Friday, March 23, 2012

scintilla day 8: thank you for being a friend

Today’s Scintilla prompt asks: Who was your childhood best friend? Describe them – what brought you together, what made you love them. Are you still friends today?

A few weeks ago, Heather lent me the book The Hunger Games (perhaps you’ve heard of it? No? How is life living under a rock? I’ve always wondered.). She was working her way through the trilogy and thought I might like it, even though it was a little outside the standard realm of my reading. So I put it in my pile of future reads.

A couple of weeks later, I received this email:

I started the 3rd book in the Hunger Games series and I have come to the firm conclusion that this is not your type of book. I feel it is a cross between Alas Babylon, 1984 & Blade Runner. Please cease and desist reading immediately.

Emails like this are a perfect example of why Heather has been my best friend for 31 years. I remember when Lost premiered, and she was going on and on about it, so I decided to try it out, and was instantly hooked. We were watching something on TV about the show, and someone described the new series as “science fiction.” Heather said “SHHHHH!!!” to the TV – because she knows that if I started thinking of Lost as sci-fi, I would be out. (Don’t worry – I managed to stick with it, despite its science fictionness.)

My point – the girl KNOWS ME. And of course she should. Ever since she and her four siblings (one older brother, two younger brothers and one younger sister) moved across the street from me back in1981, when I was 7, we have been besties. And I mean ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

In the early days we played Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake, built forts and had clubs with her siblings, mine, and other neighborhood friends. Later we both awkwardly pushed through adolescence, with our giant hair, braces and glasses (she got contacts before I did, and WHOA was I jealous). We had a couple of part-time jobs together, although she spent her summers working at a golf course and I spent mine working at my parents’ ice cream shop. We passed notes every day before second period in high school.

And then it gets really nerdy because we both went to the same university and majored in almost exactly the same thing (she, early education with a concentration in English, me, English with a concentration in Journalism). And now we live 15 minutes from each other. She is married with twin 10-year-olds and a 5-year-old, all boys. And, well, you know my story.

Our paths diverge here and there. She was SO not into the hair bands that I was completely obsessed with in high school. She used to do a little bit of theater but doesn’t do it anymore. She got married and had kids years before I did. She’s a runner, a healthy eater, and an excellent cook and baker. I’m much more of a drinker than she is. She was never into the bar scene; I was. She likes books and movies with vampires and dragons, I don’t.

But oh man, we share the same sharp, sarcastic sense of humor. She has made me laugh more than anyone in the world. She was the first person who knew I was pregnant. She held me up – both literally and figuratively – when my father died. I hope I did the same for her when her mother died very unexpectedly a few years later. I would do anything for her, and I know she would for me.

We have shared the highs, lows, heartbreaks, births, deaths, weddings, funerals, baptisms, birthday parties, holidays, cookouts and all of the everyday moments in between for the past three-plus decades.

I cannot imagine – CANNOT IMAGINE – not having her in my life. I could go on and on here, but instead I’ll just answer the question “are you still friends today?” The answer is YES, and forever. And ever.

I picked a picture in which we both actually are dressed up and wearing makeup.


mrs mediocrity said...

I love that you have each other, that is a wonderful thing.

Jennifer said...

What a fantastic, FANTASTIC homage. Perfect! Does she know you wrote this for her? I can only hope that the times I mention my girls, I do so as wonderfully as you've done here. Love!

Tracy said...

what a great friendship... wonderful tribute to her!!!

Katja said...

Rocks are good, if a bit heavy. (No, I've NEVER HEARD of Hunger Games. I'm clearly even more out of touch than I realised. Ah, Italy ...)

This was such a lovely, feelgood post. How great to have a friend like that, through thick and thin. :)

Noel said...

Ok I just tried to leave a comment but I think it died and went off to that limbo of the lost comments! ;) The gist of it was that I love these kinds of friendships!

Dwayne "The Train" said...

i would have totally commented on this sooner if it had been about me, which i assumed it was given its title.

you are totally welcome for my friendship, btw. it's not something i bestow lightly, so congratulations.