Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Rosa Jurjevics in Boston

Don't Call Me Muffinhead

I got a call from my old friend Julia the other night. She was on her way to a triathlon swimming class and, after a short aquatics-themed chat, we lapsed onto memory lane. All our funny creations, labors of love only childish brilliance can think up. The "Aunt Ruth Song," an ode to a particularly nasty relative; The Beer Slipper, an old wingtip found on the street and, hoisted aloft on a bamboo stick, became a minor deity; The Katherine Show , a theatrical roasting of a gal-pal who had done me wrong. We were the stars of our own stage, coherence and sensibility be damned. We were six and we were fierce. I remember Julia as the dark-eyed, bushy-haired girl who showed up at my kindergarten class one day in overalls and an off-the-shoulder shirt. We became friends. Our parents became friends. We moved up the ranks of our elementary school together.

Julia and I were not always friends, though. Sometimes we downright hated each other, fighting bitterly or giving the other the cold shoulder. But not for long. It was a strange relationship, sisterly in the sense that we were competitive with one another. There was no reason for it, but we did it, subtly and not so subtly. We were locked in a battle of one-upmanship, getting the other's goat time and again. Over after-dinner coffee, Julia summed it up perfectly. "God," she said, "you could always say the one thing that could make me so mad! And I could do it to you, too. And we did it." We grinned at each other, remembering this, our unabashed meanness toward one another. Thinking about it now makes me cringe, but not from guilt. She could make me fly into a teeth-gnashing rage, and I could get her so angry she'd turn red down to her neck. It's not as though any debts went unpaid. It's a funny memory to smile at, but Julia was right, and her comment alluded to more than just sucker-punch jabs at each other's ego. We were, though perpetually locked in pre-teen female-friendship competition, grounded equals, which was worth something in and of itself. And, reminiscing over food and drink, I realized what it meant to us now. Our mutual bad behavior was testament to something bigger, to our understanding and ultimate ease with one another, one that allowed us to be terrible and horrible as well as good and kind. With the angsty middle-school years behind us, our equality had moved beyond teasing and posturing and proved to be something else entirely: a lasting, tough-as-nails bond.

It took me a while to realize this, but Julia saw everything. She saw my life both before and after my mother died, saw my father and I when we didn't know what the hell we were doing, trying to reassemble our lives with a gaping, tearing hole ripped in them. She went ice skating with my mother and me, played in the back-yard clubhouse my father had constructed out of scrap lumber from the basement and brightly colored latex paint, and watched hours of Carmen Sandiego with me on her carpeted floor. She was at my birthday parties, and I was at hers. And there she was amidst the chaos that was the years without my mother. She ate my dad's attempts at cooking, called to check in, passed me notes in class, and traded lunches. She played the recorder with me at my mother's memorial service and she played without a hitch. I can't say this about many people, and I am thankful for it beyond all possible description. It's strange to say, I know, but Julia serves to remind me that there was an old life. She was a part of it. It's a great relief to know that someone knows me, knows that part of me, when everyone else who enters my life will never have seen it.

I'd like to say that we remained in steady contact, but we didn't. Like most teenagers, we had our plates full dealing with ourselves, let alone dealing with another person. After our eighth-grade graduation and the perils of high school, Julia and I drifted apart. At different schools -- hers private, mine public -- we were busy forging our ways -- hers self-actualization, mine self-confidence -- and didn't speak until last December, when Julia called me up (or did I call her?) out of the blue, and we ended up talking for hours. We agreed to meet for dinner at the favorite Japanese restaurant of our youth and proceeded to have one of the best meals -- food and conversation-wise -- of our lives. Part of me knew it all along, but part of me was relieved, and, as we put on our coats to leave, it occurred to me why. I shook my head; duh, I thought, we're older now. Of course it's not like it was before. I almost laughed, honing in on my overriding, specific little worry; I thought she was going to call me "Muffinhead" again.

The phone was burning against my ear, and Julia was running out of time before her class. "Ok, I really HAVE to go now," she said, after finishing a giggle, one that is the same squeaky, bubbly, merry sound it's been for all the years I've known her, "But let's talk Friday. Call me Friday."

www.pianogoesbackwards.negimaki.com

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Interview fashionista finds comfort in Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M

Claire still believes in wearing pants while working remotely

Don't Call Me Muffinhead

I got a call from my old friend Julia the other night. She was on her way to a triathlon swimming class and, after a short aquatics-themed chat, we lapsed onto memory lane. All our funny creations, labors of love only childish brilliance can think up. The "Aunt Ruth Song," an ode to a particularly nasty relative; The Beer Slipper, an old wingtip found on the street and, hoisted aloft on a bamboo stick, became a minor deity; The Katherine Show , a theatrical roasting of a gal-pal who had done me wrong. We were the stars of our own stage, coherence and sensibility be damned. We were six and we were fierce. I remember Julia as the dark-eyed, bushy-haired girl who showed up at my kindergarten class one day in overalls and an off-the-shoulder shirt. We became friends. Our parents became friends. We moved up the ranks of our elementary school together.

Julia and I were not always friends, though. Sometimes we downright hated each other, fighting bitterly or giving the other the cold shoulder. But not for long. It was a strange relationship, sisterly in the sense that we were competitive with one another. There was no reason for it, but we did it, subtly and not so subtly. We were locked in a battle of one-upmanship, getting the other's goat time and again. Over after-dinner coffee, Julia summed it up perfectly. "God," she said, "you could always say the one thing that could make me so mad! And I could do it to you, too. And we did it." We grinned at each other, remembering this, our unabashed meanness toward one another. Thinking about it now makes me cringe, but not from guilt. She could make me fly into a teeth-gnashing rage, and I could get her so angry she'd turn red down to her neck. It's not as though any debts went unpaid. It's a funny memory to smile at, but Julia was right, and her comment alluded to more than just sucker-punch jabs at each other's ego. We were, though perpetually locked in pre-teen female-friendship competition, grounded equals, which was worth something in and of itself. And, reminiscing over food and drink, I realized what it meant to us now. Our mutual bad behavior was testament to something bigger, to our understanding and ultimate ease with one another, one that allowed us to be terrible and horrible as well as good and kind. With the angsty middle-school years behind us, our equality had moved beyond teasing and posturing and proved to be something else entirely: a lasting, tough-as-nails bond.

It took me a while to realize this, but Julia saw everything. She saw my life both before and after my mother died, saw my father and I when we didn't know what the hell we were doing, trying to reassemble our lives with a gaping, tearing hole ripped in them. She went ice skating with my mother and me, played in the back-yard clubhouse my father had constructed out of scrap lumber from the basement and brightly colored latex paint, and watched hours of Carmen Sandiego with me on her carpeted floor. She was at my birthday parties, and I was at hers. And there she was amidst the chaos that was the years without my mother. She ate my dad's attempts at cooking, called to check in, passed me notes in class, and traded lunches. She played the recorder with me at my mother's memorial service and she played without a hitch. I can't say this about many people, and I am thankful for it beyond all possible description. It's strange to say, I know, but Julia serves to remind me that there was an old life. She was a part of it. It's a great relief to know that someone knows me, knows that part of me, when everyone else who enters my life will never have seen it.

I'd like to say that we remained in steady contact, but we didn't. Like most teenagers, we had our plates full dealing with ourselves, let alone dealing with another person. After our eighth-grade graduation and the perils of high school, Julia and I drifted apart. At different schools -- hers private, mine public -- we were busy forging our ways -- hers self-actualization, mine self-confidence -- and didn't speak until last December, when Julia called me up (or did I call her?) out of the blue, and we ended up talking for hours. We agreed to meet for dinner at the favorite Japanese restaurant of our youth and proceeded to have one of the best meals -- food and conversation-wise -- of our lives. Part of me knew it all along, but part of me was relieved, and, as we put on our coats to leave, it occurred to me why. I shook my head; duh, I thought, we're older now. Of course it's not like it was before. I almost laughed, honing in on my overriding, specific little worry; I thought she was going to call me "Muffinhead" again.

The phone was burning against my ear, and Julia was running out of time before her class. "Ok, I really HAVE to go now," she said, after finishing a giggle, one that is the same squeaky, bubbly, merry sound it's been for all the years I've known her, "But let's talk Friday. Call me Friday."

www.pianogoesbackwards.negimaki.com

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Sweet meets heat at Fluster Cluck Hot Chicken

A revamped Nashville chicken stall dishes crispy and spicy enough tenders
Next Article

No delay for deletion of parking on 30th Street

City cycling manager swears the mayor’s order doesn’t make it official
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close