Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Kelly(ie)s/ or, true confessions of an eighth grader

I have "Kelly" on the brain this week. It started with the Park School (fourth through ninth grades) reunion I'm going to in a few weeks. Several days ago I dug through an old trunk in search of two green spiral notebooks. I remembered writing in them back then, thirty to thirty five years ago. I found the green spiral notebooks, but the blue locked diary was better. It covered almost every day of 1977 and some of '78. Every entry begins with "Dear Kelly", as that was my diary's name (which is also true of all of the green notebooks and of most of the baby dolls I cherished when younger). There are even worse embarrassing revelations, like the list of my favorite songs at age 14. Don't Give Up on us Baby by David Soul led the list. And then there was the mad crush I had on Sylvester Stallone. This dark, rugged man had overcome the challenges of living in Hell's Kitchen and had gone on to write and star in "Rocky". I was in awe. I sketched a picture of the beaten-up underdog with vulnerable girlfriend Adrian in my diary. Gonna Fly Now was number two on my favorite song list.

The second Kelly of the week is a more recent friend, the unschooling Live and Learn conference creator, Kelly Lovejoy. She came last week to get tomato plants from Nicolas and in return listened to me babble on hung out with me until 1:30 in the morning and much of the next day. One of the highlights was watching she and Helen talk chicken. Kelly is all about their color while Helen only notices how many eggs they lay. Kelly has put my dog on a diet. Others have tried, but they weren't Kelly. The next two Kellys are from previous chapters in my life, one visiting us from Boston where she is married to my friend who helped start Barking Dog Theater and the other was a college roommate. College-rommate-Kelly visited me here in GA when I first moved here and proceeded to fall in love with and marry my ex-boyfriend (the one I'd been complaining about to her in letters for a year). These two Kellys both ended up at the same party with us this weekend and were both monopolized by me much of the day.

Did you really need to waste your time on any of this? Probably not. But what was revealed at this party, where we rehashed various shared experiences, while our poor children tried to get us to quiet down, was how very wrong I am about that long-term memory talent I have often bragged of having. Turns out it's not just my short-term memory, but even the dramatic events of my past that have been seeping out my ears to make room for the present. Periodically, I have to record things here so that I can put names with faces as it gets worse (wish I'd remembered to take pictures of the last two Kellys). And then, the Kellys fit so nicely together in a set. I just need to see this one now to complete the theme.

Thanks to all of these women, it's still one of my favorite names.

7 comments:

kelli said...

:) We will on Saturday for sure! Inman Park!

Ren said...

I love reading some of the details of you as a child! That's so cool about the "dear Kelly" thing.

I like the name too....

hahamommy said...

David Soul Trivia: His family was one of the important Jewish families in Sioux Falls - we had a kosher beef department at the meat packing plant - and Solberg Hall at Augustana (ironically a Lutheran) College is named for his grandfather ;) Hayden's new muscle car fascination actually brought him into my mind lately, too! ;)
I love the Kelly stories!

Madeline said...

Diana, I would never have known he had roots in SD or that he was Jewish. Cool.

dharmamama said...

I only liked the David Soul song 'cause I had a crush on Starsky! AND Sylvester Stallone.

I've noticed both boys have "favorite" names that they use again and again in stories... I don't remember doing that, but I need to find my own green notebooks to confirm!

gail said...

Your writing just makes me smile..:-)keep on...keep on...

laura said...

i don't feel like my time was wasted at all...i loved every second of reading this =)