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A blast from my past.

2004-03-04 - 11:10 a.m.

The other day I logged into one of my email accounts and sitting in the junk email folder was a message with my full name as the subject. I almost deleted it because it looked like it came from a commercial account, but on a whim I decided to open it. The full name should have clued me in because no one would have that unless I gave it to them.

It was from my best friend from childhood, Jennifer. She’d googled me and found my online travelogues which had my email address in them. How cool is that?

We’d drifted apart after we left the little four-room schoolhouse in the country for the big wide world of eight-classrooms-worth of junior high in town. As a “gifted student” I’d been a bit of an anomaly in grade school and junior high was the first opportunity I’d ever had to spread my fledgling-geek wings. I joined the chess club, and the computer club, and yes, even the games and simulations club. Jennifer did not. We started hanging out with other people. These things happen.

In high school I pulled away from the “club scene” and, I like to think, got a bit cooler. By the time I was in grade eleven I’d met friends in the city and spent most of my weekends there. I didn’t own a car and it was easier to get into the city for the weekend, hang out there and stay at friends’ places, then return Monday morning for school (and yes, my mother let me do this), than it was to try to get to someone’s house 15 minutes away for just an evening.

I am a bit sheepish to admit that I thought my city friends were more sophisticated and glamorous than the country yokels I’d grown up with. I eschewed the bush parties where people swigged hard liquor straight from the bottle, for parties at apartments, even embassies sometimes, where I was introduced to the novel concept of cocktails and shooters. Looking back now I have to admit that I just didn’t travel in the circles where I would have been invited to the bush parties and it was a bit of the old “I wouldn’t want to go anyway,” feeling. I don’t regret ditching my classmates really; fifteen years later I still have some wonderful, enduring friendships with friends I made in the city during those years. And I had an ok time in high school. I generally liked the people I went to school with and they seemed to think I was alright – perhaps it wouldn’t be going too far to say that I always felt that I was respected – I just wouldn’t say that I was actually friends with a lot of them.

Jennifer and I had last spoken back in ’98 when I first returned from university. She had appeared in a couple of my dreams and I figured that this was my subconscious talking so I’d better listen, so I looked her up. She seemed happy to hear from me and had become an interesting, even remarkable, person. Despite our hick roots we both seemed to have developed into fairly progressive people. Alas, I made a couple of tentative suggestions to get together but she didn’t take me up on them and I left the ball in her court, after awhile not really expecting to hear from her again.

Six years later, she’s volleyed.

We’ve exchanged a couple of general catching-up emails and I’ve sent her my phone number. It remains to be seen if we’ll actually see each other face-to-face. I hope so. I’m oddly flattered to find out that she’d been thinking of me after all these years and I’m curious to see if she still looks the same.

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