Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #14 - "Two peas in a pod"


There is only really one person who comes to mind for me when I think "two peas in a pod:" Lori! My other half in high school, Lori Lee Fitzgerald. We met at a Model United Nations meeting at Fountain Valley High School, California, in the heart of Orange County in the worst of all hair decades: the dread '80s. 1987, to be precise. Lori was a native to this soil; I was a newcomer, fresh from 6 years in Europe, and I was discovering that most of my new classmates had no idea where "Belgium" was. Texas? Eastern Europe? Close... (Have you heard the horrifying tales of Americans' geography skills? They're true.) I had come from a school of 200 kids, to a monstrosity of 3000+, a zoo of weird bad hair choices a few miles from the beach. I had made some friends playing soccer over the summer, so I had some girls to eat lunch with, but it wasn't until I met Lori that I had a REAL friend, and instantly. An instant click. After that, we were inseparable. I can't hear Erasure songs without flashing back to her, and to the boy we both had a year-long unrequited crush on. For me, this agonizing crush ended abruptly when this boy corrected my grammar. It was like a switch had been flipped. I saw him later, we both went to college at Berkeley, and he looked... meager... as is the way with so many cute boys from high school when you get a peek at them in college. My other big crush went to Lori's college so I saw him too. He was the adored-by-all quarterback of the football team, with black hair and light light blue eyes, and he didn't look meager, just balding, which inspired a certain amount of schadenfreude.

But it wasn't all boys. I sort of cringe thinking of what the social world of that time and place was like, the stupid parties I never enjoyed, the big expensive proms and the football games. But I have very fond memories of driving the Coast Highway with Lori in my convertible beetle with the top down, singing at the top of our lungs. A lot of the other stuff is sort of vague now. I was NOT one of those people who lamented the end of high school. The DAY AFTER graduation I was on a plane back to Europe, and didn't come home, and missed my first semester of college.

Ironically, it is LORI who is now an EU citizen. She married a Dutchman and has lived in Amsterdam for some 12 years now. The picture above is when I visited her there ten years ago. Ten years! God, how time goes by! So we're two peas long ago shelled out of our pod, but I love her dearly. I think I'll call her...

22 comments:

andrea said...

I think you just described what so many of us picture as the Quintessential American Youth in California. After all, we've all seen it on TV and in the movies so we know what we're talking about! :)

January said...

Great post. I love looking back on old photos and old friends. Hope you do get a chance to call your friend, maybe even show her your post.

And for the record, I loved Erasure!

tinker said...

The 80's - the decade of bad hair, but with a fun soundtrack!
I think friendships that help us survive hard times (including & maybe especially, high school!) hold a special place in our hearts. They were there for us when we needed a friend the most. Hope you get a chance to reminisce with your friend soon.

Deb R said...

That's a lovely story of friendship, Laini, and the photo is fun!

chest of drawers said...

Yes do!

Mardougrrl said...

I love that you went personal with this prompt...because it's always cool to see how you grew up and how you interpret your past.

And a big FEH on that boy who corrected your grammar.

And ahhh...Erasure!

And "meager"...what a perfect way to describe seeing those old crushes with new eyes!

Going For Greatness said...

Oh! yes do call her! I have an old friend who moved here from Deutschland in the early 80s ( we were 10 ) and I have lost track of her, you have inspired me to go looking!!
My grandfather is from Holland and someday I hope to bring my girls there to show them where their great grandfather is from!
Have a lovely weekend!
~Gabi

paris parfait said...

A convertible Beetle with the top down! Such fun! It must have been quite an adjustment coming from Belgium and you're spot on about the typical American's take on geography. But the good thing about growing up all over the place as you did is that you have friends around the world and have an invaluable grasp and understanding of other cultures. It's great that you and the other pea have remained good friends. Wonderful photo of you both! Hope you get to visit soon.

Left-handed Trees... said...

I loved reading about this special friendship--what could be better than singing at the top of your lungs in a convertible beetle on the Coast Highway. You made me want to get out there and drive with the windows down--and to want to call my dear friend, I don't do this nearly enough. Thanks for this post...

mikim said...

Wonderful post about friendship and all the fond memories that go with them. Beautiful!

Shesawriter said...

Everytime I come to this blog I get inspired. You make people think, Laini. This was another great post.

alyndabear said...

I hope you did call!!

Sounds like a wonderful friendship, which has spanned across the years. =)

-Aly

deirdre said...

How wonderful to have a friendship that stretches back so far. And one that will continue into the future.

AnnieElf said...

What a wonderful story of friendship. I hope you had a great visit on the phone.

Alexandra S said...

I, too, have never missed high school even one tiny teensy weensy bit! I wish I had known you two then seeing as I was in southern Cal too, but alas, we weren't destined to meet until college when you were my peer mental patient! Seriously, Lori is so unique and confident. I can imagine she was that way even then and thats why you two connected so.

Little Swing Fairy said...

I've moved a few times, changed my number (moved to another country even) and still she manages to find me! What's a girl gotta do?

Laini, Remember B of my H? Laguna Beach Cafe? The bobsey twins, Dave Garland asking if he could "Lick your nose'? Pity parties at carrows (because carrows cares!)and My favorite of all time- 'But you've got a great personality. We went through the most difficult time of all- puberty, during one of the more colorful decades (the 80's anyone? Nightmare flashbacks of flashdance shirts and leg warmers still haunt me). But we were fortunate because we had great hair. Oh yeah, and each other. And as far away as we are now...We still do. Great post G of my H. I can't read enough about myself ;-)

Lori Lee
Formerly of Huntington Beach,
Orange County California
Currently of Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Europe
Just over the atlantic ocean

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Love the picture, the great stories, and that Lori just posted here! :) You're very adored here Ms. Lori and thanks for being such a great friend to my Laini (our Laini!) for so long.

Jim

b/sis said...

Laini ~ great story & adorable picture.

I visited "YOU" and love your artsie self. Your cards are unique and paintings magical.

You are someone I would instantly hug upon meeting in person...

so here ((hug))

Nice to meet you x Darlene o (Boho's big sis)

anahata katkin said...

Hi Laini,
Oh I am so glad you helped me figure out where I had seen the Matt video. I added yoru links into the post. Back to read your new posts...

Melanie Sage said...

I bought one of your cards at Present of Mind as a gift, just found your blog, and am a new reader, just wanted to say hello. :)

Pearl said...

Hard to predict paths. Did you call her and have a good long chat?

Happy 4th of July.

Amber said...

Yay for good girl-friends!

What color was your bug? Mine was yellow. ;)

:)