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2004-05-11 - 9:30 a.m.

My gosh, I don’t think I ever mentioned that I did indeed get together with my long lost childhood friend.

It was cool yet oddly bizarre to see her again. I kept looking across the table and seeing this person who was Jennifer and yet, not Jennifer. It’s hard to explain. Sometimes it was as if I was looking at a stranger and then she’d turn or make an expression and there’d be flashes of the face of the kid I knew looking out at me. At the risk of dating myself, do you remember those pictures you used to find in Cracker Jack boxes where if you turned them one way you saw one image but if you turned it another the image changed? It was kind of like that.

She’s still blonde and it’s still her natural hair colour (I’ve darkened to a light brown over the years). There were some surprises like she smokes and apparently has since high school. There were some familiar things talked about which I hadn’t thought of in years. There was a lot of “where are they now” discussion. There were, particularly at the beginning of lunch, those small awkward moments when we kind of goggled at each other in disbelief at the fact that we were actually sitting across from each other after all this time.

I won’t go into details that would be interesting only to me or someone who’s known me for at least 20 years.

At the risk of sounding wistful, I admit I hope she liked me. I could feel myself pulling out stuff that tends to impress people and at times I had to say to myself ‘hey, this is Jennifer, not a job interview’. I think it’s a natural impulse to want to put your best foot forward when you’re reuniting with someone after an extended period of time. You want them to think that you’ve done something with your life, that you’re an interesting person. You want them to be, well, proud of you; local gal makes good and all that.

I was definitely impressed by her. She runs her own construction company, has an interesting-sounding husband and is just so cool and level-headed. I hope I measured up but didn’t come across all egotistical – something I think I sometimes hit when I’m actually aiming for “confident”.

It’d be nice to stay in touch this time.

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