When I was in high school, I became friends with a guy. We were…a very odd pair of friends and most of our friends would say with astonishment, “You’re friends with [him/her]?”
He was new to school our freshman year and while I thought we met in science class, he remembers it differently.
“I remember exactly how we met. I was sitting in the library,” he said yesterday over brunch, “and you walked straight up to me, sat down, and said, ‘You’re that guy who thinks he knows everything about God, aren’t you?'”
I blushed and laughed, Good Man almost choked on his brunch, and Thinks He Knows’ wife laughed and nodded. “I’m so sorry,” I said.
“No, no, it’s OK,” Thinks He Knows said, “That was a pretty good description.”
Thinks He Knows and I would sit in science class and passionately debate evolution. In photography class, we work on our projects and debate the existence of God.
Our sophomore year he disappeared (home schooled), but he returned junior year. Somehow we ended up taking Spanish together at the community college (our junior and senior year of school, I went to the community college full time). Thinks He Knows would pick me up in the morning and we’d listen to Christian music while driving to the school.
While he was reading “the endtimes are near” books, I was reading really radical 60s and 70s feminist philosophy “men are evil, let’s go live in the woods without them” books. We would passionately talk about our books, the other sort of gritting their teeth to deal with it.
Well, Thinks He Knows and I have both mellowed out a bit since high school. We’ve changed. We saw each other once, two years after graduation. He had just proposed to a woman who he was…not dating. She’s now his wife of eight years and they have a beautiful, happy baby together. While religions (or lack of religion) have not changed for either of us, the forcefulness in which we believe we are absolutely right has mellowed out, and the practice of said beliefs has changed. Political views have changed a bit.
In other words, we’ve both grown up.
We emailed each other a few times when I was in Korea (he and his wife taught in China for two years). And then we reconnected on Facebook. We weren’t able to meet during either of my spring visits to Minnesota and I really wanted to be sure we got to meet on this trip, so we scheduled it early in the trip. Good Man and I were invited to their home for a wonderful brunch. (As a side—I have got to get the French toast recipe his wife used. So delicious!)
And we just fell into conversation as if ten years hadn’t gone by at all. It was wonderful.
Over brunch we tried to figure out why we got along so well in high school despite being polar opposites in just about everything. Thinks He Knows said, “I think that we respected how passionate the other was. We might not have agreed with each other, but we just thought almost everyone else was stupid, because they weren’t passionate about anything!”
That’s probably it, actually.
A Decade Later