We called her Bubblebutt.
It certainly wasn't the most Dickensian nickname we could have come up with, but my dad and I thought it was perfect for a mean, witchy girl who tortured me during my grade school years.
This little girl had an extremely round posterior back in the day when practically every little girl (including KtG) was stick thin and without an ounce of curves. We were 7 or 8 or 9 and running wild on playgrounds and in soccer cleats. Nobody wore a bra yet because we didn't have anything to contain and we were more concerned with charm necklaces and Barbies than social or athletic competition.
But for some reason - this little girl had it out for me.
Bubblebutt and I had first established opposing sides when we shared a mutual friend, Margaret. This little girl and I both contended over who was Margaret's bestest friend - and after many, many summer afternoons of playing with Margaret (and knowing our mothers had become good friends in Junior League) I was certain that I was the rightful owner of the coveted title.
My nemesis thought she laid claim to the best friendship. She was mean, bossy and downright rude to me. To make matters worse, she had a dimwitted dick of a father who rubbed my dad the wrong way on the soccer sidelines. Dad and I ended up sharing a mutual disdain for Bubblebutt and Bubblebutt's Dad. They became a joke we delighted in discussing from time to time over roast beef and mashed potatoes at dinner time.
This feud went on and on for many years, even after Margaret moved to Tennessee at the end of second grade.
Flash forward 23 years to last night. There I was - dressed to the nines (or at least I thought so) in a black, strapless dress and a beautiful hunter green-animal print wrap. I was attending Zoofari - the Cincinnati Zoo's annual gala fundraiser with some wonderful friends including Bluegrass Brit, Mr. G and Zooey.
The city's richest people and most famous celebrities (including the most gorgeous and stunningly eloquent Dhani Jones) turned out for this glamorous occasion - complete with open bars stocked with fabulous cocktails and table after table of decadent food prepared by Cincinnati's top chefs. I was tickled at the chance to get gussied up and rub elbows with the best of 'em.
So there I was, walking through the crowd with my date for the evening, when I crossed paths with her.
She looked exactly the same. Short in stature and round in the ass, platinum white hair (though on this occasion it wasn't pulled up into a tight ponytail on the top of her round head) and piercing blue eyes.
Our eyes met for half a second and then we both went on in opposite directions, and in that moment, I wondered whether she recognized me.
Did she know I once was the insecure, little girl who had a face full of metal and a constellation of freckles? Did she know I had survived and grown confident despite all the adversity she dished my way in the cafeteria over PB and J and chocolate milk?
Did she know I didn't care about her big sorry ass or her opinion of me?
I just cared enough to smile and move on.