Why is it that when we get together with high school friends, we feel compelled to attempt to RETURN to the high school behaviors that nearly killed us the first time around?
Maybe it wasn't THAT bad. But staying up until midnight one night and 1:00 AM the next takes its toll. I got home this afternoon and had the choice of napping in the pool or riding my bike. Guess which one I chose?
Cheryl is on the far left. She and I were the babies of our class, both of us having skipped a grade in elementary school. She looks just like she did in high school, and I'm trying hard not to hate her guts for that. Her father was our superintendent, and she was forced to be a good girl. She probably would have been a good girl anyway. She and her husband (her high school sweetheart) just celebrated 30 years of marriage. When we were in Mrs. Marshall's math class together in 11th grade, Cheryl looked at a calendar and picked out the date she and Donny would get married after college. She missed it by one week. On the day of our trigonometry final, we found out just about an hour before the exam that Mrs. Marshall was going to allow us to use our notes. Cheryl had left her notebook at home. I told her to get in my car and we would go get it. (I was a pro.) Cheryl said, "My daddy will KILL me if I leave school!" I replied, "Your daddy will KILL you if you fail that exam, too." We made a mad trip to her house to get her notebook, and I don't think her teeth stopped chattering the whole time.
Susan is second from the left. She and I were on the drill team together in high school, and she drove her parents' car all the way to Jekyll Island for drill team camp one summer. Susan was always the one I wanted to be able to dress like. Never mind that she was tall and slender and I was ..... not. Susan and I left school without permission one time (detect a theme here?), and she pulled out in front of a car. The car swerved, went up on a bank, and turned over. I assured Susan that yes, she SHOULD stop and see if the other driver was okay (Susan's car wasn't hurt). Something was dripping from the trunk of the woman's car, and she ran up to me, hysterical. "Get my purse out of my car before it blows up!" she screamed. Pardon me, lady, but I don't particularly want to be IN your car when it blows up. (It was Pepsi.) We were only about a quarter mile from the school, and the driver was the daughter-in-law of one of our teachers. This nightmare just got worse and worse. By the time the officer finished the paperwork from the accident, school was out and there were legions of our classmates sitting on the bank watching the proceedings. Susan and I got suspended for two days - the week of the prom. And our spring concert. In the two days we were gone from school, the chorus director inserted a song into the program that we didn't know. (Who DOES that?) During the concert, Susan and I mouthed the words (or some words) and waited for the torture to be over.
Amanda is second from the right, behind me. I wish the light were better in this picture. Amanda also looks just like she did in high school. She is a year older than I am, and she has a ten year old daughter. God bless her! She also has a son who is in college, and she and her husband have been married for a long time. I asked him last night exactly how long, and he told me, but sometime during the evening the number leaked out of my head. Amanda and I also went to church together, so between drill team, school, and church, we were together pretty much all the time. We left school in her car in the middle of the day once (tired of this theme yet?), and due to our pretty rotten luck, we met her mother in the road about five miles from school. Oops. Amanda's parents thought (rightfully so, I guess) that I was a bad influence. They were so trusting of THEIR daughter that their house was where we had all the parties. Out of all my friends, Amanda was the one who had the most dealings with my difficult mother. And she still has nice things to say about her. We both worked for my mother when she owned her own business, and I think Amanda lasted longer than I did. I think she was much better at keeping her mouth shut. I didn't get that gene.
I hope we don't wait another six years to get together again. Last time we gathered at Susan's condo near Charleston, and we had a marvelous weekend. There were four of us that time, too, and six months later one died suddenly and unexpectedly. When Susan and I first got to Amanda's house on Friday, I asked if we could please have a pact that none of us would die after this get-together.
I don't know what it is about high school friends. It doesn't matter how many years we go without seeing each other, we are able to pick right back up where we left off. No matter how close I am to a female adult friend, there is always some awkwardness involved when we travel together or spend the night away from home together. Not so with high school buddies. It's as if the intervening years never happened and we only graduated yesterday.
We pored over yearbooks and then looked classmates up on Facebook. We laughed and laughed and laughed, and I can't wait to get together with those girls again.