Friday, June 18, 2010

Friendly Flashback Friday!

We've talked about families, so it seems only natural that we should talk about the friends we had when we were growing up!
Who was your first friend? Did you have lots of friends when you were growing up or just one or two close friends? Share memories from your childhood friends. For women, were "mean girls" an issue when you were growing up? Or were you a "mean girl"?! How did your friends shape who you are today, for good or not-so-good? Do you still keep up with your childhood friends today?

Probably my earliest friend was Anita. She lived around the corner from me, and we often either walked to our elementary school together or we picked her up on the days my mom drove. In junior high, her mom dropped her off around 7:00 am when she went to work and we would play gin rummy for 30 minutes until it was time to go to school. Occasionally her dad would drive - he rotated shifts working at one of the oil refineries.

I still think of Anita almost every year on her birthday, March 6. That date is just indelibly engraved on my brain! We had lots of fun being together on our birthdays. I remember her mom always baked "surprises" in the cake. If you got the piece with the nickel, that was a big deal! Now with all the choking awareness, I can't imagine doing that for a kid's birthday. It's a wonder we all survived until adulthood! I haven't seen or heard anything about Anita since early high school. We went to different high schools, (lots of zoning issues with the Houston school district) and then we moved to another part of Houston.

My other "best friend" in elementary school was Valerie U. (And with three Valeries in our class, they all had to use their last initial!) She and I both LOVED Nancy Drew books, and we were constantly tapping on the walls of our houses looking for a secret passageway, writing each other notes in code, etc. The neighborhood she lived in was zoned to different junior high & high schools than mine, so once we left sixth grade, I never saw her again. I remember I thought her mom was really pretty and so young. She was probably 12-15 years younger than mine. It's funny the things that make an impression on a kid!

I met another close friend in junior high named Donna. Besides being in school together, we took piano lessons from the same teacher. We did the typical sleepovers, talk on the phone, etc. She moved when we were in 9th grade.

After we moved, I was thrilled to be in a church youth group with lots of kids. About half of them went to my school and half to the "rival" school about a mile away. We always ate lunch together, met before and after school and just enjoyed being together. We had a "church youth group" reunion about 10 years ago. I've never gone to one of my school reunions, but I try not to miss the church ones!

As tends to happen with me, I had two really close friends in high school, Robin and Carolyn. Carolyn and I were in the same grade and Robin was a year behind us. Robin and I dated brothers off and on, and Carolyn is the friend whose mom's car was the scene of my perfume bottle explosion!! Almost every memory I have of high school has one of them in it; Robin and I were as close or closer than sisters. She was an only child and I essentially was, since my siblings were so much older. We had a jillion sleepovers and marathon phone calls, her parents frequently took me when they went out for Mexcian food, and she once went on a mini-vacation with us. Although Robin and I were the closest of the three in high school, she and I drifted apart sooner. We mostly just exchange Christmas cards, but Carolyn and I have remained relatively close - not so much the past couple of years as life has gotten busier. She has 5 kids and her youngest two are the same age as mine, and our kids enjoyed playing together when they were younger.

When I evaluate my friendship personality, I can see the consistency throughout my life of having one or two really close friends and then a number of just "group" friends. I also can trace some of my insecurities to my earliest friendships. Anita had a bit of a "mean girl" tendency; if we had a tiff, she always did the "I never want to speak to you again" routine. I was always crushed and would apologize whether I was at fault or not, and one time she said, "You always say you're sorry." I told her it was more important to me to have her as a friend than to "win" an argument. The downside of those experiences is that I still tend to be a bit insecure and I HATE conflict. The good part is that I do value friendships over issues. But I have also learned that it's okay to let a friendship dissolve at times, and that is really healthier than for me to be overly accommodating and attempting to save it at any cost (usually mine!). I also got burned a few times with a one-sided friendships before I learned that!

Well, that's enough of my reminiscing! Link up here and so we can all read about your friendship memories!


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Rosidah Abidin said...

I enjoyed reading your memories about your friendships. Sometimes closest friends can give us a hard time, because we care for them so much. Thanks for hosting again. Have a wonderful weekend, Linda.

Kathy said...

Thanks for hosting. You and I have one thing in common, we had fewer "good" friends, instead of a large circle of friends. I loved Nancy Drew as a kid, too! LOL

rita said...

One of my first friends lived around the corner and we would walk to school together. We are friends to this day and maintain e-mail connection as we are a hemisphere apart.
Thanks for the prompt. Good idea not to number them anymore.

Cathy said...

Enjoyed hearing about your childhood friendships.

Susan said...

You and I have a similar friendship style - just a few close friends, but a larger circle of friends and acquaintances. I hate conflict too! I enjoyed reading about your friends!

Barbara H. said...

I have the same friendship style, and I've gotten burned as an adult by one-sided "needy" friendships.

Jim said...

This was good, Linda! I liked reading about the progression of friends you had. Were there any boys? Living in a country and small town atmosphere it was hard for me to avoid having opposite sex friends. But I never dated until after high school.

I am sorry if I alarmed you a bit about the jail thing. Others who haven't been through my trips to prison were alarmed also. The old timers knew it is my 'talk' about leaving the surrounding on a holiday.
So I had to go back to put the Princess Cruise menu link to tell more of the real story. We will stop in London for 14 days total on and from a Baltic cruise.
I thought I had left a link on this but I see I hadn't. Hadn't even read about your serial group of early friends. Anita was special!

Joyce said...

I enjoyed reading this today...I haven't gotten my act together to blog as I got distracted by a mountain of paperwork that I've been avoiding. I made a lot of progress though : )

Have a nice weekend!

bp said...

I liked the surprise in the birthday cake!

Thanks for the friendship memories.

I was late today but got mine up.

Teresa Dawn said...

Great topic this week. I'm afraid I never answer ALL the questions you ask, just kinda stick with the theme in my posts, because if I did, my post would be WAY WAY WAY too long haha.

quilly said...

Marlene often did the "I never want to speak to you again" thing, but I don't recall ever believing her or stressing over it.

Sorry I am so late. I haven't forgotten last Friday, either -- I want to do that meme as well, I have just been too busy!

Faith said...

well I am so glad I saw this link (i can't even remember from whose blog!) and read the last part of your post. I really needed to hear that tonite! I am definitely being "burned" in a one sided friendship...hard to explain here but although she is a sister in Christ and I love her dearly, I think I need to let it dissolve...I am tired of being hurt! Even tho this was a "fun" really ministered to me! I'll have to check this out again on Friday and maybe play along! Blessings to you