When I was 13, I committed the requisite teen errors in judgment such as the time I decided to show off the new dance move I learned from MTV’s The Grind which in retrospect, should have been called, “The Slutty Limbo.”

My best friend J. and I decided to push a lit cigarette into our ankles until it was extinguished. If Anne Shirley had smoked in the girl’s bathroom, I’m sure she would have done the same with Diana. J. called this a “remembrance,” a way to memorialize how we loved and cared for each other by leaving a circled-scar on our skin.

You can barely see it now. It’s faded into the rest of my body, and unless I point to you and give you the background that I wasn’t very smart in seventh grade and this flesh groove is why, you wouldn’t know it’s there.

J. and I moved to different to schools and rarely saw each other. The last time we spoke was at church, when she spent the majority of the mass saying, “My GOD Mona, you have become so fat. And I am so skinny.” I wish there was nicer way to recap that reunion, but that is what she said. And even though it was true, I had gained weight and she remained in her 25″ jeans, I was deflated.

I saw her only once more after that Sunday. My mother was driving past the church and I could see J., only this time, her slender face had bloated, her belly protruding through her paisley dress. We were 16. She was having her first child.

This weekend I attended a party and found out that J. was in Washington. She had two more children. My heart started beating nervously. I knew that she was a mother, but now I was, too. My mind rifled through the times she and I had written bad love poetry about boys who wronged us, how she introduced me to my first boyfriend and of course of the cigarette scar, now hidden by my pant leg.

When J. stepped into the room, I searched her face for some look of welcome, of surprise. She said hi to the room, and my mother and aunt said, “Hey remember Mona! You two were friends!” She looked at me and nodded with the enthusiasm of a comatose patient. She gave me a one-arm hug then shepherded her brood in front of the TV where she only looked up from the Lion King flickering on the screen to answer my question as to how long she’d been in Washington.

“February.” Four syllables. No return question.

And this is how I always set myself up for heartache, how my attempt to connect with other mothers chronically fails. But this was not Starbucks, and I wasn’t trying to bond with someone over our mirrored orders of tall vanilla lattes.

I’ve considered the birth of my child as a transforming experience, one that has forced me to redefine my world perspective and view of myself. It has fueled my need to connect with other mothers, other women who know the pangs and pleasure of children. And when J. didn’t say anything else to me despite my forced attempts at pleasantries, I sighed. Maybe her account of our friendship is different, more pained or pointless. I tucked our relationship neatly into a file called, “Memories Mona Should Just Keep In 1996.”

If we ever see each other, my dear internet friend, would you please say something more than hello? I would appreciate it.

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  1. Butrfly4404 says:

    Mona, if I ever see you, you’re going to WISH I’d dissed you! You’ll be saying “Mike, I don’t know who this crazy bitch is..I ran into her at Wal-Mart and she was all, ‘OMG! I read your blog!’ and I couldn’t shake her!”

    Not that I’m some weird internet-stalker or something.

    Great post, Mona…sad, but good.

  2. OMG, I so do this all time! I live fairly near my high school, in some strange twist of fate, so I see people I went to school with occasionally. I went up to one girl, whom I was friends with in high school and she totally blew me off. If I ever met you in real life, I would totally hang out with you!

  3. Dude, I have like 23465 things to say to you, starting with:

    1)I totally learned ALL my moves from Eric Nies. I even had “The Grind Workout Video”

    2)Your flesh groove reminds me of 7th grade when we decided it was cool to ERASE THE BACKS OF OUR HANDS UNTIL LESIONS FORMED as a sign of solidarity.

    AND, like butrfly4404 said, if you ever see me you’re going to wish you hadn’t, because I would totally go all Chris Farley on you, like “remember the time when you posted about The Grind and…member that?”

  4. If you didn’t live so far away, I’d be begging you to be my mommy friend. I’ve finally made a few here, but they are all older. And I thought people had children in the south while they were still in their 20s!

  5. i’ll give you a two armed hug and tell you how skinny you are and how much i hate you in a very i’m so jealous sort of way šŸ˜‰

  6. thecandyqueen says:

    LOVE the Anne of Green Gables reference. You know what? We should get all those movies on DVD and have a viewing party. I haven’t seen them if FOREVER! I’ve always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island too. We should do that as old ladies. You down?

  7. Once again I ask the question – why weren’t we friends growing up?

    I have been thinking about writing a “friend” post of sorts, but I haven’t had much time in front of the computer. But yours is much better – even though it makes me sad.

    I’m sorry that she snubbed you. If you remember my best friend from that same time…she snubbed me when we moved to different high schools, more than once. It hurt. I now know nothing about her.

    Did you get the lame voice message I left you a few weeks ago?

  8. What a thought-provoking post. I am now having “rememberences” of past friends that have gone in different directions but still linger in my memories.
    I LOVE Anne Shirley of Green Gables! My mom used to read me that when I was young.
    I hope you’re not “in the depths of despair” over the blow-off by your old friend. Her loss.

  9. hello insomnia says:

    amy: I’m so glad I can count on you not to diss me. There aren’t many people on that list.

    shelly: I’m not sure what happens after high school that turns people into tools.

    tessie: I learned way too many dance moves from Eric. And did that erasing scar?

    laura: Many of my friends are older, which is fine, but I always end up looking like the teen mom.

    biddy: Full-on hugs? Bring it!

    Candy Queen: Oooh, sounds like a definite party.

    deece: I didn’t get the voicemail! Emailed your flickr about it.

    me today: I’m not in the depths of despair, thank goodness, but I do regularly pray to one day be attractive.

  10. Sigh. It DID scar, although you can barely see it now. My only consolation is that this was a complete EPIDEMIC (what. the. fuck?) at my school, so I know there are other walking wounded out there.

  11. Not The Mama says:

    Aww. This was not your fault. Obviously this former friend of yours has issues. You are funny and interesting, and anyone would like to be your friend.

    And I loved the Anne Shirley reference as well. I was named after her and I grew up obsessed with those books.

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