A few nights ago I reconnected with a childhood friend, Kristi and it was actually really, really fun. This is a woman who I have not spoken with in at least twenty years. She lives in South Carolina and has two beautiful girls who "cheer." One would think that I would have little in common with her now, and yet, I spent well over an hour on the phone with her, while nearly polishing off an entire bottle of wine.
Growing up, Kristi was one to be envied. Nobody in our neighborhood had money, but Kristi had the nicest house on the block. She had a microwave, a formal living room and a "family room" with a color T.V. Need I say more? Her pantry had treats like rice krispies and cookies. After school we would settle in front of the Brady Bunch and polish off an entire box of Fudge Stripes. Krisiti was blond, pretty, outgoing and popular. She was all the things I wasn't, so I envied her.
Kristi set me up with my first "boyfriend." I didn't know how to talk to boys, but she did, and facilitated the whole note exchange which resulted in me "going with" a boy named Eli for two weeks in the sixth grade. If it weren't for Kristi, I might have been well into highschool before getting a first kiss.
We grew apart over the years. We were very different for all of the reasons I mentioned earlier and primarily because she was self-confident and popular and I.... was not.
I reconnected with Kristi over facebook. It's funny her children fit the image I have of her locked in my head forever. Blond, athletic, confident, beautiful. Of course Kristi has grown up. We have exchanged emails and texts messages, and to my utter amazement she shared that she was envious of me as a child. I could not believe it. All of these years it was so perfectly clear to me that she had it all, that she was perfection and that I was simply inferior. We talked a lot about that during our phone call. Each of us jealous of the other. Each of us having no idea how we were percieved from the outside. If only. It also became evident that even though we still appear to be very different, we have a good deal in common. She is still blond and beautiful, has two gorgous girls and lives in the suburbs. Then there is me. A working mom of three crazy boys living in the heart of Oakland. And yet we reconnected and re-kindled an unexpected friendship, chatting about our past and filling eachother in on who we are today.
From awkward pre-teens to grown women, from the outside we never had much in common, and yet sometimes the people who you think you wouldn't like you end up loving the most.