There he was on a very crowded dance floor standing a few feet away from me. There was a moment of familiarity when my eyes met his, followed by a long stare. Suddenly I found myself leaning toward him and blurting, “ Is your name Robert?”
“ Yeah,” he smiled.
“I think I know you,” I continued. It’s a bit funny to say this at a bar, it sounds like a pick up line, but his last name was on the tip of my tongue. “ I’m sure that I know you, what’s your last name?”
He smiled and told me, but it was obvious he wasn’t recognizing me until I told him my name and he blurted out an “ Oh my God, it’s you!”
I had gone to see high school friends of mine who play in a band, so it was no surprise that many people I had gone to high school with were there too. It was like a mini HS reunion all night long, but I had NOT gone to high school with this guy, I knew him in the sixth grade!
My girlfriend and I joined him at his table to share a chat and a beer. He began to share how people were coming up to him all night and remembering things he had said or done back in the day. He laughed and had no recollection about much of it.
“ But Patty I do remember something so clearly about you!” he turned to my friend and me and said with this sly grin. “ In fact, it’s really funny, I’ll never forget it!”
Remembering Robert, the boy who spit paper bits through a straw into my hair in sixth grade and poured vinegar in our teachers plant, I couldn’t help but wonder, What the heck did he remember that was so funny about me?”
And so his story began.
Patty was never late to come to class, ever. But this day she must have been late because I was there sitting at my desk and she was the last to walk in the door after our lunch recess. It was winter time so she was taking off her coat as she walked in the door, and there must have been static cling to her dress because when she took her coat off her dress was hiked up showing her underwear! There she was in front of class showing her underwear, Strawberry Shortcake with a big blue bow.We all laughed so hard! I may have forgotten alot of things, but THAT I remember clearly about Patty!
Of course, I had completely forgotten this incident.
I couldn’t help but laugh as he poked, “Patty come on, don’t you remember?”
“I’ll take your word,” I wore Strawberry Shortcake underwear with a blue bow in sixth grade, and I am sure you laughed! We clinked our glasses and said, “Cheers to that!”
Later on I got to thinking. No doubt back then that incident mortified me, and I probably fretted about it for days. I probably cried or didn’t want to face a classroom who laughed at me. I can picture myself telling my mother that day at school was the worst day of my life!
Years later, I’ve forgotten all about it. It became a funny story shared with a friend.
Isn’t it funny how what can seem so horrible one day, can be completely let go of and forgotten? It often is, and back on that winter day in the sixth grade I’m certain my mother told me that one day I would forget all about it. I probably did not believe her.
She was right. What can feel so awful in one moment can absolutley change. It just may take a little time and trust. I’m sure we’ve all been told this very thing at one point in our lives, and I’m certain too that we probably did not believe it.
This blog is just another reminder. Change is constant.
PS, I just had to google Strawberry Shortcake characters. They weren’t invented until the 1980′s, so Robert’s memory embellished a little, although I will admit I do have an affinity for pretty blue bows. Maybe they were Bugs Bunny.