Not everyone keeps in touch after high school. I have one solid friend from Sophomore year, my first year in LA. And one solid from university and one I occasionally keep in touch with. But before that…. No one
Except this year there was a milestone reunion and there was Facebook.
I left Minnesota after my freshman year. Some of those kids had been in first grade with me (we lived in the country – there was no kindergarten or preschool.) so when I got the invitation to go back to that reunion, I decided Pourquoi pas? I reconnected with one of my closest junior high friends on FB, then we texted and finally chatted on the phone several times. She convinced me. I made arrangements to stay with a faux cousin. Bought the plane tickets. And then school friend realized that her flight to Europe was leaving on the Saturday of the reunion, not the Sunday after. Bummer. But I had left enough time so we could spend the Thursday together from Brunch til dinner. Great fun. With some people, you just reconnect and the years disappear. Then Saturday was the event, At times I can be introverted and shy and other times extroverted and genial. I kicked the genial into high gear.
But it was strange. Without Anita there I kept wondering why I was going…. And throughout the night I continued to think that. I saw my next door neighbor. His older brother was the first boy I kissed -at 5! And Donny from across the street. He had always had an invisible friend when we played. It was so cool I wanted one too. But I kept losing her. She’d be there – we’d be all four together. And then we would run down to the woods. Three of us. His friend, him and me. And when we got there, there were only three of us. I had no idea where mine went. I think she was twiddling her thumbs in the tree house. I finally gave up.
Imagine. He didn’t recall at all.
Anita said all these kids were anxious to see me. Fortunately I didn’t believe that. Three were excited. Maybe another 5 chatted briefly, My memories stopped at grade 9. They were all about 10 through 12 and mostly 12. So I was oddly disconnected. No real surprise but I hadn’t thought that through,
We left on these highs of keep in touch!!! Yadaydayda…. I figure we really won’t. Maybe Anita. But the others… in the light of day on Sunday, I saw the experience as just that…. An interesting experience.
On the other hand, I was so happy to have reconnected with my faux cousin. My siblings and she and her sister were older than me so I always felt a tag-along kid. To connect as adults was terrific. We had seen each other many times as they came to visit my mother or we went out there. But always with others around and always for a short few days.
Truly sympaticio as my mother would say. She saw more of the Twin Cities than she had for years. Me too.
Do you remember the house you grew up in? I do. My dad built it. I had visited on an earlier trip to Minnesota for business. We drove by this time and saw a lot of construction going on. So of course we stopped. It was being remodeled to become an AirBNB house. And actually, many of the cool things my dad designed were still there and left intact. We looked down the very very very steep hill I had to climb to get down to the lake. Now it looks like a gentle sloop. Age will change the angle of the climb dramatically.
My faux cousin lived in the house bought and added on to by her grandfather in 1911. Her mom had been born there. She came home from the hospital to this house. I can’t imagine living in one place that long. Although I am working on 15 years in Sacramento.
The Minnespolis Institute of Art had an outrageous exhibit – one that was more theatre than art. https://new.artsmia.org/power-and-beauty/ if you want to find out more.
And overall I was so impressed with Minnesota’s welcoming feeling. Very diverse. Big population of Somalis. Very Macy’s had the mannequins wearing hajibs.
Very different from my protected childhood amidst the Swedes and Norwegians. But good!