A couple of years ago, I went to a class reunion for my elementary/middle school class at Maryknoll, the former all -Japanese private school in Los Angeles. It was a pleasant get-together. I exchanged niceties with many of my former classmates and we exchanged email addreses and other miscellaneous contact info–including this blog–through a booklet of information distributed to everyone in computer file form.
But seriously, it had been decades, literally, since I had seen or even talked to virtually any of them. So imagine my surprise when I received an email from a girl… um, a woman… I used to sit next to in the First Grade. What makes it noteworthy is that I was just thinking about her the other day–in fact it was the very same day she sent me the email!
I was cleaning the area around my desk–finally–and came across the original invitation/announcement to the reunion… Yes, my desk is THAT messy. I looked at the return address on the envelope–DH–and my mind kinda floated back to the First Grade. I’m not sure if I’ve written about this before–I think I am manifesting the early signs of Alzheimer as I have very poor memory retention these days–but I recall having DH as a deskmate back then. If memory serves, each vertical row of desks in class were made up of two desks horizontally aligned with each other. Bolted down onto wooden rails, these sturdy desks with solid wood desktops and ink wells (!) were presumably our first line of defense in case of an atomic bomb attack–the ridiculousness of duck and cover drills can only be appreciated in hindsight.
Anyway, back then, DH and I often chit-chatted, but I think our teacher, Sister Angela Maureen, finally had it with us and decided to put an end to our chatter by closing our mouths with an “X” of two strips of Scotch tape. Amazingly, it worked, at least for me. Obviously, cellophane tape is not strong enough to keep my mouth closed, but the embarrassment of Scotch tape X’ed over my mouth from upperlip to chin was enough to quiet me down for the rest of the afternoon. I still remember the bottom part of the X coming loose and the cellophane tape dangling from my upper lip, but still I could not bring myself to say a peep.
In any event, you can imagine my surprise at receiving an email from my first grade conversation partner on the same day I was recalling our experience. It makes me wonder if we Maryknollers–or perhaps anyone who basically lived with each other day to day for almost ten years during their formative years–are connected in some cosmic way…