|Me, circa 1988, age 13, 7th grade class picture. Also the answer to "are you a natural blond?"|
Yesterday, like most Saturdays, I found myself at my uncle's house. I was downstairs in the party room with 20 men watching the BYU football game. Upstairs my aunt was hosting a large baby shower. When reality sunk in and there was no denying BYU was in a hole they couldn't dig out of, I went upstairs to visit the womenfolk. And there I saw this beautiful woman. She looked so familiar to me! I could not place her at all. Much to my surprise she immediately said that I looked familiar to her as well. My aunt introduced us and immediately we knew each other. I love moments like that!
We both grew up in the same church area. I was from Centreville, she was from Warrenton. She is about 2 years older than me. She was tall, thin, beautiful, with blond hair I envied, and a year round perfect tan. (Traits I see she has now passed on to her cute kids.) She was one of the older girls that I looked up to and adored as a teenage girl. I wondered if I would ever possibly outgrow my awkwardness to be as polished, stylish, and grown up as she was. I remember her perfectly. I saw her many times over the years at girls camp, youth conference, and the many dances we all frequented as teens.
I couldn't imagine how she would remember me though. We grew up in a small group (as far as our church is concerned). It was easy to notice her- she was the cool, older girl! And there were very few other girls her age. But there were plenty of girls my age, and I certainly never stood out in the crowd. But much to my surprise, she knew exactly who I was. She remembered my name and who my friends were. And then she said the thing that blew me away. She remembered that I was apart of a close knit little group of girls (Cindy, Laurie, Karen- she's talking about us!). And she said she was always jealous of us because we had this great little group of friends, and she didn't. She remembers us as always having fun together, and how she loved it when her congregation got combined with ours so that she could be around us. (And there we were always intimidated by her!)
We swapped memories about specific names and faces. We got a good laugh over who we had crushes on then, who we couldn't stand, who our friends are now, and who we are Facebook friends with! I am thrilled that she is friends with many of my family members. And she only lives a few minutes away. It will be great to run into her regularly!
Sometimes all you can ask for in life is to find out you weren't so awkward and stupid in high school that people are actually willing to be associated with you now, in spite of who you were back then! And I hope now that I work with the young women in our congregation that I can help the girls really learn to love and appreciate each other. I hope the big, sophisticated 16 year old girls will always be kind to the 12 year olds. Because those little 12 year olds will always remember those big girls and worship the ground they walk on!