Friday, October 31, 2008

Where did the girl go?




It's Halloween. Not much different than any other day. However, I feel like a bit of a Zombie or some sort of Mummy. Or, something. Let me explain.

I have been online with several classmates from my old high school years. We're planning our 40th reunion for homecoming time next year. Because of these conversations I've been teleported down memory lane and into the old photo containers.

Where did the girl I used to be go? The ready smile. The pretty blonde hair. The normal weight. Life without any concerns more serious than whether or not my crush of the week would notice me in the hall or in class.


Some things haven't changed. I'm still talking. Looking at the photos it seems I always had my mouth open. But, the laughter that always accompanied the words isn't so forthcoming these days. I wasn't popular, but I wasn't ostracized either. Kids can be so cruel in every generation. I guess I was part of the "invisible" group. We were there. We were accepted. And, we were happy.

I tell my junior high Sunday school kids, who are all in the popular group, how it feels to be less than popular and how much it means to the invisible or unpopular kids to receive a smile or a greeting from the popular kids.

Funny, though, the lines separating groups diminishes or disappears over the years. This is a good thing. At the reunion in 2002 I got to sit with, dance with and even received a kiss on the cheek from one of the boys I was so in love with back in those days. He remembered me. I was thrilled.

I wish everyone could have had the childhood and high school years I did. I made a major mistake in my senior year by marrying a real jerk without thinking about it. At that time, married girls had to drop out of clubs and other extracurricular activities. Still, I had my friends.

My friends were the best. There were seven of us who spent a lot of time together from our junior high years onward. Go Taylor Junior High School Tigers! We practiced with make-up, talked about boys, planned our futures and vowed never to be separated.

My best friend, Teresa, and I hoped to move to the south and have a horse ranch. That was before I met Mike and she started dating Gary, who she is still married to as I speak. Life gets in the way of those childhood dreams. New dreams take their place.

I was able to visit Lovington in 2002 for an all 60's reunion. Oh, it was fun. I dragged main with my best friend. I stayed at her parent's home with her. Oh boy, memories of slumber parties. I ordered a vanilla cream Dr.Pepper from Ole Jax. I parked in front of the house I lived in during those years. Ate mexican food at a great place in Hobbs I remember from my younger years. Very little has changed. In the New Mexico desert things don't rust and rot as they do in these swamps of Louisiana. I want to be back in the desert . . . I miss being able to look out and see the horizon rather than pine trees. I miss being able to see the lights of neighboring towns from my own front porch.

I'm nervous about this 40th reunion because of the extra weight and the wrinkles. You see, I still see the people of my very happy youth as they looked 40 years ago. I have seen many of them over the years and know this vision isn't real. They've aged just as I have. I want this reunion to be memorable.

I'll be in Lovington, New Mexico next year for homecoming. I'll be loudly supporting the Wildcats at the ball game. I'll probably be wearing blue and white. I'll take my battered and painful body to the receptions and dinners and other festivities and I'll love every minute of it. I will share tears with my classmates when we remember our friends who have died. There are too many of them.

I guess the girl I once was is still in there. She isn't a zombie or a mummy. Her memories still live clear and strong. Her friends still live in her heart. She still hears the noises of a winning football game. She still holds dear the pep rallies held in a hot gym. She can still walk the halls of Lovington High School and see her friends and other classmates. She still wonders what ever happened to the first loves. She is still young at heart and always will be.

The girl that once was is now married with grown sons and a granddaughter.
The computer illiterate woman the girl is today wishes she could figure out how to add more photos to this particular post . . . Technology, ain't it great? When I was in high school the typing lab had only a few electric typewriters. Most were manual. Now, here we are with computers.
Enjoy your memories. Hold them dear.
Winona




3 comments:

Mindy Blanchard said...

Such a beautiful girl. Such a beautiful lady.

Hi, my friend. We did great today. Thanks for Nanoing with me. I finished 1608 words. Pretty good for a first day.

You have a beautiful spirit, smile, laugh and regardless of age or what you feel about your weight, those things will never change.

Your friends are probably just as happy to see you as you are to see them. When you see them you won't care about what they look like or how they differ now that who they were then. And a lot of them will feel the same way.

Realistically, there may be those same people that always have something to say. That always feel the need within themselves to say hateful things or look at others in a way that is demeaning and makes them feel inferior. Those people have nothing on you. Forget about them and go enjoy your friends.

Just focus on feeling better and trying to live healthier from today going forward. Either way, you will have a blast!

Hugs and love

Mindy

Winona said...

Mindy--You are simply the best! I am so very glad to have you in my life.

Your response means a great deal because you just reacquainted with some friends from your own high school years. Ten years versus my Forty, but the message is the same.

I forgot to count for NaNo. But, I did finish that chapter and started on another. When I type it up I'll be able to get the word count.

See you on the 15th.

WBC

Judith Leger said...

What do you mean, the ready laugh not as quick? That's one of my favorite things about you, Nona! Your open and giving heart! Love ya!