Once in a while, you get a person who weaves in and out of your life over time. They pop into your life, and then pop out, then pop back in at a later time. I had a funny reminder the other night of just one such person when as perusing Facebook the other night. Admittedly, I spend too much time on Facebook, however I’m starting to really dislike it these days. What was a fun, silly way for me to connect with my friends and family, since they are all so spread out around the world, has become a den of political lies/misinformation, stupid people making stupid choices, and just…ick. I’ve slowly started the process of muting people, leaving pages, and weeding out the ick, and while it’s getting better, I have more to do. I’d head off of it altogether but would lose the easy access to interact with my family.
Anyway, I digress.
So there I was, lounging outside on Facebook, and I commented on a friend’s post about a town a used to live in. Suddenly, I was tagged in a comment from a woman I had known for years growing up, but had lost touch with. We chatted back and forth before I friend requested her. I was kind of excited to see her pop up, because our friendship had an interesting plot twist over the years.
We met down in Miami as kids. I don’t remember how old I was, but I must have been pretty young because we stopped going to Miami after a while. Occasionally we would head down there, my parents and I, for a vacation, and sometimes my parents would head down alone. Sometimes we stayed at the Doral, the Fontainebleau, and once at the Biltmore (which was a favorite of mine). This was back in the 80’s. While down at I believe the Doral, I met a girl my age (probably by the pool, my favorite place at any hotel) and we spent much of the vacation hanging out together. She was from New York (I believe Queens, if memory serves me correctly) and I lived in Connecticut. We were sad to part ways after the trip and became pen pals.
Now back in the day, we didn’t have any sort of computer communication like we do today. There was no email, no social media, and no Facebook. Keeping in touch took EFFORT, especially when you had to pay for long distance calls and your parents frowned upon you making many. So we wrote long letters back and forth. This carried on for years. I got invited to a birthday party at her house and was so honored to be able to go, especially as I was surprised my dad was willing to drive me to Queens. To me, New York seemed like the other side of the country at that age, even though it was just about an hour or so away at the time. I’d been to NYC before, but not to Queens, and it seemed so exciting to visit this new place and see my friend.
Over the years, we lost touch. I don’t know why. This past weekend I even said to her “I don’t know why we lost touch, but if I did something, said something, I’m sorry”.
In the middle of high school, my dad’s company transferred us to Virginia. Several big companies went down to that area. The rents were cheaper, and I assume there was a push by the state to get some big name companies to move there. We had to go, and I was devastated. I was 16, angsty, had a boyfriend (who became another “in my life out of my life” person for years before I finally got some sense into my head) and I loved my current school. Unfortunately, where the company went, we had to go, and we moved to Virginia. (I happen to be very fond of Virginia now by the way).
The first day of school, I walked in feeling more anxious than ever before. I to this day am grateful for a girl named Angie. Angie was a tall and powerful force. Loud, funny, and always good for a laugh. She was also kindhearted and took it upon herself to call out “hey new girl!” and told me she was going to be my friend. I was so grateful for her kindness that I can’t even describe it without tearing up. Angie basically TOLD me she was going to be my friend, and that she was. She introduced me to her friends. She hung out with me, and she is a big reason I made it through those two years left of high school in a decent way instead of tumbling down into a bad way.
I remember sitting in class with Angie the first few days and a girl caught my eye. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She looked inherently familiar. I was so perplexed. It had to be, but it couldn’t be. I studied the girl’s eyes, hair, and smile. To be honest, I’d only seen her in Miami, and then at the party, and maybe one other time but I could swear it was her. I turned to Angie and said “hey, who is that over there? What’s her name?” Angie told me and I started laughing. How was it possible? What are the odds? I told Angie, “girl, I have a story to tell you!”
Angie was shocked too. I mean, how did two random little girls meet in Miami, while living in different states in the Northeast, end up not only in the same state, but in the same town and same school many years later? Angie called the girl over. She studied my face, and we sort of awkwardly said hi, both of us still a bit incredulous at how strange it was to end up at the same school, in the same class.
Now I wish I could tell you that we resumed our friendship in full force and were inseparable besties from that moment forward, but despite beating the odds geographically, we never quite became really close again. I surmise I probably did or said something awkward over the years, because I know I was pretty cringey as a teen. Hell, I’m pretty cringey now!
So imagine my surprise when she wrote to me on Facebook. I can honestly said I was really happy to see her face there, and see she’s happily married with a child, living a great life. We chatted back and forth very briefly, but I think I’ll write her a longer note later today. My memory is pretty bad and I’m hoping to learn more about how she ended up moving to Virginia, her life after high school, and where life has taken her.
They say it’s a small world. I can confirm it’s often much smaller than you’d ever imagine.