The summer before I entered my sophomore year of high school my parents dropped a bomb on us. They were going to sell the house, pack up and move to Washington State and buy a small town grocery store. Me and my sisters were floored. I liked my school friends after school activities etc. I didn’t want any of it to change. I had a close knit group of friends and the half dozen or so of us were extremely close. I didn’t want to make new friends and I didn’t want to start a new school and I certainly didn’t want it to be in a small little hick town called Oroville.
Being as I had no job or income I reluctantly packed up all my flannels and made sure I had the addresses of everyone I ever knew.
Now, me and my two sisters are very close in age and very good friends. So, this could have been a lot worse. I had two good friends right off the bat.
My mother, wise as she is, decided to send away for the town’s newspaper. After it came we realized just how small a place we were going to. The paper’s circulation, for the whole county, was 3500. The police blogger was in it and we could find out exactly who had arrest warrants and who was stopped for DUIs. Then there was the honor roll. JACKPOT! There were names of many of our future classmates. Certainly we could get a hold of them and chat on the phone before we moved there. This was a few years before the internet and at the time when long distance phone calls ran upwards of 25 cents a minute. So, endless calls to 411 and we had some contacts. Two in particular that we ended up speaking to a few times over the summer. Our phone calls would go something like this,
Us: Hello is _______ there?
Them: Yeah, I’m him/her
Us: Hi, we are moving there from Minnesota in a couple months and we don’t know anybody, so we decided to call ahead and meet some people before we got there.
Them: ….uh how’d you get my number?
Us: Well we have your newspaper and it has your name in it.
them: Did it have my phone number?
Us: No, we just called information to get that.
Them: Mmm, ok.
And then a question and answer section about the technicalities of their quaint town would follow. We moved there a few months later and school started shortly after that. The first day of school I was in my biology class and my teacher was calling roll. He got to my name and paused, “Your that girl who’s been calling my son all summer aren’t you?”
Die I wanted to.
Attention was not something I longed for in front of a group and certainly not this kind. Turns out we called the principle’s kid as well.
I’m over it now. I suppose when I think about it according to today’s standards, with myspace, we would have done the same exact thing today and it would have been less freakish.