Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Friend Kim Is Coming Today

My friend Kim is coming from New Jersey to visit today. I have been friends with Kim since first grade. Our friendship solidified in third grade, when Kim had the honor of serving as a private, and indeed as the only member, in the army that I commanded as General Mills (inspired by the cereal company). The point of the army was to chase the boys around the playground at recess. I have no memory of any particular battles that were waged, and certainly none of any battles that were won.

When we put on a play of Caddie Woodlawn in fifth grade, Kim was Caddie Woodlawn, and I was stuckup cousin Annabelle from back East. When we put on a production of Little Mary Sunshine in seventh grade, Kim was Madame Ernestine von Liebedich, and I was one of the young ladies from the Eastchester Finishing School. In high school Kim was a cheerleader and a member of the Stage Band and Singers; I was editor of the school newspaper and still active in the drama club.

Kim had four younger brothers, and at her house someone was always falling out of a tree and having to go to the emergency room. I had one sister, just a year younger, and at my house everyone was always well behaved and very very quiet. I loved the noisy exuberance of Kim's house. Sometimes I still have dreams about it.

For the past couple of decades, Kim has been the one who hosted our high school reunions from North Plainfield High School, in North Plainfield, NJ. I've never missed a single one. For one of the reunions, I brought my son, Gregory, who was still a nursing baby; Kim's teenaged son, also called Gregory, babysat for him.

I would never miss a high school reunion, and I'm beside myself with excitement at the prospect of Kim's arrival. Who else can hum all the songs from Little Mary Sunshine? Who else knows what my parents looked like, the layout of my childhood home, the terrible meanness of the fourth grade teacher, the boys I liked who didn't like me back? Who else served loyally beside me in my army?

You already know the answer to that last question: nobody.


  1. But I know the layout of your childhood home!

  2. So thrilled that the famous Kim is visiting you. Tell her I said hello. If she doesn't remember me, remind her of the green wing and pink wing in "our" orphanage.

  3. Cheryl knows more than ANYBODY! Cheryl, you even know who Mrs. Budmagee was. Clara, I forgot that you met Kim in the orphange!