Today is my friend’s birthday, she is turning 34 and we have been “best” friends since we were in 6th grade and she hated me. I think it as a good a way as any to begin a friendship. She thought I was a matchy-matchy, goodie-two-shoes … she was right. I thought she was exciting and a little bit scary. I was right. And somewhere in the middle, we decided to give one another a try, and then I was hooked. Like Jane Austen once said, “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves. It is not in my nature.” And for the past twenty-three years, I have loved every “whole” crazy minute of our friendship.
In honor of her, and just how much she means to me, I am therefore willing to embarrass myself (and by extension her) just to prove the everlastingness of our bond through a top ten memories list. So … to Rebecca …
10. First sleepover. When we were eleven, and taking turns having crushes on the five suitable guys in our class, you came over and made me laugh SO HARD I peed my pants! I couldn’t even blame it on the fact that I had children … or some weakened bladder disorder! You were just THAT funny!
9. Tripping practice. We thought if we could just practice enough, it’d all be alright if we fell in public because we would have learned to fall gracefully. How did it end? With you “practice” tripping me on the playground as I ran away from you, thus making me rock with momentum when you did, in fact, trip me and I went face first into the concrete! (Emotional and physical scars still healing from that one!)
8. Softball game. I had to pee, you had to pee, so we decided to climb the fence in our softball uniforms, but mine was too big and I got caught on the fence at the top! What did my best-ie do? Help me down? NO! Laugh her butt off as I stayed stuck for a good three minutes, trying my best not to cry, have an accident, or fall off the stinking fence!
7. Cutting hair. Never a good idea, this one. And though I have you to thank for growing out my ridiculous bangs (that took three consecutive sleepovers to do) I don’t think either of us was particularly adept with the scissors. I just remember, “Wholly crap that’s a lot shorter than I was planning,” followed by a, “Yeah, but it’s still not straight … just a few snips more and it’ll be good.” It wasn’t!
6. Cooking. We decided to make breakfast for my family. It was our first time making eggs, and they really turned out into little pellets of the hard, yellow, rubber variety. I’ll never forget you looking at me and saying, “It is how they’re supposed to be right?” and me saying, “Maybe we should just stir them a bit longer.”
5. Twins. Convincing some guy at a party that you, dark-haired, golden-eyed you, were related to blond-haired, blue-eyed me … it took all of your inner strength not to laugh in his face, but you succeeded. “And the funny thing is,” you told him, “she was the dark-haired baby and I was the blonde!” I was in awe of you and your gumption that night. You were always the brand of bravery that I craved!
4. Dating. You were there for the thick of it all. It began with sneaking-peeks at my sister and her boyfriend, though she always knew we were coming. How? We were so stealthy with your guffaw of a laugh! After that, we progressed to our own relationships. From you, patching up my confidence after being dumped in sixth-grade, to standing beside me at my wedding, there is not one significant relationship I was able to get out of or stay in without you! Best relationship counselor ever.
3. Driving. From tickets and getting lost to hydroplaning in a storm and using your dad’s van, you’ve always been the #1 most supportive co-pilot of my life. Why? Because where others might offer sage counsel or even some backseat driving advice … you proceeded to just laugh at whatever current predicament we found ourselves in, whether it was funny or not! (Usually it wasn’t, by the way, but you got me giggling along like an idiot anyhow!)
2. Children. I’ve always loved kids. I went from babysitter, to nanny, to teacher. You’ve always been slightly less tolerant of them, having taken care of younger siblings your whole life. So isn’t it just fate that you’d have twice the amount of kids that I do!?! God must be laughing at that little twist of our fates! I can’t tell you how much I love that you think I know what I’m doing and call me with, “What do I do with her now?” questions when I barely have a clue for my own! Still, I love the confidence you have in me, and I love the Godson you blessed me with!
1. Opposites. Our entire lives we have always been 100% opposite. You are bold and brave and hilarious. I am a rule-follower, a goody-goody, and a dreamer. You are decorative, fashionable and sassy. I am a writer, a nerd and quirky. We look at things from different sides, we see opposite angles, and you’ve always inspired me with your self-assurance as I still look to be that sure. You’re one of my favorite things about myself.
I am proud of you … proud to claim you as mine. And I love that out of all the middle school weirdos … you … yes you, picked me.
Happy birthday my crazy-amazing friend. I love you forever.