In trying to come up with an answer to today’s question, one thing sticks out more clearly than anything else, and it is exactly the thing my amomymous commenter mentioned in the comments on the previous post. But let’s start with the question:
What is one of the most unforgettable moments in your life and why?
I think it’s interesting that all of the most unforgettable moments in my life are unforgettable because of the other people involved. Sometimes they were good friends, sometimes they were old friends, sometimes they were unlikely spontaneous friends, but they are always in the forefront of those memories.
For example, one summer at Caswell, when we were maybe 15 or 16, Emily Furr Hogan, Julie Gilstrap and I stayed in a room completely separate from the rest of our youth group, and I don’t remember anything else about that week except for the fact that we were constantly singing “Welcome to The Best Stuff in the World Today Cafe” (by the great Kyle Matthews) with two different lyrics in one place because we didn’t know which was right. And we met these guys from Ahoskie/Aulander who were staying in the room next to us, and we hung out with them all week, and one of them sat in a tree outside our room, and it was creepy. And Rhetta wouldn’t let us hold the room key because she thought we’d lose it, and then she accidentally locked us all out of the room. I’m willing to bet that Emily and Julie don’t remember much else from that week either, but they remember those things.
And then there’s the time HP-M and I went to Paris, and those creepy Parisians in the restaurant wouldn’t leave us alone. And one of them whispered in my ear, all sleazy and French-like, “You are so pleasing to me.” Then he followed me into the bathroom. Ew.
I will never forget the unbelievably thunderous applause that erupted in that camp in Puerto Rico when Spunky and the Plate Tectonics took the final bow at the end of our epic lip-sync routine.
And I will never forget the moment I realized I had threatened to fight a group of random girls outside the ‘Bou, and that they were not my beloved hoes.
There are unpleasant moments I’ll never forget either – like finding out that the boy I liked was interested in one of my best friends (this happened on several occasions), or the day ECU’s School of Music faculty told me I could no longer pursue a degree in their program (apparently I’m not a good singer), or my great-grandmother’s funeral. But the redeeming thing about all those moments was the people surrounding me and supporting me through them. And it was because I dropped all my music classes that semester that I got to take Biology with my friend Becky, which MORE than made up for the disappointment and hurt pride I felt because of the music thing.
But I digress. You just asked for ONE of the most memorable moments, and here’s the one that keeps coming to mind:
That day in Italy – the best day of my life as I called it – something happened that day among four complete strangers. Two days earlier, none of us knew the others existed, and then that day, we somehow became family. It was fast and brief, and I will probably never see any of them again, but in those moments, it was real. I remember sitting on the beach, talking to Chris, one of the Canadians I had just met, and we just couldn’t believe that we’d only known each other for a few hours. There was nothing romantic about it. It was just like he was my brother, like we’d grown up together. And later that night, when some Italians started smoking pot, he asked them to move so the smoke wouldn’t blow on me.
Then there was Jacque, the girl who was there with her dad (who had disappeared for a while with a woman we referred to as Joan Ph.D). Jacque was the only Christian I met on that trip, and it was an immediate bonding point for us. She was my sister, and I hope she took my advice and got some Shane Barnard music when she got home.
And finally, there was Raja. He lived in New Jersey, so we tried to get together a few times when I got back to New York, but it never worked out. I remember, though, laughing my butt off, singing Monster Ballads with him. I hadn’t had friends who would do that with me in a while at that point, and it was somehow a good reminder that I wasn’t alone – that somebody got it.
The four of us slept out under the stars that night, listening to the Mediterranean crash on the rocks below, giggling like little kids, and snuggling up (spooning) to keep warm under the flimsy sheet covering us all. At one point, we all flipped over to lie on our other side so the people on the ends (me and Chris) could warm the side of us that had been exposed.
People are often confused and/or appalled when I tell them I did this. They think it was inappropriate or even scandalous, but like I said, it wasn’t romantic or sexual in any way. It was unlikely community, but it was community at its best – selfless and non-judgmental and lots of fun. And that’s why I’ll never forget it.
What are your most unforgettable moments?