Today was a nice and coincidental day. Mother and Cathy and I headed way out west to YaYa’s for a mother/daughters birthday lunch (birthdays seem to extend into weeks when you’re older). Definitely worth the drive. Food, wine and service were great, and complimentary baba ghanoush will win me over anytime.
Just before we left, the manager, a nice-looking young man, came over to our table. He’d been by earlier to ask how our meal was.
This time, he looked at me quizzically, bent down, and asked me if I used to teach. I said yes, and he said, “I knew it! You were my teacher.”
Turns out he was one of my sophomore English students the second year I taught, way back in 1986-87 at Jacksonville High School.
He said he’d been telling his coworkers he knew it was me but it couldn’t be because that was so long ago I’d have to be old now, and I looked (to him) “exactly the same.” Nice to hear, but I assured him that I am old, having just turned 56 this week.
His eyes got big and he said, “Oh, my gosh, you weren’t that much older than us – a bunch of us from my graduating class have been on Facebook talking about how weird it is that we’re all turning 40.”
Big dose of perspective – time is flying. I knew the seniors from my first year were turning 43, but the sophomores were still kids in my mind. (And it also makes me wonder how old they thought I was then. I was 31, which to 15- and 16-year-olds seems pretty indeterminable, I suppose.)
My personal children were precious and little back then (they’re precious and big now and have precious little ones of their own) and loved to go way out to the school with me if I needed to hang out with yearbook or newspaper staff in the evenings or on weekends. Liz especially loved to write on the chalkboards (yes, chalk – these were the olden days).
Jay said our principal had been in recently too, but
he recognized Jay before Jay recognized him. Anyway, it was a nice visit that brought back some pleasant memories.
Then we girls wandered through a couple of stores. At Coldwater Creek, while Mother was shopping, I picked up a very cool book called “The Little Big Book of Dogs” and opened it randomly to a poem called “Man and Dog,” by Siegfried Sassoon.
He just happened to be one of my favorite World War I poets, one I taught heavily to my senior English classes at Jacksonville High School all those years ago.
No biggie, but a nice coincidence. And a really great book for dog lovers. Would make a good Christmas present for someone who, say, has two German Shepherds or something.
Later I met John and our friends Julia and Rich at Breckenridge to see “Contagion.” Good movie, bad news. The $5 feature between 4 and 6 p.m. is no more. Makes you long for the good old days of last month.
Then I came home to a new “Rolling Stone” (Jon Stewart made the cover again) with articles about Pearl Jam’s 20-year-anniversary and the 20-year anniversary of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” – and that the Rolling Stones might, just might, tour next year to celebrate the band’s 50th(!) anniversary. How’d that happen??