Maria Depalmelario* had my little seven year old heart from the minute I found out she had 7 brothers and sisters. Little did I know that was only the beginning of Maria’s “coolness.” Not only was her last name fun to say over and over again,but she also had a mom whose first name was Karola (pronounced like the Toyota Corolla). I couldn’t get past how cool it must be to have the namesake of a car! As little seven year olds often do, I perseverated on this to the point where I made myself believe that her mom actually drove a Toyota Corolla. (How did all those brothers and sisters ever decide who got to sit in the front seat of Karola’s Corolla?)
As Maria and I passed together through grade after grade, I grew to love her even more-as only I knew love to be:
-She kept her desk nice and organized: swoon!
-She always wore, without fail, the prettiest bows in her hair to spice up her dull uniform dress: meow!
-She sometimes stayed after school with me until my mom picked us up and gave Maria a ride home: wink! wink!
At some point, I lost interest in Maria. Years passed, we grew up and went our separate ways. I doubt she even remembers my name. The memories for me, however, came flooding back when I recently saw her mom from a distance at Panera Bread.
I was dying inside to run up and ask her if she still had the Corolla.
*Not actual last name, but close.