Friday, August 14, 2009
Last year sometime through a telemarketing call I made, I got back in contact with a friend from College. It was a great surprise and a joyful reunion. This is a friend who I did shows with and drove to and from many parties with. We spent hours talking about everything and anything, planned an annual Christmas party, wrote 10 minute scripts, ate at Marie Calendar's frequently, roomed together during much of our USO tour and I'm quite certain we shed many tears together.
I must say, we were an odd pair, we two. From entirely different backgrounds. She, middle class White, and I, middle class Hispanic. Her family college educated, mine....not. It didn't seem to matter what our backgrounds, we got along well.
At some point we lost touch. I'd have to say it was probably more my doing than hers. I went through a rough period and just seemed to take flight. After many years of flying my feet finally touched ground and I suppose as all things happen for a reason, there I was on a telemarketing call leaving a message for the voice on the other end.
As it turned out, that voice returned my call to say "this is Cynthia Snyder, returning your call". I quickly looked at my list of contacts and saw that this Cynthia Snyder person was doing business in Whittier, not far from where I was working. I thought to myself "could it be?", so I asked "is this Cynthia Snyder who attended Rio Hondo College because if it is, this is Marie". Of course I had to go through my alias' because by this time I had been married, divorced and married again. But there we were, two old friends making a connection through of all things a telemarketing call.
Yesterday, as I strolled through the grocery store, I overheard two girls talking. The foul language which fumed from their mouths did not for one second do justice to their good looks. And that is what brings us to my story today. I am about to share with you a quick little diddy of how Cynthia and I once found ourselves in the same predicament.
We (Cynthia and I) were attending Rio Hondo College and in the middle of rehearsals for student directed Kurt Weill musical review. A young man, who I will call Paul (not the director, Paul), was brought in to fill a part. He was good looking, charming, played piano, sang and was beyond witty. The Frank Sinatra type but much, much better looking.....or maybe it was just that he was there in front of us, within reach that we found him so attractive. Either way, he seemed to have the whole package going on.
We soon found ourselves completely enthralled and became his biggest fans. If he cracked a joke I'm sure we laughed even if we didn't get it (although, he was very witty). He did have one slight flaw. He cursed beyond control. It first came as a shock, then entertaining and then quite acceptable because he was afterall, the comedian. And don't comedians have a right to cuss.
Well, as time went on, the cast of this show became very close, as many do. We ate together, drove together and played together. The only thing we didn't do was sleep together...as far as I know. We hung out before and after rehearsals well as on our days off. We began to act like each other and my dear friends that includes language habits. Oh, yes. The nasty stuff began to flow from both mine and Cynthia's mouths. It was terrible but somehow we didnt' see it coming until McDonalds.
Cynthia and I had gone to McDonalds on the way to or from.....I don't know where. I just remember that we were hungry and were driving down Washington Boulevard in the City of Commerce and we parked and walked into Micky D's. We placed our order and then sat down for a quiet bite to eat. As usual we were chatting away when it suddenly occurred to me that we both had become the most trashy mouthed young women ever! It was as if a brick hit me square in the forehead and opened my eyes. I think I froze for a moment and then said something like "Cynthia! Listen to us." I'm not sure she caught on immediately but I recall bringing to her attention the language we were using and then blaming Paul. I did. I blamed Paul. We were shocked to find that we had taken on Paul's characteristics and could not recall when or where it happened. It just did.
That day we vowed to clean up our act and become clean spoken young ladies. I'm certain there was a time or two when we slipped but as any smoker can tell you, it takes a while to become a habit and longer yet to break it.
As I sit here today, I can say that I no longer curse. It doesn't mean that I haven't had days when I did, and I even sometimes think bad words, I just chose not to say them aloud. Having children cleaned my act up immediately. And now that I've made my "True confessions of a one time bad girl", I feel cleansed. Renewed. Free of that terrible, terrible habit.
It is true when they say that friends can have a bad influence on you. And although I will not allow my children to use that as an excuse for things they do, I can! It was, after all, Paul's fault.