I decided to join in once again for this week’s Remember the Time, wild card edition! This week we get to choose our very own nostalgic theme. Yay, us!
As I was pondering what to write about a face popped into my mind and I remembered the day I walked into Ms. Petite’s 4th grade class and met the “new girl,” C.
In elementary school, I was SHY. These days, I like to think of myself as a non-shy introvert (you know, the ones who have all the annoying “15 ways to tell if you’re an introvert and AWESOME” blog posts written about them?). Anyway, there was a time when making new friends (or my lack thereof) left me scared and lonely. I spent much of third grade crying to my mom about how I didn’t have any friends. I may have even caused my parents some marital trauma, insisting I sleep in between them every night.
C was different. We hit it off immediately. She needed an audience that adored her and I needed someone to follow to bolster my confidence that I was friend-worthy. Best Friend Worthy, even. Our friendship was immediate and lifelong. And full of the stuff that made up my childhood. Such as:
Baton Twirling Class. Every week one of our moms would drop us off at the local Boys and Girls Club for our baton twirling class. C had taken lessons before and talked me into taking them, too (of course). Our instructor was Rory Hood, a former national baton twirling champ, and really great teacher. I still remember the “dip of vanilla, dip of chocolate” method of teaching us how to twirl a figure-8! The two of us would practice at recess, which really didn’t do much to help our popularity ranking. But it was something that was ours. There’s a really awful photo of me in my sequined and fringed twirling costume, which I tried unsuccessfully to find for this blog post. But that’s okay, it really doesn’t need to be out there in cyberspace. After all, I hope to make friends in the future.
Band. Obviously C and I were never meant to be popular. Besides being in the same 4th grade class, the other thing that cemented our friendship was learning to play woodwind instruments. In 5th grade, C’s parents rented her a flute and mine rented me a clarinet. We would take home our beginner practice books and serenade our parents with the most epic of adolescent sounds. Eventually I gave up on baton and when the time came to join marching band it was me and my black plastic instrument all the way.
Grease. Is the word. Honorable mention to Dirty Dancing, Can’t Buy Me Love, and the Beach Party movies. We watched these movies over and over, long after the VHS tapes had worn out. We tried to establish our own version of the “Pink Ladies” at school by wearing similar jackets. It didn’t catch on. We didn’t know what fanfic was back then, but we were prolific at dreaming up stories; I was usually Sandy (pre-makeover) and C was Rizzo.
The Monkees. Perhaps our greatest shared love was the original, made-for-TV boy band. We had cable and we loved all things retro. What a great time for Nickelodeon, which began airing The Monkees every day after school (maybe even back-to-back with You Can’t Do That on Television–what could be better?). C’s mom had been a first-generation fan and her enthusiasm for their revival quickly spread to her daughter and her daughter’s very-impressionable best friend. Together, we went to our very first concert and my life-long obsession was born.
C and I are still friends, despite not having lived in the same state for the last 18 years. We may only talk once or twice a year, but our forever bond is cemented as we both go about our daily lives. And I still have my half of this:
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