Yesterday I saw a sign for my high school's 25th reunion. 25 years! The years have seemed to go by so fast. But it made me think about that last year of high school. All the friends and people I had meet. The relief to finally be out of school and the quest to find a job. The job market was very tough back then. If I remember correctly, unemployment on the Coast was at 25%.

But it is the people I am remembering: Lynette, Monkey, Bear, Michelle, David, Rick, and Kim. Michelle and I used to be thrown out of stores because for some strange reason we thought it was fun to try on the high priced hats at department stores and laugh hysterically at one another. We were thrown out of a Piggly Wiggly store but I cannot remember the reason.

Lynette was my best friend. It was devastating when she moved back to New Jersey. We used to double date all the time and talk about the deep things that only teenage girls can seem to understand.

Bear was my beau until I met David who was at KAFB. We were engaged to be married but alas things did not work out. Monkey was an irritation. He used to think it was funny to push us into the pool and dunk us(of course I loved it, just had to make a stink about it). Rick and Kim were the couple that let me hang out with them. She used to organize themed cookouts by the swimming pool at the apartments we lived in. We would have Greek nights, Italian nights, etc. She was Korean and introduced me to kim chee, that very, very spicy pickled cabbage.

It also made me think of the Saudi families that lived in the apartments. The men were receiving training at KAFB. I used to babysit for one family. It was interesting to say the least. The kids could not speak English and I could not speak Arabic. I did learn a few words but have since lost them. They would ask me to go everywhere with them, to the store, to the amusement parks, the doctors office, I mean everywhere. They invited me to a dinner after Ramadan had ended. The goat head in the kitchen gave me misgivings but the food was delicious. I wasn't used to sitting on the floor and eating with my fingers.

Some of the other families asked me to teach their wives how to swim and English. I told them it would not be a good idea to try teach English as I didn't know Arabic but did teach swimming. The men seemed to work hard to let their wives enjoy freedoms that so many women in the West take for granted.

It was strange during Ramadan seeing all those men in white supplicating on their prayer mats by the poolside.

Before they left, the family who I babysat for asked me to go to Saudi Arabia with them. I never even seriously considered it for I knew enough at that time that women did not have any freedom and could not drive. If I ran into problems, how would I be able to get back home if I needed a man to accompany me everywhere while in Saudi Arabia and his permission to leave?

There were many other people the reunion sign made me think of, the physics teacher who hated my guts, the trig teacher who went out of her way to help me because for some reason I never took geometry, the English teacher who was so, so picky on the final research paper, and the theme song that my friends and I used to sing while walking down the school hallways, We Don't Need No Education by Pink Floyd.


Blogger Esther said...

Absolutely wild, isn't it? I'm approaching the 20 year reunion and that freaks me out too. Your experience with the people from Saudi Arabia sounds interesting. The language barrier can be hard... though as a former swim instructor I can see how that could be doable.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...


25 years. I still can't get over that. And the Saudi thing was interesting. I wasn't a swim instructor. I just swam 2 - 3 hours a day and was able to convey the basics.

10:54 PM  

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