Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Past Lives

While JG and I were getting the lay of the land at the beach, we found a takeout menu in the kitchen for a place called Oceanside Seafood. I have this thing where I like to have city-specific cuisine if I’m a tourist, and the beach means seafood! We walked in for dinner, unsure of how it all worked, so JG asked the girl at the counter, “If we want to eat in, do we seat ourselves?” It turned out that the girl was Joanna, one of JG’s friends from the high school years! She was living at the beach for the summer and waitressing at this restaurant that we had randomly picked. JG and Joanna tried to catch up quickly on the last five years of life, highlighted by Joanna shrieking, “You’re married, aren’t you?!” (Um, yes, nice to meet you…) Joanna ended up being our waitress, and she gave us great recommendations. The two of us plowed through steamed clams, crab Florentine soup, shrimp, flounder, and scallops, all delicious and even better, at the “regulars’ discount”. It pays to have connections, right?

This unexpected run-in with the past reminded me of how JG and I are slated to go to the wedding of one of my high school friends, Amy, in a couple of weeks. It’s the first wedding that I have from that set, and I’m a little apprehensive. I envision being seated with people I haven't seen in years and there’s stilted silence as we all try to make pleasant conversation until the wedding party arrives …

Where did you go to college again? … Oh, that’s right, I remember now – that’s great. And you’re working where now? … That sounds really interesting. … Oh, look, hors d'oeuvres!

Maybe I’m just being pessimistic. Maybe it’ll be a fun time: I can reminisce, JG will have a chance to meet people I grew up with, we can dress up and dance, and even have an overdue visit with my parents. Don’t get me wrong – I’m excited to be there for Amy; she was one of my closest friends when I was a teenager. We teased our calculus teacher, ate Ben and Jerry’s out of a community pint, and spent many hours at school for band and play practice. In middle school, we used to say that we were the “friend type, not the lover type” when we commiserated about never having boyfriends, and look – we’re the first two to be married out of our friends. It’s funny how that works.

I feel like I’m walking back into a world where I was a different person. These high school friends are accustomed to me on my own, since I never dated in high school, and now I’m a wife with an out-of-state license that has someone else’s name on it. I wonder if anyone will exclaim, “You’re married, aren’t you?!”

I guess we’ll see…

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