HOW I MET FRANCES

Elaine (see her letter in AROUND THE FRAME) tells about junior high and high school where she first encountered Frances, aka, “Fritzie.”

“My general memories of those early school days have paled. Instead, I offer a few outstanding images of our times after elementary school years.

Fritzie and I didn’t interact much those first two years, but I recall the color of her hair

(platinum blonde) and heard that her mother let her ‘bleach’ it. That would not have been allowed in my home. While I marveled at that, I didn’t understand a parent supporting tampering with nature’s hair color.

It was probably in our freshman year that Fritzie made the cheerleading team. If my memory serves me, not a lot of girls tried out so everyone made the squad. What I remember is that she made it by just showing up. Even though I was shy, I could have made the team, too, if I had just shown up. That was a painful lesson.

After the school day in high school, some of we daring girls gathered in her living room while her parents were at work. We smoked cigarettes! It seemed so grown up.

I saw Fritzie as an ‘individual’–someone who stood out among the others. I also remember that she was a coffee-drinker long before I touched the stuff. I identified drinking coffee as being grown up.

Skipping over other small memories, I will end by saying, I saw Fritzie as ‘different.’ Conforming was so important to me and I’m not sure I understood that standing out could be a good thing.  One way or the other, I had my eye on her.

Left to right: Fritzie and Elaine in 2014.

Left to right: Fritzie and Elaine in 2014.

 

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