Here it is, 11:00 pm, and that’s what normally trips me up with the posting daily. It gets past midnight and I don’t get my post up. Hopefully, this won’t take too long.
Debbie was my friend in elementary school. She lived at the bottom of the hill and I lived at the top. I remember she moved in during Hurricane Agnes, which was a big deal around here at the time.
I went to one of the very first “open space” elementary schools. Our classes were in what was called a pod. Each pod had 4 classes, but depending on your specific learning contract, (and yes, you had a new contract every week, which you had to fill out with your teacher) would be how you “changed” classes. This was an adjusted model of the junior and senior high process of moving to a different room for each class. It must have been a scheduling nightmare, but that was my elementary education.
Debbie and I made friends in school and then were ecstatic to find out that we lived on opposite ends of the same street. We started hanging out at one another’s houses, had sleepovers and spent most of our lives at the pool listening to Peter Frampton and KC and the Sunshine band and mooning over boys. We were practically inseparable.
With Debbie, I:
Went to the roller skating rink at least twice a weekend
Drank peppermint schnapps and dandelion wine
Snitched liquor from her Dad’s cabinet and sipped it. (It was horrible stuff)
Sneaked out late at night to go running around the neighborhood, or as we got older, riding around with boys
Talked on the CB radio
Played endless games of rummy since she had to babysit her siblings ALL the time
Took our allowance every week and walked down to the Drug Fair to buy a new 45 record and some Slim Jims, and maybe a candy bar
Was lied to about her age
Wait! What?! Yep, after being her best friend for 8 years, I went to get my driver’s license and passed with flying colors. When I had asked Debbie when she was getting her license, she told me she had failed the class and needed to try again. That was reasonable. Just like she’d said she had failed a grade and that she was a year older than me, but in my grade. Again, that seemed reasonable. It wasn’t until I was talking with her sister later that she told me Debbie was actually a year YOUNGER than I was. Confused, I asked why in the world would she lie about her age? Her sister said it was because boys were usually interested in the older girl and Debbie wanted them to notice her first. (Huh.. well.. hmmm) Learn something new every day, eh?
After I got wheels, Debbie and I didn’t hang out as much anymore, but mostly because she had a boyfriend. It wasn’t too long after that, I got involved with a guy who I lost my virginity and conceived a child with, all at the same time! I was a little busy with a difficult pregnancy.
My mother never forgave her for promising to give me a baby shower and then never doing one. I had problems with the excitement she would convey on the phone when she called to tell me that a girl in her class was talking about how my daughter’s father (we were still together – if you call it that – at the time) had taken her to a concert the past weekend. The same concert I had purchased tickets for, and was supposed to be our first date after the birth of our child. The same tickets the SOB came and took off my bulletin board to “repay” a friend of his for taking him to a concert while I was confined to bed for three months during my pregnancy. There was just a little too much GLEE (not the TV show, but the emotion) in her voice. And this was supposedly my best friend?
So we drifted apart, as people do sometimes, but then we found each other again after she’d gone through some rough times and had two children. She was trying to make it on her own with the kids and I was married with kids and it was nice to reconnect with her. Too bad I ended up introducing her to her next husband. They had drifted away from me again and that was fine until I found out that he was a pedophile ( I did NOT know this ) and had molested her daughter. Needless to say, divorce and criminal charges ensued, but I can’t say that Debbie ever reconnected with me again. Her sister said that Debbie felt that I had somehow known or was to blame??? I don’t know and that’s ok. I do know that what she went through was a horrific thing for a mother to have to endure and if placing blame on me makes her feel in any way better about that situation, I’ll bear that.