Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Brush with the past

Most of my teenage years I lived close to the edge - not on the exciting edge doing daring things, but rather on the fringe of the "in crowd". Oh, I had good friends and we were pretty close. But there were always those folks who were in a bigger group - the group you watched from afar. You know, the group who did things you could never imagine doing, or knew you would never get away with. 

How scandalous -  smoking cigarettes (and more) in the parking lot of school. Staying out all night, crawling back home in the early hours on the morning on a school day. Not showing up for school just because you did not want to. And my mother was concerned about my hanging around with the "right" kids, the ones from the better families, the old families, the upper class. She never understood some of these kids were from these families. But I digress.

Yesterday I was in my gallery rearranging photos and selecting ones I was going to take to a Vet's office in town that also displays my work. A lady about my age with dry blond hair, heavy makeup, and a haughty attitude about her, approached me. "Are you the artist?"

"Yes I am. Well actually this is all photography." (Often people think some of my work looks like a painting because of the effect I give it and I never want to claim I painted it.)

"Well, I have been admiring it. Actually I love it. Do you photograph people's homes?"

"I have in the past." I went on to explain some projects I had done with some families.

This led into a rather long rambling story on her part about her large home in Chapin that she may want photographed, her husband, her business (she sold clothes, antiques, and was a gemologist). Then she stopped, "Don't I know you? My mother owned the dress shop [she gave me the name] downtown for years. My name is Julie."

Then is struck me, I knew exactly who she was, she was one of those girls who lived on the edge when we were in school. Our paths had crossed. She had been dating a golfer at our rival in-town school who dropped her and started dating me. She was none too happy (although I had never met her at the time.) 

I can remember hearing all kind of threats from her through friends that I was treading on her turf. I was scared silly. In my mind I may as well have been Sandy at the hands of  Rizzo (of Grease) - well without being so cute with the blond hair and Australian accent. At that time in high school I knew I was way out of my league. Yesterday all these thoughts came whirling back to me.

"You went to [the other] school, " I said. "You were Julie XXXX. We had mutual friends." I told her my maiden name, that I went to the other high school, and named some of the mutual friends we had (excluding the boyfriend).

She just gave me a dismissive smile (much like I imagine I would have received 40 years ago). The young man I supposedly "stole" from her died a year or two ago - the last time I saw him was the summer after my senior year in high school. I had moved on with life and she had not crossed my mind since. I don't know who she married or how many husbands there have been, nor did I care. 

But some things never change, she still comes across as someone who is snooty and rough. I, in her eyes, probably come across as the same "little twit" (her words 40 years ago) who stole her boyfriend. Far be it for her to admit he asked me out. Like I care.

We said our goodbyes. She said she would talk to her husband and give me call.

I turned back to my work. Thinking more about it, I was sure there was more to her than I saw, that is usually the case with most people. Then again, probably not. That was one call I hoped I never got. 

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