I was driving in Boise today, cruising down the Flying Y, mentally pointing out sites to myself. I've lived in a few places, a smattering of towns, a handful of states, but I think Boise will always feel like home to me. This is where I got my first "real" job, at the age of 16 as a waitress at Mariott Catering at Boise State University. I was a total country, small town girl, who was so naive about life that when a college boy asked her out, she completely panicked and used to hide behind the coffee urns when she saw him coming. He sported a mullet and because I wasn't even sure what he was asking, I accidentally said yes. My boss, who thought I was adorably innocent, was looking out for me and used to yell at him, 'she's sixteen, you idiot!' I managed to avoid him until he cornered me in a stairwell one day and then I nervously "dumped him." He probably thought I was a big flirt. I drove a two toned beat up Subaru that you could hear coming several blocks away, and I spent all my free time - when I wasn't dancing, rehearsing, or working - at coffee shops with my teenage friends. There was Molly, my free spirited bohemian friend who had talent oozing out of her ears (she now lives in Paris), Sarah, my fellow homeschooled friend who always made me laugh because she cried at every movie she ever saw, Jenevieve, my other homeschooled friend who would drive my car for me while I braided my hair and put on makeup, Kelli, who looked younger than all of us but was actually in her twenties (which was soooooo extremely old at the time), Naomi, our wise friend who never steered us wrong. It was a fun group. Brittani was out of our league because she was actually a company dancer while we were lowly apprentices, but I always loved her because she knew all our names and didn't get all snooty with us like the other soloists did. I still am annoyed at a certain company dancer who taught a rehearsal one day when the ballet professor was out and she burst out laughing when someone said my name and she said, 'Oh my gosh! How do you even know those kids names?' Ummm, I don't know, we only spend 25 hours a week in the same tiny dance studio together...I only shadow your every step as your understudy, step in for you when you're sick.... I think I have issues letting go.
I met a whole other group of friends when I turned eighteen/nineteen. I met Mike that year and fell in love (awwww!). I started working at dance studios and Moxie Java. My sister moved away to join the Sacramento Ballet. We planned a wedding.
We lived in numerous apartments/duplexes/houses. We went by our foreclosed home this week and took out the fridge and the curtains. That was bittersweet. I liked that house, no matter how many times y'all had to point out how it faced the wrong direction and had a bright blue roof and was in a crime ridden neighborhood! Any old house can face the correct direction! And what's wrong with blue? It makes an excellent marker if you are lost! And ... there may in fact have been quite a bit of crime.
It may be shallow, but I get a little thrill knowing I am back in the land of Ross, Grocery Outlets, Wincos, and the best thrift shops.
I know all the streets and I know how to get around. I still run into people I know. This post isn't funny or deep or anything interesting unless you're me. But I am feeling sentimental and nostalgic today. Indulge me. Eventually, I'll get back to myself. First I have to quit replaying the last month over and over in my head, and dreaming at night of things that happened in Michigan. Trying not to regret ever going there, and yet if we didn't, we'd still be in Boise, dreaming of things that we want to do...it may not have turned out the way I wanted, but at least we DID it. Now it's time to put down roots somewhere and dig ourselves a nice little rut. Give my kids somewhere to build their own memories and friends to think about when they are 33. I wonder what they will remember in twenty years?