Running into the past…

In the span of one week, I’ve run into two guys from my distant past.

The first one was a guy I worked with about 17 years ago named Steve at my very first laboratory job where I worked as a lab technician doing microbiological testing on foods. I ran into him with my husband at my oldest daughter’s ‘meet the teacher’ night at the elementary school. It turns out that he lives five minutes from us in a neighboring subdivision.

He recognized me, and I have to say it took a while to place him, and I couldn’t possibly remember his name. I am terrible with remembering names, so this is no big surprise. We talked about what I went on to do – forensics and medical genetics before becoming a SAHM. He asked me, “Did I ever think I was going to do anything cool like that when I was working at [insert company name here]?”

He had gone on to a few other laboratory jobs, getting laid off from them before going on to teach high school math. I ended up getting his email address, and I hope to ask him about teaching at the high school level, because it was one area I have been thinking about as my next career. I have some fond memories of some teachers that were really inspiring.

My next encounter was with an old more than friend, less than a lover type person. The last time I saw Bob was my second year of junior college, before I transferred to a four year university. He was actually someone I knew in high school and had a bit of a crush on but never dated. When we met up in college, we had gone on a few dates.

When he ran into me, it was at an ice cream shop. I was with my husband and three girls, and he recognized me. I was actually distracted with my kids when he spoke up and asked if I attended a certain high school. When I looked at him, I recognized him almost immediately, even though he was wearing sunglasses and sported a neatly trimmed beard. I must say, he was really attractive, with absolutely no noticeable weight gain as often happens as you age. Even my husband thought he was quite handsome. Fortunately, I remembered to actually change into a nice outfit before going out, one that actually made me look kinda cute and definitely not frumpy.

It struck me as strange to run into him at an ice cream shop, because even though he had three kids of his own (all boys), he came out of the shop empty handed. Did this mean he just so happened to have a desire for ice cream at the same time we were there? We caught up with each other for a few minutes the past 18 years.

He was married to a former teacher (she quit working 2 years into their marriage, and I’m assuming due to having a child – and the marriage is about 12 years old, as his oldest is 10), had three boys – one of which attends the same school as my oldest daughter. I told him the path my life took and he seemed to understand it when I said that forensics isn’t as cool as it’s portrayed on CSI. I said “It was a lot of hard work…” and he said “yeah, the documentation”. (That was kind of weird that he knew that).

He said he went on to study metallurgical engineering, but then he changed his major to computers. I mentioned that my husband was a mechanical engineer, and he said his dad was one too. He also asked me about my family – he remembered I had at least 1 older sister and that my mom had been a caterer.

We talked a little more and he lives in the same town as me (which makes sense as one of his children go to the school my daughter does), but really didn’t say which part of town he lived in. He also asked if I planned to go to our 20 year high school reunion, and I said I was. He said he didn’t register for it, but he then he said he just may end up going.

Soon it became clear that our catching up had come to an end, when my middle child was literally pulling me to get going. So we parted ways, though I was slightly wishing he’d have asked to continue the conversation over coffee or something another time. But I guess that would have been really awkward, with my husband standing right there. I really wish I would have at least given him my blog addresses, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it in a way that wasn’t being too bold.

And here’s me now, riddled with questions, nostalgic of the past, wondering why the heck if I was going to run into someone from my past, did it have to be with someone I had some personal history with, and for only 5 minutes?

What’s more, when I looked up his address on the internet, I come to find out he lives in a gated community about 5 minutes from my house, in a multimillion dollar home. No wonder why he didn’t offer up exactly where he lived. I can’t help but think had I played my hand better way back when, that could have been me living in that community – except, it would go against everything I believe about living simply and purposely avoiding excess.

That’s not to say I’m complaining of how my life evolved. I am deeply satisfied with what I do have. A handsome and wonderfully attentive husband who is great in bed and has strong hands that give great shoulder and back rubs. In fact, the only thing I really saw different between my husband and the old “flame” was about 20 pounds. My husband could quite easily look like Mr Hunky (they have the same hair color and eye color). I have three beautiful, healthy girls, a very modest home – but it’s ours nonetheless, and money in the bank. I have no real “need” to work at the moment, so I’ve been able to be home with my children and be able to have a close relationship with them. I have a few good friends (even if I only see them infrequently). I really want for nothing. Well, except intellectual stimulation, but I’m working on that.

These recent chance encounters has made me update my information on classmates.com. I found a few classmates I was friends with in high school had actually posted pictures of themselves, and it was really kind of nice to see how they currently look. I actually saw a picture of the boy I went to the senior prom with, and he has a daughter.

At any rate, running into my past has been a reminder that I am happy at the way my life has gone up til now, but that it’s also time to really consider what I want to do when the kids are all in school full time. I have about 2 years to figure out what I want to do, and I think it involves going back to school.

It’s time to do some real soul-searching to figure out what I really want to do. I will be using this blog to figure out where I want to go from here.

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