so sophomore year was the beginning of a very happening social life for me...a HUGE difference from just months before when i was a sad little wallflower nerd who didn't have any social life outside of my family. i thoroughly enjoyed myself!
my sophomore year, i regularly attended our church youth group with the guys...all of them were usually there as well (except ryan)...i remember that they used to always bring a boom box and blast rap music. (which i dubbed "rap crap"). they'd hang out on the steps outside the church way before the group was starting, with their music cranked, and just joke and hang out. some fond memories--a "lock-in" at the Y (YMCA), where "The Rev" (our pastor) made sure the girls and boys were separate when it was time to sleep and even went so far as to sleep in front of the doorway of the boys room so that they couldn't escape at night. i didn't wear my contacts to that retreat, for some weird reason...i think because i was still fairly new to contacts and didn't feel confident caring for them in front of people. so i was quite blind for that whole event. i remember there was some game that the rev set up for us that he wrote a bunch of things on a large pad of paper and we were supposed to work with that and i couldn't read it, at all! sat there squinting sooo hard and wishing i had worn my contacts, LOL! silly. oh and "walleyball" (volleyball in a racquetball court, using the walls) while blind was interesting too. was it any wonder i didn't hit the ball very often? LOL!! the next day we had a car wash and as i recall we were all soooo dead from staying up all night...(we weren't able to mix the boys and girls that night, but that didn't stop the girls from chatting all night, LOL!)
as time went on, i got invited more and more to go places with the guys (outside of youth group)...and we regularly went all over our area, having fun and causing mischief. tom, one of the guys, was a year older than us and so had his driver's license and a car already...so we had a way to get around, and get around we did!
all the while my crush on chris blossomed and grew exponentially. sophomore year i was still fairly introverted, and i remember that fluttery feeling of every moment i got to spend in chris's presence, LOL! it was a long transition process to the extrovert i became by high school's end. it wasn't til junior year that i gave up that crush since it was obvious he wasn't going to return the feelings (and then what happened? he asked me out! go figure, LOL!) we spent a good amount of time hanging out and just being dumb teenagers...cruisin freehold and the jersey shore in one of tom's many cars.
my friendship with ken grew deeper and deeper and became very physical, in a sibling sort of way...i jumped on his back frequently, he carried me around, we slapped each other (quite hard too! ow!) constantly, and i was a regular recipient of wedgies from him...that sort of thing. lots of snuggling in the back seat of the car on the way home too...but nothing that ever went beyond friendship. i remember ken and i would take turns going by where we knew the other would be hanging out between classes and walloping each other on the back of the head as we passed by ("HI!!") , that sort of thing. it was actually pretty rough but always amusing. :) and i would say we were pretty close, emotionally, as well...though i don't recall any frequent deep conversations...just remember really feeling very very close to him. he was one groovy dude. :)
it wasn't til junior year that things got complicated when ken asked me out and i, stupidly, said no "because i didn't want to ruin our friendship" (DOH!) truth be told, i think all that beating up on each other actually had started to turn into more than friendship for me too, and i did have more than friendship feelings for ken...i just couldn't face them at the time. :( i was absolutely devastated by how i knew i hurt him (i remember having a very very weepy and loooooong phone conversation with ryan about it all...my whole world at the time just fell apart from that incident. big stuff as a teenager.) and ken and my relationship changed significantly after that...it was never quite the same. especially when chris took the opportunity following that to ask me out ("because ken had his chance, and you said no!") and i, stupidly, said yes (guess i never quite got over that silly crush completely)...yeah, never the same after that.
more fond memories from those years--how we used to cram SO many people into those cars...and i was usually the one that had to sit across a row of people, or on someone's lap. i'm guessing we didn't ever do seatbelts, YIKES! one night at pond road movie theater (one of our spots we cruised regularly and hung out at), i remember there were some angry words exchanged out the window to some guy in the parking lot (by ken, cuz he had a bit of a mouth on him and liked to stir things up...musta been a testosterone thing) and the guy came at the car (which was crammed with people) to get to ken and tom drove away but stopped when the guy threw his brush at the side of the car (worried about the paint job, i think)...the guy opened the car door and punched ken in the face, and i got caught in the crossfire since i was closer than ken and he hit my face on the way to ken's. that was fun, LOL! then someone shouted "DRIVE, TOM!!!" and we screeched away with the door open and the guy shouting obscenities at us and ken returning them. i remember feeling very cared for when i told ken that i took some of the sting off the punch for him...because he got very pissed that i was hit. that feeling stayed with me for a LONG time. i reveled in that...that someone cared enough to be pissed because i got hurt. that was HUGE.
man, i just have too many memories...this is going to be a 10 parter, i think, LOL!