Have you ever wondered what happened to your best friend from childhood? I have even though I've seen her on and off over the past twenty years. Now, when I say "on and off", that means about once every 10 years. Well today marks another 10 year anniversary for us, as we met for lunch at a local eatery. Five hours later we parted ways. That was a good lunch.
I still remember the day we met. My family had just moved into our new house. A friend of my mom's who lived in the subdivision told us that there was a girl in the neighborhood who was my age. I'll call her JJ. I remember hanging outside in the front yard when JJ rode her little blue bike past the house. She stopped and we started to chat. From there we were thick as thieves. There were a lot of good laughs - she was a bit of a clown. One time while at a local department store with me and my mom, JJ did an impromptu Playtex "cross your heart" commercial using a belt as her prop. She was such the actress. She had my mom in stitches.
This close friendship lasted for about three years until her family moved across the busy street. When you're in third grade, you're not really allowed to cross the "busy" street so we didn't get to spend as much time together. That's pretty devastating at that age. However, we persevered and still saw each other when we could. (Now that I'm reminiscing, I think we spent a lot more time together after that move than I originally remembered. The memory gets a bit foggy when you're reaching back 30 years ago...)
In school we had a different group of friends and by highschool we had very different hobbies and interests. I always felt that she was one of the cooler kids. Not a "popular" kid, but a cool one. She had an older brother and sister, so I was sure that she learned stuff from them that I would have to figure out on my own since I was the oldest in my family. I remember once she used the term "petting" and I totally pretended to know what she was talking about....then I looked it up in the dictionary. And that whole baseball reference to sex was utterly confusing to me. I understood what a "home run" was, but everything up to that point was really gray. I was so naive.
We somehow connected just before our 10 year high school reunion. We started hanging out, going out to clubs and chatting on the phone like teenagers. But just as soon as the relationship started it ended again. I'm not quite sure why, but I figured we'd see each other again. Little did I know it would be 10 years later and that we'd see each other "virtually".
I happened to have her email address in my address book. Our email carrier is so clever that it tells you when others in your address book who use the same carrier are online. A month ago or so I saw her on-line so I dropped her an IM and today we had lunch. Despite the ups and downs through her life, she has pretty much remained the same person I've known her to be...
...and I still like her.
Cheers to you JJ - I hope we remain connected this time around.