Saturday, February 14, 2009

A "moving" experience

I had a big imagination when I was a little girl. I was very quiet on the outside, but inside I was making plans. And most of them involved moving away from the small town that I lived in.

For one thing, there was another Leigh in my class, except his name was spelled L-e-e; therefore, we were both called by our first and last names, which got old by about 7th grade. The funny thing is we did it, too, when talking to one another.

To make matters worse, we both caught mono at the same time. I told my friends that the doctor said you could get it by drinking out of the same water fountain, but, of course, they thought we had gotten the so-called “kissing disease” the old-fashioned way. The teasing was enough to make this shy (at the time) girl want to pack her bags. (As a side note, Lee and I actually went out once during our junior year of high school. We agreed it was too weird. I mean what would people call us if we got married?).

Moving was a very romantic idea to me. I would reinvent myself. I would be called by my first name--Meredith. (Mother didn’t call me this because she said she was worried I would have a hard time spelling it in Kindergarten. Maybe she’s right because it’s actually spelled differently on my birth certificate!)

Back to my story, once I settled in my new town, I would not have braces or glasses or be too skinny. I would be the most popular girl in school, and my hair would feather back like Farah Fawcett’s. I would be able to hit a softball, my pom poms would not be made from white trash bags, I would play in the band instead of sitting outside the room listening, and I would not buy my clothes from K-Mart.

Despite my plans, we never moved. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in. My family and I live just a couple of miles down the road. Along the way, I got my braces off, I got contacts, I gained enough weight to catch up with my height, Farah Fawcett’s hair went out of style, and K-Mart closed. My middle school friends didn’t recognize me when I started high school.

I ended up marrying a man from out of town. He moved almost every year of his school life. He never got to finish a little league season or Boy Scouts or make friends for more than nine months at a time.

Looking back, I’m so glad we stayed put. I love this town and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Although, there are moments when I think it might be nice to live in a place where no one knows the good and bad parts of my past. But, I guess I need to face reality--no matter where I live, I would still never be able to hit a softball.

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