I graduated from a small high school in Justin, Texas, 25 years ago. My parents moved from Arizona to Texas the summer between my sophomore and junior year. I was once again, the new girl. It really wasn't a bad thing, the moving.
The move prior to junior year was my third school change -- not excessive in my opinion -- and I'm thankful for the exposure to different states [Indiana, Arizona, Texas], the resulting close friendship I have with my brother, and the special friends and memories I've gained along the way. I feel the same about the moves I've made with Chris during the past 20 years. I've been enriched, not robbed, by the occasional move.
As a person who loves to write, I have a pile of experiences and observations to tap into and build upon. I feel grateful for the abundant material.
Because I didn't attend my high school for all four years, and I linked arms with a steady boyfriend shortly after arriving to Texas [a very good person who is happily married today], I don't have too many shared experiences outside of classroom time with my graduating class. As I made my way around my 25th high school reunion, happily hugging and greeting old friends and classmates, I wasn't surprised when a few of the kids didn't remember me. One guy, who I thought I knew fairly well because I was a lifeguard at our neighborhood pool, I knew his high school girlfriend, and my mother was friends with his mother, actually said, NICE TO MEET YOU! as he left the party Saturday night. I just smiled and said, "It was nice to see you again."
Another guy who dated one of my best friends, Vicki, didn't remember me at all. He was very nice to me at the reunion. We were talking about my braces and I commented, "...it was either boobs or braces...". He said with a grin, "I think you made a mistake. Next time you have a choice like that, call me. You should have gone for the boobs." I liked him, even though he doesn't have a clue who I am.
It was good. The reunion. There are a few people I didn't get to talk with enough. I assume others feel the same. It was impossible to touch everyone in one or two short evenings and feel satiated. We need a reunion week. Then again... maybe we don't.
I drove past my family's old house and places that held powerful memories. I was stirred, but not shaken.
I was able to spend time with a friend I used to lifeguard with -- Lynn P. Carlson [the P. stands for pretty]. The day I arrived in Texas it rained. We were at a bar on that warm, muggy evening and Lynn was trying to remember the last name of a guy we both knew. She said, "Remember? He had frizzy hair." Then she looked at me and said, "No offense, Chrisy." I love Lynn P. Carlson. And again, not enough time.
[LPC is one of the few people who make me forget I have braces. She makes me THAT happy. Frizzy hair and all.]
It was great simply being with my girlfriends. Looking at clothes, giving each other honest feedback about appearances, thoughts, feelings, and life's problems. I talk on the phone frequently with these girls, but to feel them physically and share laughs was long overdue.
I sobbed as I sat in the airport waiting for my plane. I called Chris and told him how I felt. He was so compassionate.
I arrived home after the kids were in bed Sunday evening. I went in their rooms and kissed them, even waking up my 4-year-old after Chris rolled his eyes and asked me not to -- he'd been ornery earlier in the evening. Imagine that?
There's no place like home, and it's true that you can't go back... but I will return to the next reunion. Maybe with boobs... not braces.