I’m 10 Years Old Again

One of things I like about looking at pictures when you’re young and also meeting back with old friends you haven’t seen in a long time is, for me, it’s a glimpse of who I was. – Lea Thompson

Social media has its downfalls, there’s no question about that. Whining, bullying, criticizing, mean-spirited jibes, all can happen on a large scale via Facebook or Instagram, for example. On the other hand, I have developed relationships – and yes, I’ll call them relationships – via Facebook with people with whom I was only marginally connected in real life. Co-workers, high school acquaintances and so forth.

Let me tell you a story, one that will likely only be interesting to me. Please indulge me.

I lived the first 18 years of my life in the same house in Columbus, Nebraska. There were quite a few kids my age that lived in the neighborhood. A couple of girls next door, more next to that house, and more in the house next to that one. Catty corner from our back yard lived a family with a daughter about my age, maybe a year or two older.

She and I were very good friends. My sister Jen hung out with us too, but for the most part, it was Kathy and me. Privacy fences weren’t particularly popular back in those days, at least not in our neighborhood. So I could get to her house by running down the dirt path next to our unattached garage, through her backyard and into her breezeway, where I could knock on the door. Many times, however, especially in the summer, I would stand on my back porch and simply give her our mutually-agreed-upon beckoning call: Eee-Ah-Kee, Kathy, shouted at the top of my lungs.

If she heard – and she mostly did – she would respond in like manner. This meant we were both available to play together. We played dolls. We played tag and Red Rover and all of the games that kids played back then. Her mother was an extremely competent seamstress, and Kathy’s Barbie doll was considerably better dressed than mine in her store-bought duds. I also remember that Kathy’s mom and dad square danced. I knew nearly nothing about square dancing except that her mom had beautiful square dancing dresses that she made, because see above: an excellent seamstress. I loved those dresses.

Anyway, we went to different schools – she to public and I to Catholic. So once we got into junior high and busy with various activities, we sort of grew apart. So it’s safe to say that I haven’t spoken to her for 50 years or so. I’ve thought about her, however. As I’ve watched my grandkids play with their neighborhood friends, I’ve recalled my childhood friend. I, in fact, have looked for her on Facebook to no avail. Since she didn’t show up using the name by which I knew her, I figured she had either married and had a different last name, or wasn’t on Facebook. Every so often, I would check again.

The other morning, I got a Facebook Messenger notification from a name I didn’t recognize. I could only see part of the message and was afraid to click on it because I’m paranoid about being hacked. The part I saw was Is this the Krissy who lived…. And the rest of the message was hidden. Bill concurred with my reluctance to click on the message. I didn’t recognize the name, and I couldn’t image who would call me Krissy. I really don’t recall ever being called Krissy.

But being me, it drove me crazy. I looked up the person on Facebook, and she didn’t look familiar. I wasn’t smart enough to click on the “About” key, because if I had, I would have responded in a heartbeat.

Finally, my curiosity got the best of me, and I clicked on the message. There she was – my old friend from the neighborhood. I quickly responded, and we had the nicest series of messages back and forth, catching up via social media. She even reminded me that we buried “treasures” on that same path down which I would run to get to her house. Don’t you wish we could go dig them up? she asked me. Yes, indeed I do. I wonder what 7 year old girls would bury.

They say you can’t go home again, so it’s kind of nice when home comes to find you.

Saturday Smile: Old Friends

Old friends, old friends, sat on their park bench like bookends. A newspaper blown through the grass falls in the round toes of the high shoes of the old friends.

Can you imagine us years from today sharing a park bench quietly. How terribly strange to be seventy. Old friends, memory brushes the same years, silently sharing the same fears. — Paul Simon

The past few days, I’ve had occasion to spend time with people with whom I have been friends for more than 55 years. Imagine that. What a blessing to have friends with whom you have aged but who laugh with you and cry with you as though we are still 7 years old. It’s a gift to have these old friends.

Have a great weekend.

AARPed

I’ve been reading on some of the blogs that I follow, as well as other kinds of social media, that there is remarkable angst amongst the younger crowd because actor Luke Perry is on the cover of AARP Magazine.

Well, welcome to my world.

Apparently Luke Perry (a name I vaguely recognize, like I vaguely recognize – if I recognize them at all — the names of most of the so-called stars on Dancing With the Stars these days) starred in a television program called Beverly Hills, 90210 back in the day. Beverly Hills, 90210 is a program I watched exactly zero times. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even know it existed except for the fact that my zip code for many years was 80210, and I found that exceptionally coincidental. Looking back, it really wasn’t.

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Anyway, that whole oh my God, how can (fill in the blank) possibly be that old phenomenon happens on a regular basis when you’re a Baby Boomer. I distinctly remember the first time it happened to me.

I was the office administrator at a downtown law firm. As part of my job, I interviewed and recommended the hiring of administrative staff – anyone who wasn’t a lawyer or legal assistant. In that vein, I was perusing resumes for a secretarial position. Suddenly I noticed that the person applying for the job was born in 1960. I nearly fell out of my chair. Why, that was simply impossible. That was only yesterday, wasn’t it? I remembered what I was doing in the 1960s, for heaven’s sake.

Since then, I’ve experienced that same reaction many times. Like when I see Paul McCartney perform. (When did he develop sagging jowels?) And that can’t be Smokey Robinson.  Maybe it’s time to put away the shiny suits…..

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Perhaps the only Good Vibrations the Beach Boys are feeling are those coming from their vibrating recliners….

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It’s time that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sit on the park bench and sing Old Friends to one another…..

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But I’ll tell you about one person who has been a member of AARP for a fair amount of time, but to me he doesn’t look a day older than the day I met him…..

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Today Bill turns 74. He’s more handsome than ever. Happy birthday to my much-loved husband.

And to all of you who are up-in-arms about Luke Perry: Get a grip. It’s happening to you too. You just don’t know it.