was a Job Counselor at our school. I was sixteen now and very interested in working part time. So several times a week, I would stop by and beg the job counselor for work. The usual answer was that there were several girls ahead of my name, and he would try to get me a job as soon as possible. But that promise was moving at a slower pace than I wanted. I wanted a job, and was doing whatever I could to make sure that Job Counselor remembered me when a good job came along.