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Four...four...four...four...

Day 1 - Ten random facts about yourself
Day 2 - Nine things you do everyday
Day 3 - Eight things that annoy you
Day 4 - Seven fears/phobias
Day 5 - Six songs that you’re addicted to
Day 6 - Five things you can’t live without

Day 7 - Four memories you won’t forget
Day 8 - Three words you can’t go a day without
Day 9 - Two things you wish you could do
Day 10 - One person you can trust

First, last, and always: The night I met Mr Psmith. It was at an Irish pub; he knew all the words to the songs, he made me laugh (he was wearing this Renaissance-y shirt with big sleeves and greeted me with, "Ola! Mi llamo Fernando!"), he quoted both Monty Python and Amadeus at me, and that was pretty much all she wrote :) It was in February and our first date a week later for sushi came in the middle of a colossal blizzard, but he drove forty miles through it to meet me... I think everyone has vivid memories of the night they met their Significant Other, the person who changed your life for the better and became your best friend and companion. How could you not?

So I'll do four besides that one. These are the first four that come to mind, in chronological order:

1) When I was in first grade, a little boy in my class -- Todd -- lost his entire family in a house fire: mother, father, four brothers and sisters. Only he and his little brother survived, because the parents put them out the master bedroom window onto the garage roof just before the floor of the room gave way. I remember the headline in the paper the next day was, "I heard my toys falling." But of course it wasn't toys... They lived just down the block from my best friend Erica and the fire happened right around Halloween. A few days later we went to Erica's house -- I don't remember if we were picking her up or dropping me off -- and drove right past Todd's house. The house was a blackened ruin, the roof collapsed, the big bay window in the living room blown out, and sitting on the sill was a half-burned jack-o-lantern. Real horror movie stuff, eh? Todd never came back to school; he and his little brother went to live with relatives, I suppose. To this day I wonder about them, where they went and where they are today.

2) My first day of Catholic school, in third grade. We're not remotely Catholic, but my mom decided to send me to a Catholic school that year, I guess because it was a really good school. My first day, in Sister Marie Helen's homeroom, we started off with the pledge of allegiance which I knew very well. Then we did the Lord's Prayer, which I sort of knew from occasional forays to church on Christmas and Easter. Then they all launched into "Hail, Mary, full of grace" which for all I knew might have been the school fight song. Sister Marie Helen, a chubby little woman (and if she looked little to ME, who was three feet tall for about three years straight, you know she was tiny), came bustling over to me with this very worried look. "What's wrong, dear? Don't you want to say the hail Mary with us?" she said. I looked around at all the staring little faces, then down at my shoes and mumbled, "I don't know it." I looked up to see a look of appalled horror on her face, like "Oh, the poor little heathen thing!" and she told off one of the other students to take me into a corner and teach it to me. I spent two years at St. John's but I'll never forget that feeling of being an utter alien, where everyone else knew something I didn't. (Sister Benedicta's penmanship class was a whole 'nother kind of unforgettable...)

3) The night I suddenly realized that grown-ups weren't some alien species but just varying degrees further along the continuum than me. I was twelve and had been babysitting for a young couple -- they couldn't have been more than 22 or 23, but of course they were GROWN-UPS so they seemed old and serious -- and afterwards the husband drove me home. I was pretty shy and didn't say much, but about halfway home he said, "Oh hey, do you mind if I turn this up? I really like this song." Of course I said no, I didn't mind. I had just discovered popular music and the song was "My Sharona", which I LOVED, and as the radio thumped out the beat and he sang along with it and kept time on the steering wheel, it was like this window opened up and I realized that grown-ups were actual people that might like some of the same things I liked. It was a real paradigm shift.

4) The night I met my first boyfriend. I was fourteen and we met at a German Club party in high school (yes, German Club -- as John Bender would say, "Demented and sad, but social" lol). He was a year ahead of me in school, and since I skipped a year when I was young that made him two years older, which seemed so grown up to me at the time. I thought he was so handsome, big blue eyes and shaggy tousled brown hair. When he dared me to guess his last name, I got it on the first try (Alexander). He drove me home in his forest-green Plymouth Satellite, blasting AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" at ear-shattering decibels the entire way, and I think I was in love before we got to my house :) We ended up dating for two years. He was sweet and warm and funny and smart and loving and kind, and although we ended up going our separate ways, I will always be grateful to him that my first love was a good one.

Comments

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helenarickman
Feb. 17th, 2015 10:57 am (UTC)
Oh, your second memory brings back mine as well. Another Catholic school product, here.
Those nuns are very good about singling out children from their peers in embarrassing and public ways.
But I love them. Good women, for the most part.
delphipsmith
Feb. 17th, 2015 12:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, they were wonderful ladies, every one of them, even the terrifying Sister Benedicta, and I loved my two years there. There was a priest as well who used to walk the halls at school with one of those trick dog-harness-on-a-leash things, the one made of stiffened wire so it looks like you're walking an invisible dog :)
mimimanderly
Feb. 17th, 2015 11:54 am (UTC)
Your memories had me sighing and tearing up in equal measure. This has been my favorite part of these memes: when people elaborate upon the memory and so make it mine as well.

I went to Catholic school for eight years, even though my parents weren't all that religious because it provided a better education than our public schools, even back then. The gap has probably increased exponentially. I'm fortunate that I am by nature a questioner, so that the religious claptrap didn't take hold, but I have kept the good parts: I can still diagram a sentence and recite the times tables. My penmanship, however... let's just say that Sister Mary Richard would break her ruler on my knuckles if she saw it today.
delphipsmith
Feb. 17th, 2015 12:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they knew how to focus on the basics all right! I too can diagram a sentence -- and play the flutophone!

Sister Benedicta was about a hundred and ten years old, really old school, would grab you by the ear and haul you up to the front of the class. This particular day we were practicing cursive m's and n's and mine weren't quite up to snuff, so she wrote "swimming" on the blackboard and had me come up and trace over it. Clever child that I was, I traced over the word carefully and when I got to the tail end of the "g" I just kept the chalk on the board and retraced it backwards to the beginning. I think I made the circuit three or four times before she turned around and caught me. She was Not Amused. But it's thanks to her that I have legible cursive, which has been a real gift throughout my life. I hear they're giving up teaching it in schools these days -- she'd be horrified!
a_boleyn
Feb. 17th, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC)
I spent most of my grade school years in a RC school taught by nuns in a mostly Italian neighbourhood. I got a very good grounding in the 3 R's. Socialization... not so much.
kellychambliss
Feb. 17th, 2015 08:59 pm (UTC)
What interesting memories! I can see why they are all memorable. I was raised Catholic, but I do know that "alien" feeling. My mom had gone to Catholic schools, but chose not to send my sibs and me (partly because of the cost, partly because the local public elementary was literally two doors away from us). But we had to attend Sunday morning religion classes (CCD, it was called then -- Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) -- and while most of the nuns were very kind, some of them did not approve AT ALL of Catholic kids who did not go to Catholic schools. I've never forgotten the terror they could inspire /g/.
diabolica
Feb. 18th, 2015 10:57 am (UTC)
Breakfast Club shout-out FTW!!!!
haruhi_fan
Feb. 19th, 2015 04:59 am (UTC)
Very nice memories as you continue your postings. As I noted in my last blog I did all mine in 1 posting. As for Catholic school I was told that I cried so much they moved me to public school instead. :P I was scared and wanting my late granny to be able to visit more during the day which she couldn't at a Catholic school. Oh and nice song notes, found some new AMVs of them to enjoy. Take care as I go post my Chinese New Year's blog now!
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