Oh, Yeah, Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman

Remember that box of mementos from my mom’s attic? Well, today it yielded this little gem from a folder marked: Letters (Keep 4-ever!!!). It’s from my BFF in 1993. We lived across the street from each other on the same Army base for about a year, until her dad got out of the military and they moved to another part of the state.

3/16/93

Dear [Fizz],

Hi! I’m typing on the computer. [Like the dot-matrix paper in my hand wasn’t a clue] I can’t wait to see you! It’s been a long time. I got your letter. Thanks for the stickers. Here are some of my stickers: {hand-written grade school script} on the bottom of the page! {/script} So, how are you? How’s Holly? [my hamster, the mother of her hamster] How’s every thing? I’m still the same. But, I’m going to get a tight wave perm. [Yikes…] I got to go. See you this summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Exclaim much?]

Your best friend till the end,

[BFF]

That summer, I got to go visit her. I don’t remember now if it was for a week or two weeks, but at the time it seemed like an amazing adventure. You know, I don’t even remember how I got down there. Did my parents drive me all the way? Did her parents drive up? Did they meet in the middle and swap me off like a bizarre package delivery? No clue. While I was there, seeing the sights and helping her annoy her teenage brother, I got an envelope with my return address. Inside was a Washington Redskins Post-It Note that said:

To: [Fizz]

From: [Squirt]

Dear [Fizz], How are you doing? I’m fine. Is it raining out there? It’s raining here. I’ve been feeding your fish and your hamster. Are you having a good time? I hope so. Love, [Squirt] P.S. I’ve had O’ Clud Pizza.

That “O’Clud” reference is actually to the Officers Club on-base. Apparently while I was gone, my parents (or just my mom?) took my little brother over to the club for pizza. We used the club swimming pool all summer long, so maybe they just got a slice after swimming one day. Whatever they did, it was a special treat, so he had to brag about it in his note. 

The envelope also had a piece of pink stationery (with actual capitalization preserved):

6/24/93

Dear [Fizz],

Hi, How are you? We are fine.

Your dad will be home tomorrow. I’m sure glad. [He was probably on some kind of Army assignment.]

[Squirt] has a baseball game tonight, but I bet it is cancelled because of rain.

The VBS is going fine. We have 3 kids and 3 helpers, so it has been nice. They don’t have that many kids but the crowd is manageable. [I’m guessing the “3 kids” was in her classroom, and the “not many” kids was overall.] Not to many rowdies! [Squirt] is enjoying it. Dana came on Wednesday. [She must have been a kid I knew.]

What have you & [BFF] been doing? Having fun, I hope!!! How has your weather been? Have you been able to practice the baton any? Do you like the [city] area?

Well, I just thought I would write you a quick note so you didn’t think we had forgotten you. We sure miss you, especially [Squirt] whenever he has to clear the table! We Love You Alot and Miss You Around Here.

Love, Mom

It’s funny to re-read these letters and see my whole trip from a different perspective. I wonder what it was like for my mom, letting a 12 year old go away for a week? I wonder what it was like for my little brother, to suddenly have the house and the parents all to himself? I wonder what it was like for my friend’s mom to have two shrieking little preteen girls around 24/7 for days on end?

Have you ever looked back and reconsidered a childhood experience?

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4 Responses to Oh, Yeah, Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman

  1. How funny!

    I found some old letter I wrote back in 6th grade camp to my parents that was never sent.
    I laughed at how weird I was. My wife laughed at how much I haven’t changed.

    By the way, how did the perm come out…?

  2. fizzledink says:

    Oh, geez – well, my friend’s mom was Japanese and her dad was white. She seriously hit the genetic lottery, okay, with the best of both her parents’ features. She had GORGEOUS jet-black, shiny, silky, Pantene-commercial-girl hair…. and then she permed it. And she looked like every other permed and/or colored hair preteen in the early 90s.

    And I’m not pointing fingers or anything, because I had a couple of unfortunate perms myself at the time, and hoo-boy. Even though I am an avid scrapbooker? I would really love to BURN all pictures that bear photographic evidence of the horror that was the spiral perm.

  3. crono says:

    I remember getting that pizza! It was really tasty and the only time I remember getting O’Club food.

    Dana probably referred to Dan’s sister Dana, remeber them? They lived right across from mom’s dear friend to this day. Dan had an SNES and kicked butt at Street Fighter. He also had a ton of comics, Metallica records, and a Cindy Crawford poster. Plus he made cool guns and Vega claws out of paper.

    I’d mention names but it seems you’re going out of your way to conceal identities of most people you mention.

    I still remember those Washington Redskin post it’s. I’m pretty sure mom made me write you. 😛

  4. fizzledink says:

    You had other O’ Club food! We used to go get Sunday brunch there, remember? Okay, it was only like twice a year, but still – don’t you remember the enormous meat-carving station? I thought that would make an indelible impression on your young mind!

    I was thinking that was the girl, but couldn’t remember her name. Thanks for preserving the anonymity. At some point I may drop it, but for now I’m not using first names of our fam, and only first names (or pseudonyms) of friends or acqaintances.

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