see if you’ve made my club
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve moved around a lot. I have. Before I started school we used to move every six months. Luckily, that is no longer the case, and being on my own gives me the leisure to move when I’m good and ready, dammit. This entry today is partially inspired by Janet and Avery’s Topic of the Week It got to a point when I was packing my room up again one night, and I thought, “Someday when I get rich and famous, I’m gonna have a big party, and invite everyone I’ve ever been close friends with, and I’ll send out these t-shirts that say “I Met Pam” and we’ll all meet in this huge ballroom and see if any of those people that I knew ever met each other throughout life without me.
I probably account for a good 12% of the nation’s “Six Degrees of Separation.”
So I’m not rich or famous, but at least I now have a forum. Without further ado, lets try and go through the places I’ve lived and see if you knew me. I’ll use first names only. Will you get a t-shirt? I will try and jog your memory by throwing in some of the things I remember…
(note: I don’t remember everywhere, sometimes I was young… I’ll mention the ones that I have a firm memory of)
(note to the note: I have a very strange memory. My mother is constantly amazed that I remember some of these things… but they happened, and I remember them.)
Early places I lived (before school began): Bloomsburg, PA, Harrisburg, PA, York, PA, East Strousburg, PA, Sailorsburg, PA
Gaithersburg, MD: Kindergarten. Here’s my memory: I got to be line leader one day… that ruled. I often read to the class, since I could read. We had a huge stage in one half of the room that was for playing house… there was another section of the room that had huge velcro blocks so you could make cities.
St. Louis, MO: End of kindergarten, summer. Hung out with Alex, who had a sister named Maggie… was babysat by a girl named Brenda who told me there was no tooth fairy… dispelled all those other myths as well. Rode my Big Wheel every day singing “Greased Lighting” and not knowing which words were bad words, so I would sing, “You know it ain’t no mmm, we’ll be gettin’ lots of TIT!” Alex and I were fishing a quarter out of some tar in the front of our town houses when Maggie came running across the street announcing that the president had just been shot. Alex once reenacted the film Stripes because I wasn’t allowed to see it, and he thought it was the best film of all time. Alex and I played “photographer” in my first instance of “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” I’d like to find him just so I know that I didn’t damage his poor young brain forever.
Troy, MI: First Grade (some of). I hated this school. I hated living here. I just wanted to have some friends. I remember two names. Joy and Wanda. Joy took me to her house once. I think she was rich. It snowed the whole time we lived here and we had to dig tunnels to let the dog out to pee.
Oakton, VA: End first, second, beginning of third. Oakton Elementary. First real memories of schoolmates. Becky and Sara and Dawn Marie. They all had horses. I didn’t. They got to see Poltergeist. I didn’t until their moms called my mom and told her that it wasn’t a big deal. Then I got to see the film. Ka-Ka (Kionnna) lived across the street from me. Yolanda lived down the way. She once told my mother to shut up. Soon, Son, and Heio lived next door. They would teach me Kung Fu moves by beating me up all the time. They took me to a Kung Fu double feature once where I saw the most violent film I’ve ever seen. We had a babysitter named Kim. She used to pop her rubber bands with her tongue and make this weird noise with her mouth for no reason. “Ooh-wee-hoo-ooh-we-oh-we-oh-we-oh-we-oh.” Like that. She told me what the word “fornicate” meant. We had a babysitter named Christy, who’s brother Darren stole $20 from me once.
Palm Springs, CA: End of third, fourth grade: Cahuilla Elementary. Kacie, Kyerstin, Elizabeth (whose brothers pulled out all her eyelashes), Damian, Chad, Dale, Amy, Vanessa… it was a gifted classroom where they combined grades. We had Miss Burkhard, who to this day was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Fourth grade we had Mrs. Casalino, who used to scare the tar out of me. She made us do musicals all the time (you think I wouldn’t have a problem with this), but she made us wear grass skirts and bikini tops in front of the whole school and sing “Lovely Hula Hands.” We also did Oliver!, A Tribute to the Armed Forces, and February, a tribute to all the people born that month. I played a daughter of Longfellow, Edith with the Golden Hair. Remember me, yet? I lived in a hotel for the better part of a year, so I always had a big pool. Played with Cabbage Patch Kids and swam every day.
(Ugh.. as I’m writing these, all sorts of memories are coming back that I will just have to save for future entries…)
North Richland Hills, TX: Fifth Grade (first half). We had class in a trailer. Just remember one friend named Sarah. Had my first crush on a boy named Pat. Remember someone named Chance, someone named Starlene, someone named Lavender… my first introduction to TX. Stayed home and wrote stories a lot. In class I would write in my super secret notebook, that was just like Anastasia Krupnik’s. You may have been on my “things i hate” list and never knew it.
Eureka, MO: Fifth Grade (second half). Heather Anderson. My first “boyfriend” (that I asked if he’d go with me)– Matt. I got a boy expelled from school for stealing my homework. I was called a prude because I couldn’t go to Six Flags with my boyfriend and kiss on the Time Tunnel.
Jackson, MS: Sixth, seventh, and part of eighth grade. McLeod Elementary, Chastain Jr. High, Murrah High School. Where many of my stronger friendships formed. Douglas. Tamara. Kenya. Carrie. Morgan. Adam. Kira. Ed. Britain. Brent. Heather. Megan. Amy. Linda. APAC classes with Coach Alderman. Boochie tag at school dances. Mrs. Chapman. Playing Monopoly for six weeks straight. I was known as Satanic… I can’t remember why. Odyssey of the Mind. Northpark Mall.
Mayde Creek, TX: End of eighth grade. Mayde Creek Jr. High. I was only here for a couple of months, so I don’t remember everyone. Even when I would see these guys later on in high school I remembered them, but they didn’t remember me. I had the nickname “Moonbeam” that you guys gave me because I wore a peace symbol. I remember a Kate, a Heather, and a Jenny (who ended up being one of my high school boyfriends’ first girlfriend).
Katy, TX: High School. Katy High School. Home of Clint Black and Rene Zellweger. Many friends who should still remember me without me having to post their names. Where I was until I was here.
So, did you know me? Did I sound familiar? If you were mean to me, I’ll accept any apologies you’d like to make. If I was mean to you, then you must not have known me… that’s not true… if Cindy is out there from Mississippi, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to send you that love note and make you think that someone else wrote it. That was mean of me. Sorry.
If you would like to RSVP for the “I know Pam” party, please send me your name and the number in your party.
It always amazes me how many people I’ve met throughout my life. It also amazes me how many of them have no idea that they’ve touched my life in some way. They probably don’t even remember me, but they shaped who I am, how I deal with people, and how I make friends. They are vivid in my memory, because that’s what I have from moving around so much… just memories of people I knew and places I went… I’ve never had a solid home. I wouldn’t trade it for anything now, but back then, I would have done anything to just stay with my best friends. Now, I just want to make sure they’re doing okay, and that they all had the great lives that I had planned out for them.