A few months ago, my friend and I were at a bar on Frenchman Street in New Orleans, and didn’t have cash to pay the cover charge.
It was OK; it turns out the bouncer and I WENT TO SUMMER CAMP TOGETHER and he remembered me.
“SEBASTIAN?!?!?!?!” I screamed and gave him a big hug. He got us in for free.
I haven’t lived in New Orleans in ten years, since high school, and I was nervous when I moved back home four months ago because I left a ton of friends, and my twin sister, back in South Carolina.
“I’ve got, like, TWO friends in the city!” I wailed.
That’s not true. I see people from the past wherever I go.
It's partly because my brother, twin sister and I did a lot of things growing up in the city. We went to several schools, played on several teams, and, clearly made an impression at summer camp.
It’s helpful that I look the exact same as I did when I was in high school. Having a twin sister is also nice because the number of people that recognize me has doubled. And I don’t mind pretending to be Joy.
I’m equal parts impressed and grateful with people’s memory and face recognition skills, because I felt really lonely when I first moved here (Still do sometimes, life ain't peachy all the time). But, I have enjoyed playing the memory game:
One night, when I was out dancing, I ran into my friend from middle school’s little sister, who strangely enough, is now old enough to drink.
Another friend from middle school works in my building, I see her in the elevator on the ride to my office.
I also ran into her at a restaurant the other weekend, and we chatted while waiting for a table with our dates.
At a wedding I went to with my former boyfriend, I met his co-worker’s fiancé, a girl I used to do gymnastics with. Her name is also Jenny.
At an event at the park, the girl giving out wristbands was my best friend from elementary school, and we reminisced about how our social studies fair project about Cuban refugees made it all the way to the state finals, y’all.
And the other night, I went to a neighborhood bar and saw my old high school swimming coach. He bought me a shot.
I’m starting to see a (drinking) pattern.
At another wedding, I randomly saw a friend from high school who’s brother was the best man. We caught up the whole reception, I think she even taught me the dance for a Lil Wayne song.
For the newspaper I work at, I had to talk to a public relations person, who happened to have been on the high school newspaper staff with me.
“Yea, I totally stuck with the newspaper thing,” I told her. “How funny!!”
Speaking of high school, I’ve rekindled my Catholic High School friendships big time. My roommate is a friend from high school who I haven’t seen since our five-year reunion, five years ago. And she’s awesome.
She keeps up with more friends from high school than I do, girls I also haven’t seen in five years. I ate fondue with them the other night. Effing delicious.
Last Saturday night, my roommate and I hung out with the guy who was my HIGH SCHOOL WINTER FORMAL DATE, who randomly hung out with us all night long. All we needed was some corsages and boutonnieres.
At a Saints game, a friend who went to a different high school and her boyfriend coincidentally had seats right across the aisle from me. WHO DAT!
Another odd connection: A guy on my kickball team was the second person my twin sister ever kissed. (He called me Joy for the first two games.)
Speaking of second kisses…seriously this happened…I was a wingman for a friend of mine, and the guy I was stuck talking to was the second guy I ever kissed.
“No effing way,” I said.
“Didn’t we used to make out in middle school?” he asked me.
I was suddenly embarassed.
“I think that was my sister,” I said. Haha
Two weeks ago, I ordered a second beer from a bar and told the bartender my last name so he could put it on my tab. He said he already knew who I was.
“We went to elementary school together,” he said. “And, I work at the pharmacy near your house and get your parents their prescriptions.”
“Of course,” I said.
Small Easy. Gotta love it.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to go finish some work because I need to get out of here on time so I can go to a Christmas party tonight…with a friend who I used to swing dance with in high school.