The year was 1982. We danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album and watched “E.T.” on the silver screen. John Belushi died and Prince William was born. We exercised to Jane Fonda video tapes and never missed watching “Dynasty” on TV. Gas cost 91 cents a gallon and a stamp two dimes. We were spooked by the Tylenol scare and held our breath as the recession began.
It was a year of promise and pain, of sweetness and sorrow.
But it was OUR year.
We were the Class of 1982, and we were ready to take on the world.
Karen (Yearbook post)
You’re a real crazy girl but an awful lot of fun to be around. You can brighten anybody’s life with your smiling face. I wish you the best of luck in all your future attempts.
Karen got pregnant our senior year and had her daughter the summer after we graduated. She married the guy, who was older, but it didn’t last long. Maybe a year.
Karen was a good athlete. No matter what sport she tried she was good at it. Basketball. Softball. Tennis. You name it and she could play it – and play it well. I always thought she’d go to college to become a gym teacher. She did go to college, eventually. She worked during the day and went to school at night. She and her daughter, Sarah, lived with her parents, who helped out a lot.
It took Karen many years, but she finally earned a business degree. I guess after that she kept on going because Mom sent me a newspaper clipping announcing that she had earned her MBA.
One Christmas break, Mom and I ran into Karen at the mall. She was obviously pregnant. She introduced me to her significant other, a beautiful woman with long, silky black hair and an hour-glass figure I would die for. I must have looked surprised because Karen leaned over and whispered. “Yeah, I know, it surprises everyone. Isn’t she gorgeous?” And then she looked at Mia and smiled.
Karen patted her stomach. “And, as you can see, we’re having a baby.”
Without me asking, Karen explained that she and Mia wanted to have a child together. Karen said that since she loved being pregnant, they decided she would carry the child. But the egg was Mia’s, fertilized with donor sperm.
“So this one should look like Mia,” said Karen, casting Mia another look.
“Do you know what you’re having?” Mom asked.
“A boy,” Karen said. “We wanted a boy since we already have a daughter.”
It was definitely more information than I or Mom needed to know, but it made me smile. I had forgotten how open Karen was.
I learned that Karen met Mia while studying for her MBA and that they had been together ever since. Mia seemed nice and Karen seemed happier than I ever remember her being.
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