Twelve years ago, in the fall of 2001, I was a sophomore in high school. I’ll pause here to allow all of you to collectively roll your eyes at my age. Sophomore year was my favorite, even more than senior year (also, I apparently didn’t get the memo that I was supposed to hate high school. I loved high school and would do it all over again in a heartbeat) for a variety of reasons: I cut class a lot to make out with my (graduating senior) high school boyfriend in the band room a lot, it was a year that didn’t matter on your college transcript, and perhaps best of all, it was the year we had a foreign exchange student. Her name was Diana, she was from Moldova, and our group of friends adopted her and made her one of us.
We did a lot together over the course of the year. There were shopping trips, bowling adventures, school dances, sleepovers, class trips, skiing. We existed in a world without cell phones that could text, without Facebook, and with cameras that required developing. The year passed too quickly, as they tend to do, and before we knew it June was here. My high school boyfriend graduated and left, but what was most devastating was that Diana returned home. Vanessa, Sarah, and I were extremely close to her. Diana came back to Florida after graduating high school, where she’s been living and teaching high school Chemistry. There was a moment on Facebook a few weeks ago where one of us suggested she fly up and visit, and then magically, this week, eleven years later, we finally got our mini reunion. She flew up Wednesday, and it was like the four of us had never skipped a beat.
At Sarah’s house reminiscing over high school pictures of ourselves. That’s Sarah, me, and Diana at our Soph Hop in that photo.
Drinking fancy Rosé. The only thing that changed about us in the intervening 11 years was that now we can drink! We were 15 and 16 year old babies before. Also we went to a high school where no one drank, so that helped. We were too busy being nerdy to sneak-drink.
While sifting through photos and taking a trip down memory lane, we noticed a strange game in Sarah’s living room. It’s called Bizzy Bizzy Bumblebees and yes, we played it. It involves strapped a plastic headband to your head and using a little bumblebee to collect magnetic “pollen.” We are 26 and 27 year old women with careers and live-in boyfriends and fiancés (Diana is engaged, too!) and the four of us lost our minds with joy over it.
Obligatory ridiculous cell phone photo.
The morning after the raging luau we threw for her going away party in 2002, where the majority of our grade came (all 100 of us, ha).
The four of us, last night at dinner. We all look the same.
Please note my headphones. Hello, 2002.
This morning I’m going in late to work to have breakfast with the group. Tonight we’re having happy hour margaritas and then going out for sushi. Diana is here until Sunday, and we’re all trying to make the most of our time together. One thing is for sure: we aren’t waiting another 11 years to do this again.