You know those days where everything that you need to deal with is a problem, and they all take up so much of your time so that you can’t get around to dealing with anything else on your mile-long to-do list, and your desk is cluttered and you feel claustrophobic, and endless phone calls prevent you even further from getting to the work that you can’t get to to begin with, and it feels like the roof is falling in over your head and there goes the phone again and you just want to push everything off the desk with one sweep of your arms and you kind of do it halfway but then feel guilty about it and accidentally let your new phone drop to the floor which makes you feel even stupider because you can’t get your frustration vented in a good way, and you just want to slam the desk with your hands so you do and ouch that hurt and want to pull out your hair but are too scared to actually do the hair thing (not unlike Britney Spears the other day- sidenote what the HELL is wrong with that girl?) and you are now mad, angry, frustrated, your hands hurt from slamming them on the desk your new phone has a scratch and the to-do list is still as long as it was when you started working this morning?
Welcome to my today.
Quote from Empire Records:
AJ: “Whats wrong with you today?”
Lucas: “What’s wrong with today today?”
Last night, insomnia hit again, and I turned to my trusty old friend MySpace to keep me company in the early hours of the morning.
On a whim, I decided to browse through the school listing for Burlington City High School to see if I would recognise anyone.
I grew up in Burlington City and went to school there straight through to my 7th grade year, when my parents decided to up and move us from Burlington City to Burlington Township, which is basically the suburbs of Burlington City and close in distance but surprisingly different in mental characteristics. So, I was about 12 when I left City behind, and really never kept in contact with anyone that I had been friends with there.
So here I was browsing through the City member lists from the same year that I would have graduated there, and I recognised this or that face, but no one that I really knew that well, …and then I got to Christine’s profile. Holy nostalgia Batman!
Christine L. and I were in practically all of the same classes from 3rd through 7th grade. We were also on the same cheerleading squad in 5th grade, and basically in the same group of friends for those 4 or 5 years, which happens when you are in a class with a group of people at that age. You all just kind of hang out, whether you are cohesive as a group or not. I’m sure there was drama- we were preteen girls remember- and the group wasn’t all that nice all of the time, but we still had a good time and got along during lunches and recesses.
Christine was little, blonde, and unfailingly cute. She was the one that was always chosen to be lifted into the air during cheers, and next to her I always felt oafish and frumpy. Her mother kept her in new, cool clothes rotated so that she never wore the same outfit twice in a month (I distinctly remember her saying this one day when I was wearing the same outfit for the second time in one week) and did her hair in cute styles. My father had two hairstyle options for me each morning, depending on how much time he had to spare between getting us ready and getting us out the door: parted straight down the middle with my bangs feathered out to the sides (this option was an exact replica of his hairstyle at the time, only longer) or a ponytail. I had few clothes and one pair of shoes bought for me at the start of each school year.
Often Christine would be allowed home for lunch, because she lived right behind our school, while my father had a stack of coins on the on the window sill next to the stairs- four quarters and two dimes for each of us- lunch money that we could grab it on the way out to buy whatever the school was offering that day.
We weren’t poor, mind you- we got by alright, but thats about it. At that age you just can’t help comparing what others have against what you have not. Christine had everything.
After I moved, I didn’t keep in contact with anyone that I had been friends with, because the friendships weren’t that tight to begin with, and I moved to a place where I met lots more people and had the more formative years of my life, the years that counted just a little bit more than 3rd to 7th grade. Burlington City was virtually forgotten, and in its place came cotillions, homecoming parades, and field hockey practices. If I ever met up with Christine again, it was in a City versus Township field hockey match, but I’m not all that sure that she played, and if she did, we didn’t really acknowledge eachother.
The last I remember definitely seeing her is the day I left the school in Burlington City for good, saying my goodbyes. I counted back just now, and that was 1992, nearly 15 years ago.
And here I saw her profile picture, and she still looks great after all these years! I sent her a message and it was so nice to hear back from her so soon and to hear that she is doing well.
I like getting in touch with people like this through MySpace and just seeing what’s going on and where everyone is at. I feel that, the more I move, the more friends I leave behind, and you can only move so many times before you realise that you have no friends around you that you have known for more than 2 years. MySpace is my little fight against this, my way to keep in touch because I can’t just meet my friends from my past for a quick drink on the weekends.
In some ways, I really am jealous of people that stayed where they are from, and have the luxury of long-term friends around them. But then I know that it wouldn’t be the life for me, and that the whole reason that I am not that person was my strong desire to get the hell out of my hometown while I was there.
It was also surpisingly good to think back on the years of my life that I had put well behind me, years in which I wasn’t very happy but can now think about fondly, with the knowledge that I am as far and free from it as I could possibly be.
And probably most surprising is the realisation that I have a memory that goes back 15 years. Even when I was 20, my memory didn’t stretch back 15 years, but now here I am, 26 and I can think back to what was going on in my life and in the world 15 years ago and ruminate on it.
When did this suddenly happen?