When I was a first-grader I took pride in the fact that I had been a student at Landolt elementary since kindergarten. Our group had been together for a full school year and a half and we didn’t take kindly to newcomers.
So you can imagine my dismay when I asked my red-headed buddy Michael Hobbley which girl he liked and he answered, “I like that new Chinese girl in Mrs. Keith’s class.”
What? Who was this new Chinese girl? And why did Michael think he needed to take his snot-nose outside the inner circle?
I’d find out the next year in second grade when the new Chinese girl, Jaime, sat next to me in class. I think I initially liked her because she hardly spoke. She just laughed at my jokes. “This new Chinese girl is not so bad,” I thought. We became inseparable—giggling in the lunch room (after they put the flowers on the table which signified we could speak), joining girl scouts (she was there for the Jenny Franco copy cat incident) and making countless trips to AstroWorld.
And as it turns out, even though she seemed painfully shy, Jaime was actually really funny. Oh, and she wasn’t Chinese at all. She was Korean. And not even completely—25%. What a disappointment to Michael Hobbley.
Even though Jaime moved to another school district in fifth grade, we still stayed friends—through the rest of elementary, junior high, high school (when she had a major crush on Matt Ryskoski) college (when we both attended UT and Matt Ryskoski finally asked her out), after college, our weddings (when I was her maid of honor when she married Matt Ryskoski)…And when she found out she was pregnant with her first child, here’s how I found out: I received an email with a picture of a positive pregnancy test. The note said to turn up the sound. When I did I heard the sound of someone peeing. See? I told you she was funny!
Now why am I telling you all this?
- Cause Jaime’s cool and you should all meet her.
- To show you what a great friend I am—you laugh at one joke and I’ll stick with you for 20+ years.
- Matt called last night and asked me to write a letter to Jaime for this retreat she’s at this weekend. So I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.
So even though I don’t like change or strangers or disruptions in my life, I’m glad Michael Hobbley gave her a chance. I’ve grown to like that new Chinese girl in Mrs. Keith’s class too.
Matt, Autumn, Santa, Jaime and Lorelai.