This weekend, my mom married Jack, and invited some of my close friends and some of my sister, Patti's, to the wedding and reception. My sister and I were a year apart in school and had different groups of friends, but of course some of them knew (or at least recognized) each other. At one point during the reception, I brought my friend, Kathyconnolly over to Patti's table to talk to some of her friends that I thought Kath might have known...including Margaret Zuidema. They politely said "Hello" to each other, but there was not much recognition on either's part and Kathyconnolly went back to her table while I chatted with Margaret for a few more minutes.
Margaret casually mentioned to me, "You know, the last time Patti and I got together, we were talking about that day we dropped you off at driver's ed." A lightbulb went off in my head as I remembered just how she and Kathyconnolly knew each other. I ran over, grabbed Kathyconnolly and screamed, "You know Margaret because she and Patti are the ones who got us blackballed from behind-the-wheel." Kathyconnolly ran over, screamed, "F&#K you, Margaret Zuidema" (In a friendly, kidding way, of course), and within moments all of the teen angst came rushing back...
Back in the day, Kathyconnolly and I were taking a summer class for driving instruction so we could then get our learner's permits. Each morning for a week or two, we would meet in a high school parking lot, assemble on a bus where a tight-shorts-wearing-angry-that-he-was-teaching-this-god-forsaken-class-during-the-summer-just-to-earn-a-few-extra-bucks P.E. teacher would provide some instruction, and then we'd leave the bus to get into some cars in the parking lot to practice what we had learned.
And, since my sister and Margaret already had their driver's licenses, they were sometimes (unhappily) tasked with hauling us around...especially when we had to go somewhere legit (like behind-the-wheel classes).
Because they were forced to drive us, Margaret decided they should at least make it interesting one day when she was driving (my sister was in the passenger seat and Kathyconnolly and I were in back). As we neared the high school, Margaret drove about a million miles an hour into the parking lot, did a loud, squealing donut around the instruction bus and then came to a screeching halt right next to the open bus door. Kathyconnolly and I slunk out of the back seat and up the bus steps. As Margaret and Patti sped away without a care in the world to go buy Slurpees (or whatever it was they did with all of their drivers-license-having freedom), Kathyconnolly and I were forced to stand at the front of the bus and be made an example of for the benefit of all our behind-the-wheel classmates. Angry P.E. teacher screamed for twenty minutes about how that was a prime example of how NOT to drive a car and how we should always be concerned about safety and how irresponsible we were. (Please keep in mind that WE were not driving, had no control over how Margaret drove and wanted to crawl under the bus and die.)
We did manage to get through it and
*Margaret thought this was hilarious...so please don't think I am in any way disrespecting (or "dissing" as the kids say) her.