Sunday, October 05, 2008
I'm Outing Myself
No, I'm not gay, but I have here never before published photos of me. You can now put a face with this space. I hope the reality is not too jarring!
Last night was the expiration of the last of my getting-older reminders. Last night was my 30th HS reunion. I'm embarrassed to say that I had to look at lots of name tags, but most fessed up that they had to do the same.
Lest you have to wonder, that is me in the middle of those two good looking fellows, Buster (l) and Allen (r). My husband and I split our social obligations. He attended the party of a dear friend's surprise 50th birthday party. My BIL, who also graduated in this class, was on a fishing trip. So I was on my own.
Well, not quite on my own. The only reason that I went to the reunion was because my best girlfriend from high school was coming down from Northern Virginia. Here's a pic of me and my friend, Robyn, taken at her home. Even at 48, our fathers somehow treat us as if we are still teenage girls. Hers insisted on driving her down to the Richmond Convention Center, the site of the reunion.
After brief consideration I told her that I'd pick her up and take her back to her parent's house. It was in the immediate circle of driving that I would need to accomplish to fulfill my other chauffeuring duty which was to collect my husband from the party.
As another reminder of the ever increasing space between our tender teenage years and our hard-bitten advancing years, I had a hard time finding Robyn's home. Oh, I was on the right street, and as I was slowing down in front of her home, a home that I had been to hundreds of times in my life, it did not quite look like 'it'.
A few doors down, I could see a young fellow 12-13 sneaking a smoke. He was lurking around one side of his home. As he saw me driving slowly down the road, I could see him worming his way around the back--but not quite wanting to turn the corner. No doubt he would be visible to his parents inside. I found it laughable that he thought that in such a neighborhood he could sneak anything outside.
Ultimately, I resorted to calling to get Robyn's parents' phone number, as my call to R's cell phone went unanswered. So I was talked in (embarrassingly) from 3 houses away! Sigh . In fairness, I had LINGERED in front of the right home, but 15 years or so time, the LAST time I had been by there, small trees/bushes become BIG trees and bushes.
I'm not sure how Robyn and I became friends. She was outgoing, I was not. But she had transferred in from another school and was in my Algebra class. Though shy, I did outreach. Our friendship blossomed, and over those two or so years in high school we did fun stuff. Some of that included sneaking downtown the the "Shockhoe Slip" and ordering drinks though we were under-aged. Never once did we get carded. Picking up guys was never our intention. And we never did. We were good girls on an adventure.
We'd find guys, certainly. Rather, they found us. Robyn was always so dazzling with her blond hair and pretty tan, she was like a light to these man moths! And while our potential as a 'coupling opportunity' was degraded rather quickly with these guys, we were unique in that we could hold our own in any conversation. Even better, we had perfect comedic timing. So we'd have these guys howling with laughter. I guess if you're not going to get sex, a good laugh is a reasonable compromise. (I realize that I'm writing that from a female perspective and the testosterone infused opinion on the matter is likely a wee bit different!)
My friendship with Robyn is very special. Geography and family/work responsibilities are life's wedges in interpersonal relationships. The same is true for both Robyn and I. However, though she's not part of my everyday life, and she has not been for some time, she's NEVER forgotten one of my birthdays over all of these years. I cannot say the same. Ultimately, we carry our friendships in the pocket of our hearts, easily reaching in to pull it out when life's wedge is temporarily removed.
Even 30 years post high school, Robyn's and my differences are still the same. Here I am in my unimaginative black dress, and Robyn dazzling, as always, in something both stylish and colorful. And in yet another testament to timelessness of the "things never change" aphorism, Robyn's Dad suggested that she wear her shawl and NOT take it off.