Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Newish kid on the block

Moving from California to London and then from London to Switzerland then back to California all in a six year span has reminded me of all the moving around I did as a kid. Between 1978 and 1988, I changed schools at least 7 times. Leaving school also meant leaving behind school friends. These were kids that I played with after school, whose parents were nice to me and let me eat their Oreo cookies and play Atari well into the afternoon until my mom came home from work.

When I was 10 years old, I lived for about six months in a place called Livermore; CA. for about half of my 5th grade school year. We lived in a cul-de-sac filled with families that had children around my age. There was one girl, Chelon, whom I used to play with regularly. Chelon lived close to the opening of the cul-de-sac next to the Mormon family. The Mormon mom used to joke about being a 'bad Mormon' family because they drank Coke and coffee.  Chelon's parents, Geri and Gerry, drove a late model Camero. I want to say that the car was canary yellow. The car had one of the first vanity plates I remember seeing that somehow managed to spell out both of their names. Maybe it was 'GeriGer'. Anyway, Chelon's mom and dad had the same name, shared the same car, and wore their hair in the same style: a jheri curl. I loved going over to Chelon's house because her parents were very friendly, there was always soul music playing on the stereo, and, after Chelon did her chores, we could play undisturbed outside in the cul-de-sac for hours until we were called home for dinner.

Michael Jackson wearing a Jheri curl.
Esther, a girl from my class who lived over in the 'nice part' of town, became chummy with me and would sometimes invite me over to her house after school. Like Esther, I took my shoes off before going inside the house. I can't exactly remember what we did, but I don't think that Esther was all that into Barbie and neither was I, so no playing with dolls. Esther lived in a lovely, ranch-style home with wide hallways and both a rock garden and swimming pool in the backyard. The hallway carpets were thick and plush and felt good under my stocking feet. The house was quiet and always smelled of cooked rice. And, while I would occasionally hear her mother's voice coming from another room, I never really saw either of Esther's parents.

-prime example of a ranch-style home.
My friendships with both Esther and Chelon were really just beginning when I had to move to a new city at the end of the school year. Chelon came for a sleep-over once after I moved. I never talked to Esther again.

Moving back to San Francisco at 45, I was sort of the 'new-old kid'. Making acquaintanceships is a bit more challenging at this stage. It was pretty darn easy to make friends when I was 10.

6 comments:

  1. I can't imagine moving that often. My partner's family moved every two years, but my mother was still living in the house I grew up in when she died.

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    1. It was a bit of a challenge attending a new school so darn often.

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  2. My granddaughter and I just talked over this topic of finding new friends. We both have had to do it.

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    1. It can be tough especially if one isn't a 'joiner'.

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  3. Yeah, it's so much harder to make friends as an adult. I guess that's why Meetup.com exists.

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    1. Do you use Meetup? I do. I host a German group. It's been going strong for two years now.

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A piece of your mind here: