Dear Polly

Dear Polly

As you know I have never written to you, emailed you or texted you. We are not acquaintances or friends. Until recently, I knew so little about you and now you are dead I know so much more. How daft is that?

The other night when tired and clicking away on the Internet, I came across a list of deceased people from our college. I was not really taking much notice at all. There were deaths of old people born many decades ago.

You will remember that we were always identified by college by our matriculation year. 1987 – the year leapt out at me from the screen. That is your year and mine. I recognised a first name but not the surname but then again women often marry so names change. Mine has after all.

Within a couple of minutes I had confirmed what I had suspected. It was you and you are dead.

So what is the point of this post?

Shall I tell you what I remember about you? I recall a stunningly pretty girl with blond hair and a stylish air about her. Inevitably, I found that daunting always identifying then as the fat and ugly one. Add to that that you were from the South, seemingly had gone to a posh school and had a double-barrelled name and you were out of my league. So we would pass in front court and say “Hi” and that was I think all we ever said to each other.

Who is to say that you did not find me challenging too with my Northern accent, single-barrelled name and working class roots? I guess I will never know.

And that’s the point of this post really. I read your obituary in the Times. It struck me that we would have probably got on quite well. You are a writer and I do my best to be so too. You enjoyed a band that is seen as embarrassing these days but I love them too. You had done charity work so we could have bonded on experiences of volunteering and trying to help good causes.

Ironically you died with a single-barrelled name and I will die with a double-barrelled one. I have lived in the South many times now and some people would find me posh whilst some would find me the opposite. You married a man from the North. Life is indeed strange with its twists and turns.

I wish I had got to known you. How easily we reject others based on things that ultimately really don’t matter at all.

Rest peacefully and perhaps one day we can be shining stars up there together and say more that “Hi”.


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23 thoughts on “Dear Polly”

  1. This is lovely Kate. Silly how we write people off or put people into boxes , when actually when you scratch the surface there’d be much in common. That’s a nice thing about social media like we’ve said , especially with blogging where we bare our soul at times , it kind of cuts through the small talk and says This is Me

  2. Oh Kate, so beautifully written, what a shame you didn’t get to know Polly. You are right of course, we all judge very quickly, consciously or not, it takes a conscious mind to overcome this. #Twinklytuesday

  3. This is such a sweet yet sad post, Kate. You’re right. We make judgements on people too quickly and decide not to include them in our inner or outer circles. Then we wonder what might have been. Sad to hear about Polly’s passing x #TwinklyTuesday

  4. So true – recently I bumped into a former secondary school friend and discovered we have so much in common! But when we were in school, we never made an attempt to know each other. It was this whole class streaming thing. She was in the Science stream and I was in Arts and never the twain shall meet! Arts students were always perceived by the teachers and students as the ‘stupid’ ones. All those wasted years – we could have been bffs!

  5. A post straight from the heart that speaks to me too. You never know what someone’s story is until you get to know them. What is a single or double barrelled name? Have a wonderful weekend, Kippi #kippiathome

  6. What a lovely yet thought provoking post. As younger versions of ourselves we seemed to assume what people are like and then friend them on the assumptions. It’s a shame we don’t have our more mature knowledge at a younger age. #thatfridaylinky

  7. What a lovely post. I have also been struck recently by the number of deaths in my own age-group increasing as we grow older. People sometimes ask, “why me?” but I keep thinking, “Why not me?”

  8. Such a thoughtful and moving post Kate. It does make you put things into perspective and wonder what if a ‘hi’ had become a ‘how are you’ and then some more. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the message behind this. Thank you for bringing such a thoughtful piece to the #dreamteam xx

  9. Beautiful post, I am sure she would be touched to know she is on your mind. I have heard through other friends of previous (kind-of) friends from school who have passed and it always shocks me so much! Of course it was 9 years ago now when one off my very besets friends whom I met in school passed away, it still feels like only months ago, not years. I see myself and people around my age way too young to die. It is strange the twists and turns our lives take, the things we believe about ourselves and how they have shaped up and the roads we have taken so far. I was just having a conversation with my 14 year old about misconceptions, and how once people got to know me at school they would always say, ‘oh I thought you were a snob’, a misconception due to me being an introvert. Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper. Sending love as always xx Thanks again for linking up #ABloggingGoodTime

  10. A lovely post. We don’t always know other people’s stories and what they are really like until we actually get to know them. You might not have known her personal story but just the fact that what you can remember of her is all positive and that speaks volumes #twinklytuesday

  11. I went to a school reunion in 2017 and it was lovely to see people but quite sad how we had drifted apart over the years. People change so much and we often don’t get to know them properly due to our own preconceptions. Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

  12. A lovely, thoughtful and poignant post. There are a few people I am good friends with now from school that I never really interacted with because I feared they were better than me but ironically we have a lot in common and get on well. I find it a shame I missed out on knowing them for many years.

  13. This is lovely Kate. It’s funny how we perceive people, at the time we make this assumptions and then looking back you realise that you may have got them wrong or them you… I think there are probably quite a few people from school who may be like this with me too. So sad that you couldn’t reconnect.

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