Tag Archives: blast from the past

The High School Guat … Way Ahead of Her Time

13 Jun

Hanging out at a 40th birthday bash for an old high school friend, and a retirement party for a former basketball coach this weekend, raised questions about my own existence and the quality of my life, or the lack of it. And as I was contemplating this Tuesdays With Morrie question a blast from the past snuck up on me.


As I was tearing up the dance floor to the best jams of high school gym dances I felt a tap, tap, tap. I turned and there he was … The Danny Zuko of my past. In truth, I wasn’t talking about Summer Nights at the lunch tables, or singing Hopelessly Devoted when I was “hanging out” with him, but I did like him. It was a big time crush, not Jake Ryan worthy, but still pretty big for high school days.

But you all know the common story … most high school boys are stupid.

Danny Zuko

Danny Zuko

So it wasn’t a ride off into the sunset on Grease Lightning after the carnival type of situation. It was more of a I’m going to trade you in for one of those cha-cha girls with too much make-up from the drill team. Yeah that’s how he rolled.

Flash-forward twenty years later, he’s standing in front of me giving me the biggest hello hug ever. I hadn’t thought about him since the last time I saw him at his graduation. No real reason to do so.

So it was funny when he said he’d been hoping he’d run into me. We chatted about our families, kids, and work. And just as I was going to take a break from the dance floor, he said it. I had no idea why he had said it, but he did.

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry? Sorry for what?”

I was totally confused because he hadn’t stepped on my toes while we were dancing, and I know he didn’t spill a drink on my jacket or anything. I stood there with the huh? look on my face.

He went on a full five-minute apology, surprisingly pretty sincere and remorseful, for dogging me way back in the day for his Danny Zuko behavior, chalked it up to being a dumb teenager. I told him not to worry about it, wasn’t a big deal now. In fact the whole situation hadn’t even occurred to me because there were plenty of jerks that followed, so he was sort of lost in the muddy waters of my past. I’m sure that at that time I was undergoing the typical what’s-wrong-with-me teenage chick blues, but they weren’t big enough for me to have a whole Sandy metamorphosis so that he would like me better. I wasn’t changing for anybody.

And even though the apology came twenty years later it made me smile. Not so much because he was sorry, but because I realized I was way ahead of my time and it definitely paid off to stay true to my Chapstick Girl kind of ways. I wanted to give myself a high-five.

Apparently I hadn’t changed, or at least that’s what everyone at the party had told me. They said I looked like my yearbook picture. The fact that the party was outdoors and late at night probably helped hide my crappy lack-of-sleep needs anti-aging cream appearance. Apparently I still looked hot, in my Sporty Spice kind of way and I guess that may have prompted the apology. Who knows. But it makes me feel better to know that I was right all they way back then … yeah … high school boys were stupid.


Embarrassing Moments, Love, and Magic Mountain

20 Apr

You ever have one of those moments, where you just want to crawl under a rock?

Yeah they happen often in my life. I was reminded of one of my top five moments while looking for a book through some old boxes, and I came across some old pictures.

It was a group picture of my junior high school crowd at Six Flags Magic Mountain. A group of basketball-and-volleyball playing chicks and dudes enjoying roller coaster rides and laughter.

Image via ryangoslingworkout.net

Then I saw him in the picture. Those eyes. If you can picture a Latin version of Ryan Gosling that was him, wearing jeans, an OP t-shirt, and Nike shoes. He was my first love crush and this trip proved to be a memorable one.

Ohhhh. He made me weak in the knees. My Latin Ryan Gosling.

We had just gotten off  that raft ride where everyone gets soaking wet no matter where you sit. As I got out of the raft, he extended his hand out to help me get out of the raft. Dude … as we held hands …. I swear I heard “This Magic Moment,” by Jay and The Americans.

As we made our way to Colossus — an awesome ride with gut-wrenching drops and a speedy coaster where you can ride forwards or backwards– it happened.

Six Flags Magic Mountain X

Six Flags Magic Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We were cracking up, recollecting who was screaming on the ride and who got soaked. He let go of my hand to tie his shoe. I turned to face him and continued the conversation.

As he got up, we turned to the left and walked down the hill. The guys were calling us, telling us to hurry. There was no one in line. I still must’ve been on cloud nine because I didn’t see it. 

But there it was and it saw me.


A large metal pole. The kind that has a light attached to it … yeah a light post. I crashed into a light post.

I know what you’re thinking. It was dark wasn’t it? Night time.

No. Broad daylight. Probably like one o’clock or something.

My forehead and entire face hit the lamppost and made a noise loud enough that complete strangers stopped what they were doing and checked me out — the dumbass who crashed into the pole. I was a little dazed after bouncing off a giant piece of metal.

My friends and my crowd? They were cracking up. They couldn’t help themselves.

Me? I was mortified. Not only was I in physical pain, but the fact that my Latino Ryan Gosling was like a few feet away gave me emotional pain as well. He had a front-row seat to the show.

I didn’t know what to do. What could I? I rubbed my forehead and chuckled a bit. I had my head down.

He came to my side, shaking his head, and chuckling.

“Are you O.K.?” He asked brushing his hand across my forehead.

I laughed.

“Ummmmm. Yeah.”

He kissed my forehead, gave me a hug and said:

“C’mon. Looks like I’m gonna have to hold your hand the rest of the way. Just in case there are any more poles.”

I smiled. I didn’t mind the hand-holding.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

11 Apr

You hear a song and you remember …

Journey back … way back.

Journey to the Virgil Junior High School Gym.

Journey back to dim lights and bad decorations.

Journey back to gravity-defying hair with the help of Aquanet Hairspray.

Journey back to wearing jelly shoes, Vans, or Reeboks.

Journey back to standing with your friends, hoping that the “Jake Ryan” in your life asks you to dance.

Journey back to Journey  singing Open Arms.

Journey back to seeing him dance with girls in short skirts and you wear jeans and t-shirts.

Journey back to Journey  singing Don’t Stop Believin’.

Journey back … way back.

The Surprise Run-In

25 Jan

Blasts from the pasts. You try to avoid them at all costs. You don’t live in the same neighborhood. You don’t go to your high school reunion because you know you’re going to run into people you don’t want to see and anybody you want to “catch up with” you’ve found on Facebook. But then the inevitable happens in a place where you least expect it. At Target. At Trader Joes. At CVS Pharmacy. Even at RadioShack. The surprise run-in.

You don’t go to these places in your best attire, early in the morning. You usually go for a quick in-and-out mission, or if you’re like me you went to RadioShack after working out just to get a special outlet for the battery charger. You figure RadioShack in your neck of the woods…what are the chances of running into anybody?

RadioShack sells Maker Faire tickets!

Image by Bekathwia via Flickr

You show up all perspired in your t-shirt and sweats, with non-matching socks because you were just trying to get out the door. One sock with stripes the other without. No make-up, but you don’t wear much to begin with and if you did your workout would probably have melted it away.

You walk in and hear the ding-a-ling of the bell. You head straight toward the battery section and stare at it for five minutes, thinking you can select one before the RadioShack guy comes to help you out. You feel someone approaching and think time is expiring. You’re a moron. You can’t even pick a battery charger, granted there are like 27 of them hanging there on metal hooks, but you went to college figure it out, right?

As you hear the footsteps, you look up. Someone is smiling at you.

“Heyyyyyyyyy! What a surprise! Oh my God how are you?”

It’s a blast from the past. Your surprise run-in.

You do a quick turn around to run your fingers through your Bride-of-Frankenstein hair, dab your face with your shirt and fold over you drunken socks, before turning around and smiling back.

My surprise run-in wasn’t someone I disliked or an ex-boyfriend or anything. He was a classmate and friend. I was the classic sporty spice, good-looking tomboy that got along pretty well with guys. So I wasn’t really threatening to chicks when I hung out with dudes. I mean they’d take a look at me in my Levi’s and college t-shirts by day and basketball uniform by evening and think nothing of it. They were cheerleaders, wearing short-shorts. I was balling on the court and wearing t-shirts. We did not hang out in the same circles, so I hung out with guys.

My blast from the past and I chatted it up a bit. The basic what-are-you-doing-now stories, although I left the part out about living at my parents. That’s really a need-to-know basis. He was doing well. Had kids. A wife. A good job. Looked happy and sounded happy. I told him about my starving writer gigs and being a parent, and he gave me the congrats pat on the shoulder.  Then he began with his compliments and how great he thought I looked and informing me how he ran into other people and how out of shape and weathered they appeared to be, but that I looked the same as I did over twenty years ago. I was feeling pretty good about my sweaty self until…

“Yeah, you look great! You look the same as you did in high school. You have the same bags under your eyes and everything.”

Dude. I was speechless, and that doesn’t happen often. But there I was with the same bags under my eyes, exchanging emails and saying see you later to an old friend. And as I heard the ding-a-ling when he departed I thought:

Next stop CVS Pharmacy. They got concealer. They got eye moisturizer. Maybe more than 27 of them.