The Bane of my Childhood Existence

Yesterday, April 3rd, I turned 55. And today, my former classmate and dear friend Colleen turns 55. And I wish her all the best as she begins her 56th year.

My relationship with Colleen inspired me to blog on her birthday because ours, from start, was a rather strange relationship.

Like oil and water.

Colleen was one of the first few children of my own age I met before going to kindergarten. We met when our mothers and other local women started their own weight loss group ( You’ve heard of TOPS? Well Mom and her friends called their group the SPOTs–Spare Pounds Off Together, but us kids just called it the Fatty Club). Being the isolated, selfish little brats we were with undeveloped social skills, Bill and I would always hide our toys when it was Mom’s turn to host a SPOTs meeting and the other ladies brought their kids!

Being the socially inept child I was, I had no real sense of how to interact with my peers. Worse, the other children already seemed to know each other and I was thrust into the role of outsider for the remainder of my school years.

And for most of those years, Colleen was present.

As my bully.

On rare occasions, we got along, attempting to be “friends,” but it never seemed to last.

Fast forward 2015. One of my old schoolteachers posted our class photo ( I think it was 4th or 5th grade). Her caption read, “Most of these children will be 50 this year!”

Apparently, Colleen had also friended this old teacher of ours, and I was tagged in the photo. Colleen contacted me, which, after 32 years, was quite unexpected! Talk about a “blast from the past!”

So I replied, and we started videochatting. She was extremely apologetic (“I was so mean to you; I’m sorry,” she’d repeat often). I truly had put the past behind me and welcomed this new relationship gratefully.

This year began with Colleen and her husband David visiting us, and we had a wonderful time with them. I’m extremely glad she looked me up all those years ago and SO grateful we renewed and improved our relationship. Colleen and David are exceptionally nice people and I’m glad to call them both my friends.

So it’s with great joy I wish my friend a happy birthday. It’s because of her we reconnected and for that I am truly grateful.

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