The girl with the red pen

A couple of years ago, before grownups were allowed on Facebook, I set about finding my childhood BFF.  More aptly Best Friends for Then, she and I lost touch after high school, much to my profound disappointment.  Thirty years after graduation, my search eventually led me to her.  She was living several states away.  I contacted her via e-mail and we arranged to speak by phone one evening.

We got the life updates out of the way, shared information about our parents and kids and quickly returned to the past.  She reminded me of something that brought me tremendous remorse.  It must have been equally painful for her but at the time I was unaware.   

She remembered that back in middle school, she’d pass me notes during class.  And she remembered (gasp!) that I would correct her spelling and grammatical mistakes with a red pen before passing the notes back. 

As we chatted on the phone that night, her daughter walked in and asked who was on the phone.  She said, “I am talking with Monica.”  Her daughter said, “oh, isn’t she the girl with the red pen who used to correct your notes?”  Ouch.

To my friend I offer my deepest apologies.  I give myself an F for my overzealous behavior and hope to some day earn back that second F in BFF.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Family and Friends

4 responses to “The girl with the red pen

  1. Oh, Monica- I can so relate– I never did that, but have been known (too many times) to correct friends’ grammar and choice of words. No one thinks it’s a sign of love, I guess-

  2. Alyson

    When I was a lass of 16, a would-be suitor sent me a “billet doux” of sorts. My father, knowing that I was not keen on the lad, suggested that one way to deter him might be to take the red pen to his letter, edit it vigorously, and return it to the chap. The tactic didn’t work, because it just gave the fellow something to talk about at our next encounter.

    This might explain why I usually corresponded with my father via phone.

  3. Marilyn

    Well, the correcting with red pen sounds very much like something your mother would have done!

  4. Cindy Buono

    OH God I hope there is a ssssssspell check on here! Monica I love you and always have. I thought it was funny that your path was formed so long ago. I want to say that you probely helped me…but I am still a rotten speller. 🙂 I AM GLAD YOU FOUND ME TOO!!!

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