In 1983, the middle of my Fourth Grade year, when I was 10 years old, I moved to a new elementary school in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
It was January when I first walked into Park Brook Elementary and Miss Cummings classroom.
The feeling of being the new kid mid-year is less than the most amazing feeling one can have. It is only amazing in that it is amazingly scary.
On the first day at my new school, I walked into the lunch room and tried to figure out what to do and where to go to get a ticket and buy lunch.
While I stood in line feeling like I might poop my pants at any moment as the new-kid nervousness churned in my belly, a girl walked up to me and said, "Would you like to sit at our table with us?"
Relief washed over me. I wasn't going to sit alone.
33 years ago this month I met Lisa, my longest-time friend. I have no other friends that I am in regular and close contact with that go back further than 14 years. Lisa holds the title by a looooong shot.
Our friendship has endured 5th and 7th and 10th grade fights. It has endured Junior High and HighSchool, my teen pregnancy and marriage, my divorce, and much other drama. (I crashed on Lisa's dining room floor during one particularly stupid part of my early 20s).
It endured a boyfriend of mine she rightfully LOATHED, it endured her move to California, several moves around the Twin Cities, my move to Haiti, the birth and adoptions of my seven and her one ... it has endured a lot.
She is the godmother of my oldest child, and I am her son's godmother too.
We know each others personality disorders, and quirks. She dealt with my over-the-top neurosis of cleanliness for several months when we lived together for the second time in Buffalo, MN. (I'm mostly recovered now.)
We were in each others weddings. (She was in two of mine. I have only been in one of hers.)
One amazing fact not to be downplayed or overlooked - we went to 'travel school' to learn three letter airport codes together. Because, why not go into debt to learn something that would soon become obsolete?
Later we went to Crown College to get an actual college degree that wasn't a TOTAL waste of money and time like the McConnell Travel School proved to be.
BNA - Nashville, TN
IAD - Washington Dulles
BDL - Hartford, CT
Shall I continue?
It's not just anywhere you can get those airport codes and the many, many others. Not to worry, they are in our heads. Pre-Google and WorldWideWeb we were in high demand, thanks to awesome little nuggets of knowledge like those. "The McConnell Travel School" doesn't exist in downtown Minneapolis anymore. Shocking, right? It's sad for you guys that will not all have the same opportunities we had to learn those codes. <cough>
Our friendship has outlasted McConnell and a marriage and a billion other little and big things. I am so grateful for this woman, my friend since the first day I met her. I am excited to have her here again (3rd time!) on Haiti soil with us tomorrow.
|defining long age|