Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The answer: What do you say to someone you haven't seen in over 45 years?

Note: This post is a follow up to my most recent post at

The morning of my meet-up with my former high school classmate, Kacey, was a disaster. My plan was to wake up early, drive to the Hertz office when it opened up, drop off my rental car, hoof it to ORCA (the public transportation train), get back to my son's apartment, shave, shower, get dressed, and make the short walk to the café where my wife and I would be meeting Kacey and her "sweetie" - as she referred to him - Chuck. Unfortunately, I overslept! I had actually woken up too early but fell back to sleep. It was almost 9:00am - the time Hertz opened ... and only one hour before we were scheduled for brunch! I threw on some clothes, ran to the rental car, and went downtown to the Hertz office. I dropped the car off and left the 6th floor of the parking facility to get down to street level. Once there, I quickly decided to check Uber instead of walking and public transportation. An Uber ride was one minute away. I quickly reserved the ride, the driver picked me up immediately, and soon I was back at my son's apartment. I did a quick shave, had no time to shower, wetted down the bed head hair and tucked it under a hat and put on the clothes I had selected to wear, sweating profusely the whole time. I called Kacey, told her we might be a few minutes late, and headed out the door with Mrs. lightning.

We actually got to the café right as it was opening. Our guests were already there. After some quick hugs, we had an issue: only those vaccinated were allowed in the restaurant. One or both of our guests were not, so they checked if we could eat at one of the outdoor tables. Thank goodness that the answer was yes, as many of the restaurants in Seattle (or at least that area) require proof of vaccination.

Kacey had had a difficult life. She grew up in an abusive household and said that she was therefore pretty messed up for awhile. When she was 30, she married a man twice her age! She had some kids, but her husband passed away. Fortunately, she met another guy who came into her life -- Chuck. He appeared to be a great guy. Believe it or not, the cars we regularly drive are nearly identical! My wife got into a long discussion with him about boats and other things.

I had been dying to ask Kacey to give us an honest appraisal of what I was like in high school. She was very kind in what she said -- saying that I was always kind, a gentleman (ha!) and involved in almost everything, which I pretty much was in high school. I let her know about some of the things I had to deal with at the point in my life, which surprised her since we weren't really best buddies or anything. I guarantee you that if we were to ask some of my close friends, the appraisal would have been much more complex!

We actually talked for several hours and were having so much fun that a woman walked past our table and said "You all are having too good of a time!"

We needed to get on with some other things that afternoon, so my wife and I said our goodbyes, hugged, and went back to my son's place. The brunch had gone much better than I would ever have expected. Mrs. lightning had been suspicious about the meeting when it was first proposed to me a couple of years ago. She suspected that Kacey was trying to sell me something. I had seen too many movies where a person looks to get back at a person after many years for some perceived wrong, so I did have a modicum of trepidation! In this case, I suspect it is one of a person who struggled through a difficult period in her life and was seeking a validation that there had been some good in the past and that she had made it through. I was certainly happy to be part of her healing if that was the case.

Thanks for reading!

Chuck, Mrs. lightning36, blog hero and Kacey


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