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I realized something recently.

It's been 20 years.

20 years, pretty much to the month, that I met Crystal C. Fortunately for her (and me, really), all my incriminating photos are stashed somewhere back in the States.

We met in 5th grade, and became friends pretty much immediately. We were both outsiders. She'd just moved to the school, and me, I'd been labelled a nerd long ago. Fortunately for me, she was a geek, too. I remember Mrs. Roberts, our 5th grade teacher, praising her for pronouncing difficult words correctly.

She only lived a few streets away (our parents still live in the same houses today). I can't tell you what her phone number is today, but I do still remember her parents' phone number. We often rode our bikes over to each other's home, we had sleep overs, I remember numerous Italian family gatherings at her place (I got a number of lessons on how to spell the difficult Italian last name). We played softball together for years. We sat together on the school bus - usually talking about our braces (seriously).

The first time I kissed a boy was at a Halloween party she held. At 15, when my mother gave me permission to get my ears pierced, it was Crystal who came with us - on Christmas eve no less. And at 17, we both signed release forms swearing we were 18, and shared a second piercing between us (left ear).

It was she and I who slipped down to the Flats one night, in disobedience to my father, and we and our daring selves ate at TGI Friday's there on the riverbank. (I know, big risk takers, heheheh - the Flats is a hot spot for night clubs, etc. in Cleveland and at times has been pretty rough).

In college, after she'd moved to Rhode Island, she would drive the 12 hours out to pick me up, turn around and we'd spend the weekend together in Rhode Island, just to turn back around and drive back to Ohio again. In those brief weekends, I was introduced to many of the wonders of fresh seafood - clam chowder, lobster - and another crazy Italian family (her now in-laws, heheheh).

I flew back from Quebec to be the maid-of-honor at her wedding. She did another crazy driving stint to drive out to Ohio for mine.

And now, 20 years later, what are we talking about? Having babies. We've gone all the way from orthodontia to obstetrics - and pretty much everything in between. Here's to you, Crys.

(and yes, we had the split heart Be/Fri and St/Ends necklaces)

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It is 12:14 a.m. Sunday after work and i just wanted to let you fellow Buckeye fans know that OSU conquered Iowa like 48-17 this evening. I was watching the news and am really excited for the team that is and has been numero uno ranked in thew nation all season long.

I did my first intubation tonite on a full code in the ER. It, the code, was nasty but I do feel pretty good about my part. My associate Tina was there to guide me and it went pretty well. I won't go into any details about the full arrest as it is just too icky to describe.

Next Friday I interview for a staff therapist position in the Cleveland Clinic's Cardio-thoracic Anaesthesia unit's respiratory doepartment. It is the top heart center in the nation. I am excited and yet don't know if i'll go to work there or not yet. I am still trying to stay by Mommy yet as much as possible. We'll see if i have to make a hard decision if they offer me the job. Gosh, life can be a mess of difficulties some times.

Well, Papa, I certainly hear you about life being a mess of difficulties some times!!! Congratulations on your intubation and good luck with the interview. I'm sure the Buckeyes are making some of our friends back home very happy 'bout now :-)

You went and got that second piercing when you were 17?!?!? and I didn't blow a gasket??!? Of course, that year I had a whole lot going on in my life, didn't I? Still, I remember feeling pretty okay about it. I guess I have to give myself more credit for being sane than I have been.

Actually, Maman, you did blow a gasket. Which I totally didn't understand, because YOU had a second piercing! Of course, by blowing a gasket I mean that you briefly let me know you were upset and did not approve and then never mentioned it again.

True, I did have a second piercing, which I got at the ripe old age of thirty something, which now sounds quite young to me. Or was I almost forty? I can't even remember anymore. I think I may have done it after Popop died.

wow. The trip down amnesia lane. At Friday's, we dined on the only thing we could afford ... a toasted baguette with roasted brie and peanut oil. Pretty decadent considering that I was living in my own apartment, and raking in the huge $8/hr salary from Dillard's! (anyone want me to dress you up in a Polo/Ralph Lauren men's outfit? I can probably still do it heheheh)
Wow. It has been 20 years. But my 2nd piercing is still in use (and the third and the 4th....), the memories are still wonderful ... and the seafood is still fresh here! Mara, I still do the crazy roadtrips .... winkwink. :)

Oh, I almost forgot .... incriminating photos? mwahhahahaaaaah. Oh yeah. I've got some of those! Something about Brett Borovic .... and you gazing at me at some party held in the glamourous setting of my parents' garage(probably wondering when I would move out of my version of teenaged goth-chic). Don't worry. I'll still have you home at a reasonable time. ;)

Hey Crys, did you know he's in a band? In Cleveland? Yes, I found him on the internet. I'm that lame. I just really, really hope that when someone Google searches for him, this my blog doesn't now come up on the first page!!!

oooh...... heeheehee. THAT would be funny. MY FAULT ... but funny. Wow, I'll have to look him up. Speaking of google searches (I do them frequently on my lunch breaks), look up Brian P. It seems he's really made/making a great name for himself! love ya!

Hahaha! I saw that, too! Good for him!

Mara, actually a bit of editorial. The praise for the difficult word was actually in 6th grade, and came from Mr. Gnad. (you know, the one, who at 6th grade camp breakfast would add about a quarter of a cup of coffee to his already almost full cup of milk and call it his morning coffee?)

The word: SUPERLATIVE. Our long-haired English teacher seemed to be shocked that I did not instinctively (mis)pronouce "sooper-LA-tive".

I don't know ... I'd never come across the word before, and took a risk ... potentially making a fool of myself (not that that was unusual then ... or now, for that matter). Luckily, my risk paid off for me at that time, and I pronounced it correctly without hesitation. (For those of you who don't know me, yes, these are the kinds of crazy memories that continue to muddle my brain for 20+ years. I don't know why. For those of you who DO know me ... well, you're not surprised.) :)

Mara! That is SOOOO special... having a loving friend you've known since childhood. Not everyone has that! I lost contact with my childhood friends, and it's such a shame :(

Sending you big hugs from across a big ocean. By the way, you're coming to Chicago???

Yup, that's the plan! Mark wants to study medicine, and there's a program at Northwestern specifically to prepare post-bachelor students get their pre-med requirements. Only program in the country that we found that does that in just one year. As Mark is an alum - double bonus.

Hi Mara, Hi Mark, Hi Liam. I know I havent written or called much but I really wanted to tell you congrats on a beautiful child. Hope all is well. Peace.

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This page contains a single entry by Mara published on September 30, 2006 5:47 PM.

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