Sunday, February 12, 2006

My Three Jodies

In college I had three friends named Jody. One was cherubic and bubbly, with long curly black hair and a talent for acting. If Cherub Jody ever became famous enough to merit assaulting the public with her own fragrance, it would be called “Wholesome” and it would smell like peach cobbler, Christmas Eve, knitting shops, and well-behaved, clean toddlers playing with puppies. Cherub Jody transferred to Madison after our sophomore year, so I can say with some degree of certitude that she now buys organic food and perhaps subscribes to Utne Reader.

Another Jody was skinny and tan, with Girls Gone Wild flat-ironed blond hair. Her favorite hobbies were looking great in jeans, steering me toward illegal activity, and breaking up and then reuniting with her football-player boyfriend. I’m not sure, but I think GGW Jody dropped out after our sophomore year. Either that or I got tired of her shenanigans and just stopped returning her calls.

The last Jody also had curly hair like Cherub Jody, but a hard streak from being raised “up north.” Also because she learned in college that her dad had a secret second family. Which, as you may surmise, would give anyone a hard streak.

Once while visiting Up North Jody we attended a party hosted by boys who liked dirt bikes and beer can pyramids. As soon as we walked in the door the other Up North girls wanted to beat me up because I was wearing some new-fangled necklace that hadn’t hit the scene there yet. I know this because they said so right next to me, loudly. “Who’s this bitch? She must think she’s hot or something. Wonder what she’d do if I kicked her ass.”

Well, I would burst into a song and dance routine from the musical Oklahoma! and then distribute fun size Milky Way bars to everyone. Duh.

Anyway, I earned their respect by drinking half a bottle of peach schnapps, employing some self-deprecating humor, listening raptly to their relationship woes, and enduring lots of Guns ‘n’ Roses around a bonfire. If I could make them laugh with a well-timed belch or fart, that was good, too.

(Note to young people everywhere: if ever you find yourself in a situation where you need to placate or endear yourself to a bully, try my scientifically-proven Asskiss system. One sale now for the low price of your dignity at retailers nationwide.)

For those of you who read this post about my stellar observation skills, I was riding that Greyhound bus to visit Up North Jody. She’s the girl I met at art camp. We bonded over a comedian’s routine about how you can substitute a nasal, “Eeeeewwww, bugs, eeeeewwwww” for just about any Bob Dylan lyric. So Up North Jody was really a high school friend turned college chum.

But back to the Jody trifecta. I often wonder what’s happened to them. I can totally imagine Cherub Jody going on to make a well-balanced, cheerful wife and mother. I see her as a teacher for special needs kids. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find her volunteering with local literacy programs or community theater troupes and wearing reindeer sweaters without irony every Christmas.

Girls Gone Wild Jody is probably also a wife and mother, but one with a little more drama in her life. I see drunken brawls with her husband at his company picnic, followed by tearful reconciliations in the car. I imagine her children pushing other kids off the slide or pulling the legs off of insects at the playground while mommy calls daddy to check up on him for the eighth time that morning. GGW Jody has likely become the kind of woman the rest of us can blame for feeble feminine stereotypes and lines like this in movies like The Island: “Never trust a woman with your credit card.” Hahahahaha! Haha! Ha! Ha. Ha …… *cough*

Up North Jody is a social worker working with inner-city toughs, last I heard. But now she lives Down South. Which is Milwaukee, if you’re from Up North. She’s the one I miss the most.

Do you ever wonder what became of the Jodies in your life?


  1. Anonymous7:45 PM

    I had a good friend Jodi - and I do wonder. I heard she got married. Sadly, I don't stay in touch with many friends from YORE -mainly it's college and beyond...

  2. That party with Up North Jody? Just goes to show you that there are rednecks EVERYWHERE, male and female, and not just down here in the way down South. I keep trying to tell everyone that...

    I had a best friend for 7 years, from 6th grade til high school, but unfortunately it ended badly. When I left the very small Southern town where we both lived and went on to college, I never looked back to either the town or the friend. I did see her once after that, though, when she and a friend were coming through Chapel Hill, NC to see a show. They stopped by to visit, but they were total neo-hippies and total snobs about it. Very dumb. So no, I guess I don't really wonder much. Hmmm, guess that sounds sorta cynical, but I'm afraid that's the story.

  3. Were they all really named Jody? Have you googled them?

    I google all my old Jody's and have resurrected quite a few relationships gone by, including a friend from high school... she and I used to talk in secret language, saying every word starting with the letter W.
    Wo Wit Would We Wike Wis. Wee What Wie Wean?

    Yes, we were dorks. Win Wact, We Will Warr. Wanic Wom.

  4. LOL!!! My college roommates and I used to start words with "FL's," but in kind of a grammatically-wacky way. As in, "Flex-fluse me!" for excuse me. I was "Fless."

    And yes, they were all named Jody. It was weird; if they didn't leave their last names when they called, I'd have to call them all. Sadly, I've forgotten two of their maiden surnames and now the married last name of Up North Jody. I'll probably at least try to look them up one of these days.

  5. Anonymous10:30 PM

    I wonder about my Jodys from time to time, although obviously they don't have that name. I've forgotten some of their last names, which is too bad, because I've thought about contacting a few of them. And then on occasion one contacts me. Out of the blue the other day I received an email from a friend I had in elementary school. We wrote back and forth a few times, and it was crazy to see how much our lives diverged.

  6. Great Jody retropsective! I do often wonder about the Jody's of my past. I've looked up a few here and there. It was always nice to catch up but the calls usually ended with promises to stay in touch that never come to pass.

    Am I buzzkill or what? lol

  7. I wonder about my "Jody's" from time...what they're doing, if they've got kids or kick-ass jobs or are married or divorced or being totally scandalous somewhere. For me it's mostly high school girls I think about; I still keep in touch with several of my college peeps.

  8. Anonymous7:57 AM

    You've got me thinking about all my old girlfriends. . .

    Greetings from NC!

  9. Once, I wondered what happened to them. I decided I'd google them, but was too distraught after finding out the truth about their lives. If you ask me, Google should have a warning label on it when it comes to hunting down your past.

  10. I do wonder, and have found a good number of them. Does your uni have an alumni webpage? Perhaps they have info about your jodys in there.

  11. Yeah, I wonder. So much so that I was lulled into signing up for Classmates. LOL! Some people should be left to our "fond" memories. ;-)


  12. It would be interesting if they all turned out nothing like I imagined! :) And you know, I think Izzy is on to something; sometimes when you reconnect with people from the past, making promises to stay in touch, it's sad how often the promises fall by the wayside. After all, there's usually a reason behind the drifting.

  13. I just watched The Island last week, so that line is still fresh in my mind... it's a definite eye roller. That stupid credit card stereotype has to go....I'm not sure I know any woman who does that!

    ANYway, great post. I wonder what my friends/classmates are up to. To a point. Not even to do the research and find out

  14. Why have I always had a zillion male friends?? LOL. I did see my best girlfriend from high school at my sister's wedding - ugh! I guess she never moved out of that tiny town, and never made it past the 80s. She had hair high enough that birds could nest in it, thick black eyeliner, and, of all things, a leopard-print short dress with hooker boots. she requested Ozzy's "Flying High Again" for me at the wedding - and I did *not* need that public dedication!! so, I don't wonder too much :)
    oops! I wasn't ready for the unveiling Jess! (damn cookies!) Oh well, cat's out of the bag ;) I'm glad that pic made you laugh. It reminded me of the bicycle streamers too! I luv him anyway, even if he still hates my guts. I look at that picture and get the giggles, and I would do that no matter what the situation. I think I still own a matching bandana... As I told Eric, all is safe now, those bushes in his backyard are cut down ;-)

  15. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Reminds me a bit of "Heathers." You didn't kill anyone, did you?

    I've lost touch with a whole host of people. Sometimes, I do wonder. (Why am I suddenly hearing Gollum in my head: "we wonders, yessss, we wonders, my precious??). Reconnecting always seems anticlimactic, however.

  16. Maybe if all 3 of the Jodys had known one another, we would have had a Heathers situation on our hands. Truly, they had nothing in common with one another. Which is a little weird to me.

  17. Could it be possible that they all melded into one person and became...

    Kathy Lee Crosby?

  18. Went to my reunion last summer and found out. I realized that I missed only a couple of them, and I miss having them in my life the way they are now, not who they were back then. I'm happy with the friends I stayed in touch with. Wow. A decision in life I'm actually satisfied with and it stemmed from high school. That's scary.

  19. I knew a Jody in college who got drunk and tried to kiss me. I'm still kicking myself for not letting her.

  20. Anonymous8:11 PM

    The Jodies I tend to wonder about are people from my middle school in NJ. If they are from WI & I wonder about them enough, they will show up in my life somehow, no joke. So I don't wonder very hard anymore. ;)

  21. Occasionally I wonder about the Jodies in my life. But usually, when I do, I find that it's more that I'm hoping for them. And I suspect that if I found out the truth, I'd be disappointed. So I stick to my fantasies about who I thought they could have become.

  22. Anonymous8:56 AM

    I knew three Steves. I know two know. The third could be well anywhere or appleton whichever comes first. I always found it funny to know three Steves.

  23. Anonymous8:57 AM

    now not know

  24. Anonymous8:58 AM

    I knew three Steves in college. I now know two. The third Steve could be anywhere or in Appleton, whichever comes first.