You know, it's a funny thing about being a writer. Since your name is on your books, people you haven't seen in eons know exactly what you've been up to all these years, while you don't know a thing about them. Sometimes, that can be embarrassing, like when you get a note, or an e-mail, from someone you have absolutely no recollection of meeting. But other times it can bring back friends you haven't heard from and really are glad to reconnect with.
That happened to me the other day. I got a message on myspace from someone who had been my friend back in elementary school (how long ago was that? I'm not telling. But let's just say no one had a home computer back then, and you still had to go to the teller at the bank to get cash for the week! Oh and I had a cassette deck to play my music on!) Anyway, she moved away after sixth grade and I hadn't heard from her since. So it was kind of a shock when she wrote me now. But it was fun to hear from her, and get pleasantly nostalgic with someone who remembered being in All-Cherry Hill Choir with me (you didn't really have to sing that well,, Cherry Hill's kind of a small place) and remembered my parakeet. It was also very cool to find out she'd grown up really snart and become a doctor!
After I heard from my old friend, I pulled out some old scrapbooks and looked at the class pictures and birthday party collages I'd put together back then. And you know what? Despite all this talk about kids growing up too fast, or the times being different, we really didn't look all that different from the kids my children know now. (Except for the clothes and hairstyles, which are much better now!) In a way, everything changes over time, but nothing changes, too. (That either sounds cryptic or insane, depending on how you read it.) Which gives me hope that years from now people will still be reading our rocoms, and enjoying the make-believe universes we've created.
As for my friend, her daughter bought one of my "How I Survived Middle School: books and seemed to like it a lot. Which made me happy, since there are plenty of references to my Cherry Hill childhood in those books. So the connection was made in a lot of different ways.
I hope all of you can reconnect with old friends this holiday season.
Best wishes for a great year.
And let's hope '08 brings us all peace. It's time.