Monday, June 25, 2007

Old Friends

I posted on Friday about the dreams I'd been having, and that reminded me of some old friends, and that put me in a nostalgic mood, and that made me want to blather on about my past. It might be boring. You've been warned.

My first best friend was David, the son of my mother's best friend, and I have no idea how his last name was spelled. Hey, I was nine the last time I saw him. It sounds like Ploo, and is probably Pleau. I dunno. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that he was Steve Austin, the Six-Million-Dollar Man, and I was Jamie Summers, the Bionic Woman, and my brother was Oscar Goldman, our handler. That's the main memory I have, of us playing that all the time.

After David was Tammy Moran. Her mother called me a few years ago, when she saw my mother's obituary. She's apparently teaching music in California, exactly what she wanted to do. We were close friends from age 7 (she was a year younger) to high school. But she was two grades behind me and we weren't in the same school after elementary, and she had her school friends and I had mine, and then I moved to NY.

In junior high and high school it was Jeanne Graham, Linda Rivera, Dawn Fournier, and occasionally Laurie Minihan. Linda and Dawn keep in touch with me. I don't know why. I was never a very good friend to any of them. We were all outcasts, and my mother had tried to teach me that we're known by the company we keep, and I hated being an outcast and knowing that hanging with them wouldn't help. My strongest memories of them are times I was an ass.

Something you didn't know about me that probably makes you like me less.

Linda and Dawn are married, Linda has kids, Dawn is trying. I haven't seen or heard from Laurie since I moved away from Agawam, and Google has nothing on her. Unless I'm just spelling her name wrong.

Betsy Hernandez was probably my closest friend in high school, at least in our junior year (she moved to town our sophomore year). She's my sister-in-law now, and we keep in touch about as well as I do with the rest of them. Which is, barely.

Bethany Sudbury was my next-door-neighbor for a while. She was a few years younger than me, but if it weren't for her, I might never have played outside. I always preferred books to sunshine. Beth contacted me a few years ago via my blog, asked how to get published, and then never responded to me again.

I moved my senior year to North Chatham, NY, and went to Ichabod Crane Central High School. Everything changed. No one remembered the shy, introverted kid. It was a small school, the jocks and the brains were the same kids, and they hung out with the goths after school. My best friend there, Sue Schreijack Pulver, remains in the area. She grew up there and still belongs to the rescue squad. We lost touch, too, and I think it's my fault. She stopped writing back when I wrote to her, and I'm guessing I said something in a phone conversation that she took badly. I don't know what else would cause her to stop.

My senior year I had lots of guy friends, too. David and Mark and Chris and Geo--oh, especially sweet Geo--and Dan and Sean. Makes me long for our reunion, except many of them were juniors. We lost touch through college. I ran into one guy about 9 years ago, when I was pregnant with Number Two. He chased me down outside of Staples. He was the manager of the Encore book store, which closed soon after so I never saw him again. I assume he was relocated. We weren't that close so it was flattering that he remembered me, and came after me. He'd been in the military right after graduation, though, and I wrote to him for a while because he was really homesick. I wonder if I still have those letters somewhere...

Summer jobs seemed to lend themselves to intense, short-lived friendships. I mentioned that I hung out with Vince and Peter that summer of '89. Ninety saw me in Michigan, working at a nature center and living with four other people in an old farmhouse. I never clicked with Kahle or Heather that much. I don't think they cared for me. But Rob and I had great religious debates, and he and his brother Dave were sweet guys. But they were older and didn't stay in touch, either.

There's a trend here, you might have noticed. I haven't stayed in touch with anyone. None of my friends from college...roommates...friends...I did trade e-mails with Eric Schutzbank, who was a very sweet, very understanding pledge the year I met Jim. He'd asked me to the pledge formal but I was about to have my first date with Jim and thought he'd ask me, so I turned Eric down. He never held it against me. :) He's a married attorney now, and seems happy.

There was Victoria, with her contraband cat who'd only eat when we were in the bathroom, but would always eat when we were in the bathroom. I made a mistake with her. I'd asked her to be one of my bridesmaids, but the church was really tiny and Jim didn't have enough guys to be groomsmen, so I "took it back." Idiot. She didn't come to the wedding and I never heard from her again. There are way too many Victoria Andersons for me to easily find her online.

Shawna Wamsley was my suitemate for two years. I heard her "crying" one night and thought her boyfriend was being an ass to her. But he was just playing the fart game, I found out the next day. (Farting and trying to shove her under the covers with it.) She had gorgeous strawberry hair that I still envy. They apparently got married but her news item on OWU's web site is twelve years old.

Okay, now I want to go pull out photo albums and yearbooks and wallow in nostalgia all afternoon. I betcha anything I dream in the "past" again.


Vicky B said...

Looking back can be fun - or depressing, depending on how you handle it. I tried to find my old boyfriend through Google, but his name is too common - there are too many of them. Like you, I just didn't keep in touch.

But I don't feel that I've lost anything. I've gained new friends, some of whom are closer to me than any of my lost one ever were. And that's a good thing. When I look back on "these" years, I hope I'm still in touch with them.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

But I don't feel that I've lost anything.

Excellent point, Bicky. I don't, either, actually. I know for damned sure that the close friends I have now will always be my friends. I won't let us lose touch.

An aspect of maturity, perhaps? :)