Just Write {98}

August 19, 2013

{Just Write simply means that I “just write” without hesitation, not stopping to edit. I end up saying what the page says, not on purpose, sometimes clearly, sometimes not. Feel free to join me.}

We sat out on the front porch in the seventy degree beautiful Minnesota evening weather and went through the year book from 1993. It was the weekend of our 2oth reunion and we are two friends from fifth grade on, still sitting together when we can, like on the night before our reunion. Her big brown eyes are the same and her naturally curly mane of brown hair. Actually she looks the same, only better. I noticed that about so many people this weekend. Twenty years have gone by and they look better than ever, like they’ve grown into themselves, maybe even found out that they are as great as I always thought they were and then got all shiny and more confident.

Screenshot 2013-08-19 at 8.23.46 PM

We laughed so hard sitting on those patio chairs. Paula asked me if I was cold, can I get you a sweatshirt? Are the bugs bothering you? She kept getting up to get me more water. I had a lap top on my lap, so I could look at the planning page for the reunion, at the addresses, and then as she flipped through the year book, I told her where people are living now. Almost every person’s picture brought up a memory for one of us and we’d laugh telling stories or ask each other questions. You dated him? When was that? Did you know her very well? I always liked her…

We all knew many people from our class because it wasn’t very big. We all admit that there’s so much we’ve forgotten. A lot of people don’t show up for reunions and they say things like I see everyone I want to see, but maybe we want to see them. Maybe it means something more than nothing. A quick hello or small talk or whatever. My friend Riley and I met for breakfast the morning of the reunion and he said something like, we impacted each other’s lives more than anyone, for better or worse, actually. I mean, aside from our families, I think this is true, it’s just that we don’t remember it that well. We grew up with the same people, from kindergarten all the way to graduation day. We remember parts of it vividly and we taught each other things, for better or worse and all of it happened during those formative years, when we were trying to figure out if we’re worth anything. Our self-esteem was lacking in the first place, because we were kids and teens and we fed the good dog or the bad dog in each other and that’s just how it is.

Many years can go by and those that made us better people and loved us like we are, we can sit with them and see that kid, in their gestures and the way they still walk or stand. In their voices and sometimes they even have the same hairstyle.

They know the kid in me that will always be there. It’s perfectly comfortable to pick up where we left off, in a way. No one else has known the kid in there this long, aside from family. We were still almost completely those kids on our graduation day and we’re still trying to figure out life, we always will be and it feels good to know that there are people out there that have known me and cared about me since I was five. They still show up. I’ll still show up.

Paula saw me starting to get stressed, like I do in social situations. I just do. She looked right at me, Sweetie, I’m right here. I know, I said. Thank you. I think this is one of the things I loved about drinking, being able to escape this social anxiety….but I know that it wouldn’t help because I’d just drink too much.

Hey, I’m not drinking either. We can not drink together. I’ll be right there with you.

That’s just it. All the years and all the miles apart and all the fading memories, it doesn’t matter. So many of those people were right there with me, and still are.

Screenshot 2013-08-19 at 8.24.20 PM

As the sun started to go down, adding a little chill to the air on Paula’s mom’s front porch, I was telling her what it was like, before I quit drinking, all that I’ve been through. Her eyes said everything, she listened like she always has and I listened to her and it was the best night I’ve had in a long time.

We all have a lot in our lives, separate. But class of ’93, you’re still my people.

Screenshot 2013-08-19 at 8.27.17 PM

 

This is the 98th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page, and please don’t link to posts that are not freely written in the spirit of capturing moments–you know, don’t link to how-to posts, lists or sponsored posts. Also, please link back to this post in yours so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.

Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word? Thank you!



{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine A. August 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Class of ’93 rocks!! And I knew many of my friends that I saw last month at my reunion for that long too. I loved what you said about still noticing and seeing the kids in them. The “kids” are definitely still there.

Glad you had good friends near you and a good time seeing “old” friends. :)
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Marta August 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm

So fun that you knew your classmates for so long. That your truly knew them. My class was so big that honestly I don’t know the majority of them. Our reunion is this year, and so many of my friends don’t want to go because “I see all the people I want to” or “facebook is enough for me”, but I want to see all the people I never really knew. Who knows maybe they will be someone I will know now, even if I didn’t know them then.
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Kat August 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm

I love this. You’re right. Those people help to make us who we are. And they’ve known us before we knew ourselves.
I am still best friends with my bff from first grade. FIRST GRADE! And I keep in touch with quite a few others from our grade school as well. It is kinda crazy when you think about it.

So glad your reunion was such a great experience.
Great post!
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Alison August 21, 2013 at 7:28 am

My friends who have known me since I was tiny and small and shy with the bowl haircut – they see me now and they say, hey, you’re not the same, but the same. Because they KNOW me. So. I get this. I do.
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Arnebya August 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I went a happy hour recently. And I opted not to drink. I’ve been doing the same at home, just to see how it goes. It’s gone well. And then it hasn’t. I’m still working on it. But, damn, I was so proud of myself for asking for lemonade. I was even prouder of my coworkers not questioning that order when the rest of them asked for drinks. I had ONE person there who said later that she’d caught my wince when someone ordered a margarita. She figured that was my drink (it is). So in solidarity she ordered a ginger ale. I will never forget that. We can not drink together. My 20th reunion was in 2011 (huh. I thought it was last year. My math is worse than I thought).

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erin margolin August 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I am class of 94, so I’m pretty close to you. Nervous about our reunion, and figure I’ll end up being one of the main planners, LOL!

PS I would have sat with you and had some chocolate milk. Or I also love strawberry kiwi iced tea.

xoxo
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Paula August 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

I can’t wait to not drink with you again! Thanks for all the laughs sweet one, I love you to the moon and back.

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Rhonda January 10, 2015 at 3:31 am

I had a tubal ligation 22 years ago and have had horrible period problems so I now have elected to going about getting a reversal because I can’t take it anymore

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