OK, so you guys know that I now live in the same town in which I sort of grew up, right? I say ‘sort of’ because I moved here when I was about 10 and moved away in my very early 20’s. Though I never, ever thought I’d (ever) come back, come back I did, 20 years later, after my marriage ended. Coming ‘home’ is always a weird thing, I think, and this experience has definitely proved so for me. This place is very different than it was in many ways, but it’s still very much the same in others (which is sometimes good... sometimes not). Occasionally I’ll run into old classmates or kids I used to babysit or the parents of old friends… and I always (stupidly) expect them to look the same as they did the last time I saw them. And sometimes they do… sort of.
So, on Friday I went to the Rec Center to sign Ryan up for ski lessons. I’m standing at the desk, looking like holy hell, as I have the flu and haven’t showered. I’m not 100% sure I’d even brushed my hair (or my teeth… yeah... I know), but the ski package is a Christmas present and my neighbor told me there were only 9 spaces left, so I had to run over there quick. So, I’m holding onto the counter, trying to keep from passing out (as my temperature is about 102), when this guy comes up beside me to check in to use the gym. He gives his last name, “D****t”. It’s a very unusual name. And one I recognize immediately. I look sideways at him and realize that I’m standing next to one of the very first boys I ever loved. And by ‘loved’ I mean ‘I wrote Mr. and Mrs. Chris D****t on all my notebooks, circled by hearts and flowers, and kissed my pillow pretending it was him, and imagined going to prom and then getting married when we were old, like 25’... that kind of 'loved'. Yeah, you know it. We met at summer camp when I was 12. And he was CU-UTE. I was NO-OT. But he thought I was. And that made him even better.
I can honestly say he’s not someone I ever imagined I’d see again. And he’s still pretty cute (not CU-UTE, but that’s hard to maintain when you’re in your 40’s... and I'm hardly one to talk, given the crap-fest that was Diane that day... oh hell, lots of days). Of course, his cute factor could have been influenced by the fever-induced haze through which I was seeing the world on Friday. Not sure. Oh, and you know I was totally sick because I didn’t check out his ring finger, which I never miss. But... I might find a reason to go back to the Rec Center this Friday, around 3:30 or so… you know… just for old time’s sake. And yeah, don’t worry… I’ll be sure to brush my hair… and teeth... and wear make-up... and heels... and my skinny jeans. OK, just kidding. They'd have to be magic jeans... sigh.