High school Joy

Mel and me

My BFF in high school and I finally caught up with each other after 20 years! Life sends you on an adventure and it may never bring you back to a place where you meet up with friends from your youth. Over the past 4 months, I have been fortunate enough to meet up with 7 amazing women from my past. Melanie Johnson holds a special place in my heart. We became friends in the 8th grade and were mostly inseparable for the next 5 years.

Our fun in high school was before cell phones, internet and ITunes. Therefore, we made up our own version of fun. Actually all teens did then. We were masters at creating mix tapes. The songs were ordered to heighten the evening and provide maximum singing opportunity.

At that time in life we actually wanted to leave home even it was to just drive around playing loud music. Melanie and I were bad and smoked in those days as well. Therefore, we had to get out of the house in order to smoke and avoid getting in trouble. Come the weekends we were in search for the amazing teenage party that was portrayed on all of the movies. To this day we have yet to attend one of those parties, but we were determined to keep looking!

The crazy nights of our teen lives consisted of driving for hours, smoking, singing, and stopping repeatedly at routine spots. There were a few places where what seemed like hundreds of teens would meet up to discuss where this potential epic party might actually be. I feel bad for the people who worked at the McDonald’s and Burger King that were in our driving circuit. There was a rule to deter such loitering something must be purchased for you to be in their restaurant. We were poor high school students and would get around that with the order of one small fry for 20 people. The teens would inevitably be asked to leave and off we would go. The next stop was a street that connected two neighborhoods. It was about a quarter of a mile long and we would line both sides of the streets with cars. Again, no cell phones meant you had to actually get out of the cars and talk to each other. I remember in the winter it would be freezing, but we did not care. The girls spent hours fixing their hair and makeup just perfect for the evening. We wanted to be seen no matter how cold it was. There would be huddles of people talking and trying to stay warm while looking beautiful smoking cigarettes. I just laugh looking back now! It would not be long before either we would be asked to leave by the police or it was too cold to stay outside any longer. Back in the car and off to the Burger King or McDonald’s. This loop continued almost like an endurance race. Eventually people would get tired, run out of songs to sing, or curfew would approach. This routine was repeated for years! I often wonder how many miles and gallons of gas just my graduating class used those last 2 years of high school.

Next weekend, I will be back at my parent’s house and will meet up with Melanie. Only this time we have a plan. She is to get a playlist together and I am to devise our driving route. Except now after listening to a few songs driving around we can actually go have a glass of wine at the end and laugh about our youthful version of fun! Stay tuned for pictures of this version of a journey.