If you broke a pinky promise, you had to cut off your pinky. These were the circumstances under which we all submitted while we were in third grade. Pinky swears signaled a time where promises were more important; people meant their promises. Pinky swears were almost a primordial promise. There used to be sacrifices if the promise was broken. You could only break two pinky promises before people didn’t trust you anymore.
Blood Brothers (Sisters)
These existed before the fear of disease and the mixing of blood types. You would prick your finger and your friend would prick their finger and you would rub your fingers together. It was a strange sanguine intercourse, but it meant something. You were a part of that person. Your blood was in their body and their blood was in your body. You were closer than you ever were before. These were the parts of movies we wanted to recreate with our friends, but we could never bring ourselves to take a knife and make that cut.
Your pen pals knew all of your favorite things. This is because in third grade, these are the only things you know about yourself. Being friends with your pen pal was easy and sometimes you sent them pictures of you and your family. You would talk about your favorite type of pizza and your pen pal would validate this feeling for you. Getting a letter from your pen pal was the best feeling you ever had in third grade. You were disappointed when your teacher said that you were going to stop being pen pals. This was a friendship you wish had never ended.
This is not about the 1970s television series. MASH was a game you would play in the back of the classroom in elementary school. It made you feel dirty. This was when the future only existed as a living space, a spouse, a car, and an occupation. You picked a number and then your friend made marks next to the choices and soon your future was decided. You always secretly hoped your friend would drive a wagon while you got something cool like a Ferrari, even though you didn’t know was a Ferrari was.
You always had the same seat on the bus. It was usually in the back, far away from any chaperones. You would sit next to your best friend and you would talk and try to make holes in the seats using only your pencils. It took two people to shut the windows. These were the days where your mom gave you money to buy lunch at the museum. These were the days where you could fill out the worksheet in 15 minutes and spend the next 4 hours wandering around the museum. These were the days where you were fascinated with Ancient Egypt and stared into the face of a mummy for 15 minutes straight, and it never blinked, and you thought that was weird.