For your assignment tell us about a happy memory from your childhood. If you have pictures, please show us your pictures.Oh, thank you, Molly. You have given me the chance to tell the story of the other Janet.
I know I previously haiku'd about all the blogging Janets out there. But the first time I ever met anyone with the same name as me was sleep-away camp when I was 10.
She was in my cabin. And she made a big -- ahem -- splash the first day by throwing up in the library on the camp tour. (Sorry, but it made quite an impression at the time!)
Anyway, she was part of the contingent from a different part of my state, and the cliques in the cabins kinda held for the four weeks. But by the end, we had all exchanged addresses and promises to write.
I sent out four letters to four girls, and, in a moment of serendipity that would change our lives, Janet was the only one who wrote back.
And then I wrote her.
And then she wrote me.
And so a penpalship was born.
It took about eight months for one of us to come up with the bright idea to use the telephone.
Please remember, this was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth -- before unlimited long distance, before email and instant messaging and when a long distance phone call was quite an occasion.
We planned it for weeks. Picked a time. She called. I answered. We had three minutes of heaven!
By the time the following summer rolled around, we had progressed to regular (but still short) phone calls and non-stop letter-writing. There was nothing more exciting than coming home from school and finding an envelope in the mail with my name on it.
And it was only logical that we had the equally bright idea to visit each other. To this day, it amazes me that my parents put me on an airplane and sent me to this familiar-only-to-me family and that her parents put us both on a return flight for a visit to my home.
Check out that hot and happ'nin' look of me at 11 (on the left, duh), and harken back, please, to that inner geek I referred to recently.
We actually continued this fly-by behavior all the way through high school. Summer wasn't summer without a visit to and from my penpal Janet. We kept vaguely in touch through college and kinda spiraled in and out of each other's lives during marriage and child-rearing, until we pretty much disappeared from view.
Then, one Passover about five years ago, I knocked on my parents' door for seder dinner.
My mother answered, looking like the cat who swallowed the canary.
"You'll never guess who is here," she grinned.
I had no idea -- and so she opened the door wider.
And there was Janet.
She had come to my town to take her daughter on a tour of the local colleges and had navigated to my parents' house by pure instinct alone.
It was like summer all over again.
This time, though, there is email and instant messaging.
We won't lose touch again.
Now check out Molly's list of other Fun Monday'ers and see what they remember of their happy childhood.