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*I’m the girl in the center of the front row with the rose in her teeth*

In my high school year book write up, I signed off with a quote from Ripple, one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs.  “I don’t know, don’t really care, let there be songs to fill the air.”  That was an an accurate reflection of myself, my personality, and my outlook on life.  I didn’t care much of how people thought about me, aside from the normal teenage insicurities, and I had a very full and active high school life.  I was a Berlin High Redcoat, I played *gasp* the xylophone in the school band, and experienced all of the milestone “firsts” by the time I crossed the stage at graduation.  And you can probably figure out what most of those “firsts” are, and I won’t spell all of them out here, because my mother will read this and I’ll have to answer to her.  (Because who doesn’t still answer to her mother!?!)

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I’m the crazy girl kneeling in the middle of the picture.  You know, the ham?  Yeah.  That’s me.  Not much has changed in this picture from junior year of high school- 1997.  I still wear Birks, I still listen to the Dead, and I still have that shirt that I wear around the house in the Summer.  Yet, I am not the same girl in that picture.  I think I’m even stronger now- mentally and physically- than I ever was in my entire life.  God, I remember being forced to run the mile in gym class and barely making it over the 10 minute mark.  (And being one of the last to cross the finish line).  Now, I run half marathons, and can run a 5K in 26 minutes and change- without passing out at the finish.

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Ways you can tell your age:  You are drinking a bottle of Zima, and ooooh, don’t you look SO COOL!  Here I am with my high school boyfriend (he’s the big guy in the orange shirt), and my brother, Anthony.  I would spend many weekends buying Coors Light (for both of them) when I turned 21.  At least Coors Light is still in production.  Speaking of firsts, the first time I ever got drunk was in high school.  My friend’s parents were away for the weekend so, being the cool girl that she was, she invited a bunch of us over for a sleep over.  We drank screwdrivers until 2:00 in the morning when we all passed out.  I’m proud to say I did not experience another first that night- No hugging the toilet bowl or puking on her parent’s couch. (That first would come much, much later)…

Hmm… what else can I tell you about high school Marie?  Well, she was about 20 pounds heavier than today, her first car was a navy blue Saturn, she experimented with Mint Skoal (gross, I know), had no curfew, and went to every single Dave Matthews Band concert when she was in high school.  Oh yeah, and she took her father to see Jimmy Buffett at the Meadows for his 50th birthday- on his 50th birthday.  Traslate that to today, and Jake was cooed to sleep with Jimmy Buffett’s instrumental lullabies, and every time my phone rings in the summer he hears Cheeseburger in Paradise or Fins.  And in the “not so much has changed” department?  File this:  Jake has been, and will continue to attend the Berlin Fair!  A Berlin institution, mind you.  And, now that we’re Berlin residents, he’ll learn to love it as much as his parents did.  …And learn how to sneak in vodka and gatorade, too. heh heh heh…

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BERLIN.  THROUGH AND THROUGH.

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