In 1982, these were two of my favorite people. My aunt Sharon is one of my mom's younger sisters (part of a twin pair, actually!) and she lived nearby and spent a lot of time hanging out at our house. She was something like 18 when I was born, so she and I had a kind of big sister/little sister bond. She'd let me stay the night at her apartment (cool!) and when she came over to our house, she'd take an interest in making Shrinky Dinks or coloring books. It was pretty awesome. Plus, she had cool friends and boyfriends (except Bret who didn't tolerate me calling him "barrette") and drove an awesome VW bug and would let me roll my window all the way down and sing at the top of my lungs. She'd also rent scary movies and we'd make a nest on her living room floor and watch them in the dark and then fall asleep there together in a pile. It was, in every way, extremely rad.
My cousin Eric (who is not related to Sharon, he's from my dad's side of the family) is wisely hiding his bowl haircut under that Dodgers helmet. He is a handful of years older than me - just enough to be totally awesome. I worshipped everything that he did. At this time, he was into breakdancing and would totally bring his giant piece of cardboard everywhere with him which is why I am mimicking his awesome Breaker pose. He was also really good at baseball (and ended up playing all through school and high school) and I was so proud to go to his games which were held in stadiums (!) and not just the crummy fields at the park like my other friends' little league games. I absolutely idolized him and I owe him an incredible amount of gratitude. I learned from his mistakes (ex: if you earn $5000 on a house party, pay your neighbors not to tell your parents) and emulated his musical tastes. And I have to say, he was pretty damn gracious about having a tagalong girl cousin. Every single one of my friends fell in love with him (because he paid attention to us!) and I'd call him every. single. Sunday to invite him to go rollerskating with us (too bad he was always busy!). He even played along when I told some of my friends that he was my brother. THAT is devotion, folks.