No, it's the boys that have fascinated me. First of all there were so few who were truly kind in high school. It's been such a trip catching up on where life has taken us all.
There's Tommy, he of of the mesmerizing blue eyes and dimples bigger than the Grand Canyon. I've known him since we were seven. Tommy had such a quiet intelligence. He wasn't the smartest boy in class. No we had Matt, Andrew and Stephen who always rubbed their smarts in our faces. Tommy's brain power was simply cool and all of us were aware of it; never questioned it.
In tenth grade it was put to the test. We were in chemistry with the greasy haired teacher who had dandruff the size of snowflakes whose name I forget but whose catch phrase is forever burned into my brain, "It's not that I don't trust you. It's just that I don't."
Mr. Greasy Hair had filled his chalkboard with chemical equations for an upcoming semester test. He told us to start writing. We did - except for Tommy. Tommy had a photographic memory; he never took notes. He didn't need notes on paper. He simply "saw" them when he needed them. He quietly tried to explain this to Mr. Greasy Hair. It turned into a shouting match and Tommy was sent down to see the principal.
Within minutes, the principal was in our room, reading the black board with great care. He stepped outside and grabbed Tommy sending him back to his chair. As he left, he said to the teacher, "Mr. [Tommy] does NOT ever need to take notes."
Tommy was an angry young man who would just as soon flatten some punk rather than take any guff. But, when our HI-Y youth group would visit our Bridge School for mentally challenged kids every month, Tommy had such a gentle way with those kids. It's that Tommy I see when I imagine him with his own kids.
And then there's Bill. Another boy with magical eyes, Bill was the class clown. He was a year older and I only met him in Jr. High. One day, when I was in tenth grade, Bill was wandering the halls at recess with every book he had. He had no locker...or his locker mate had kicked him out. As I opened my locker, he took over the top shelf and demanded my locker combination.
As I had a secret crush on him, I gave them up without a fuss.
Bill always made me laugh. He, too, was a smart boy - I recently learned his i.q. is off the charts. But my favorite memory is of him always being the first to arrive at high school. He would get there early to make us park on our old unmarked lot in a more interesting fashion. I always obliged.
Whether Bill ever knew of my crush is questionable... probably so. I'm pretty transparent. While he never indulged me, he was always sweet; never rude like so many boys I knew in high school.
I can still hear his laughter and can imagine his home today with all his kids must be filled to the brim with it.
The other boy I've enjoyed catching up with is the young man I secretly named "The Best Boyfriend In The World!" From junior high through college, whatever little twit I befriended would always show up with her boyfriend, Scott. I didn't even realize that Scott and I were in the same university until some girl (can't remember her name) started chatting about her new boyfriend. "Scott this and Scott that and surly you must know him - he's from McComb." That Scott?? Yep, him again.
I rode on the back of his motorcycle with my friend / his girlfriend between us in Junior High. In high school, he started dating one of my church friends and I always hoped they would end up together...but she too was not the one for him. None of his girlfriends ever deserved him in my book.
But it was because of her I got to know him really well. He was truly the best boyfriend in the world. Once, she and I were in her front yard choreographing her flag corps routine with all her private school girls. Scott showed up with sno cones for all of us and then left us to our work.
He frequently would take would take his girlfriend's friends out on their dates, often with his friend Carey in tow. One such date, he and Carey decided us three girls really needed to know how to drive a stick shift. He took us out to old airport road....nice and straight with zero traffic.
His girlfriend and our other chum each took a turn in the front seat of his VW Rabbit. Each of the girls learned pretty fast. And then it was my turn. Of the three of us, I was the only one that had access to a stick shift...my mother's car. So I really did need to know how to drive one.
Scott patiently showed me all the gears only every time I shifted into second, it died. That is, when it didn't die on take off. We lurched and jumped and bucked down that old road, gears grinding for close to an hour. When I finally made it into second, Carey and the girls in the backseat stood up and gave me a standing ovation! I got so excited, I never made it to third.
It's a wonder the Rabbit lived.
If Scott is half as patient with his kids when they learn to drive, they'll be just fine. And yes, he did finally find a good girl for him. They've been married over twenty years.
It's terrific reading about their careers and career changes into more suitable professions. It's great to hear what they still dream of doing. Looking at their photos of them as men with wives and children and jobs, I don't see the men. No, I still see the boys with quick smiles and funny jokes and dancing eyes and dimples for days. I see the boys that filled me with wonder and made it OK to dream.
OMG!!!!! If I still see them as the boys they were in high school, does that mean they don't see me as the woman who went to Hollywood and made movies and worked on huge ad campaigns and owns her own business???
Do they still see me as that quirky, pimple faced, freckled red head with hair going in 87 directions who always wore hand-me-downs from her grown up sister because her mom would never buy her the "cool" jeans and covered up her vast insecurity with cockiness????? Do they???
Oh God, tell me there's a CANCEL MEMBERSHIP button somewhere!!!