“Four o’clock sounds good. I’ll be there. I look pretty much the same, except I have a goatee now.”
Today I had a much anticipated coffee date with an old friend. By old friend, I mean, “from the way-backs in Sarah Mac history.” This kid moved into my neighborhood the summer before 3rd grade. We rode bikes together and built a fort in the woods. We took my dad’s canoe to the island in the middle of the pond in my backyard and shot bb guns at homemade targets attached to cardboard boxes. We captured baby turtles and trapped them in a “habitat” that we made, only to come back the next day to find them ravaged by raccoons.
There was a strange stage in middle school where his older sister became the ringleader of a group of mean girls who tormented me on the school bus every day. His loyalty was with my camp, though. We secretly plotted against her and called her a bitch behind her back (but not to her face because she would have totally beaten us up—FOR REAL).
My family moved out of the neighborhood during our freshmen year of high school. Even once our paths diverged (because I went sort of Tori Amos hippy-dippy while he was committed to full-time girl chasing) we still went to “period B, off-campus” lunch together at least once a week where he told me about the new girl in his sights the latest kooky things that he and Jesse Hickey had done to piss our Spanish teacher, Dr. Madera, off. I complained about something that I’m sure seemed important at the time, but really was small and inconsequential in the big scheme of things. Then we destroyed some ridiculously syrupy sweet tea and nuclear hot chicken wings from the grossest, dirtiest chicken joint in town (where they knew our names and our order) and agreed that the stomach upset to follow was definitely worth the immediate gratification of the meal and experience. This was back before I went veg, by the way.
Once we finished school, we went to different colleges. Although I’ve run into his parents around town several times in the past few years, this is the first time I’ve seen him since we graduated a gazillion years ago.
He found my band on iTunes. Then he sent an email to our generic Sarah Mac Band email account: “Ever since you sang Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings at our elementary school graduation, I knew you had it in you.” Side note: We talked about that today as we caught up and are now both completely committed to finding a video of that performance to post here on the blog for you guys—if nothing else, you should see how I rocked the tall 80’s bangs and the dangly, multi-colored horse earrings.
We found that we were both surprised at how our lives currently do not reflect where we had always expected to be when we daydreamed about being grown-ups. He caught me up on the last decade and was excited to fill me in on his rapidly approaching wedding. I told him about the adventures that I have living in someone else’s attic and traveling in a minivan all over creation to play music with Claire and Charlie. After that, we just traded stories from high school and gossiped about all of our friends from back then.
We laughed as we realized that we committed four years to and graduated from a program that kind of screwed us up forever (or in my living grateful perspective, “taught us to be thorough, efficient, well-rounded and intrinsically motivated for both performance and mastery of any given subject matter.”). Really, now that I think back on it, it’s strange that we spent almost all of our time talking about the things and people from high school, when we have so many more years of shared life and experiences. I guess that when it comes down to it, those teenage years have a pretty significant impact on who you become, eh?
Tomorrow night (Friday, February 18th) we’ll be participating in a benefit for Tallahassee YoungLives.
If you missed the article in our local paper this week, this is what they said:
YoungLives, a faith-based group that partners with the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, started in Tallahassee four years ago. The goal is to help teenage mothers become better parents and to delay a second pregnancy until high school is completed. Each girl receives one-on-one mentoring. The teens also can attend weekly informal get-togethers with the other girls or a Mommy and Me class, where life skills are taught. Child care and food are provided at both meetings.
The program coordinator, Whitney McLean, is a long-time Sarah Mac Band friend and supporter. She’s also an art therapist and for the past semester, has been facilitating a music therapy project with the teen moms in the program. Tomorrow, four local musicians will be performing songs that the YoungLives teen moms wrote lyrics for. After the showcase of the girls’ songs, there will be a short acoustic set by Royce Lovett and then we’ll take the stage for two sets with a short intermission for Whitney to deliver some information about the program. There’s no cost, but donations will be accepted.
And although I’m a graduate of the James S. Rickards High School International Baccalaureate program, where we learned to write a whole lot with very little effort (and in some cases, little thought as well), I have to stop writing now. It’s 10pm and I’m working really hard to sleep every night this week instead of missing my window and getting caught by the evil insomnia fairy. I’ll look for you guys at the event tomorrow night—when I will most definitely be caught by the evil insomnia-because-of-anxiety fairy as I’m running my first ever 5k race on Saturday morning (Go, Team 31 on 31!!).
And… you need to listen to this album because I just discovered it and have been listening to it for two weeks straight.