...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

testing the power of that whole 'BFFs 4-evah!' pact we signed years ago in our high school yearbooks

Later this week, I have a lunch date with my best friend. Kay is the first person I think of when Nelson's '(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection' screams out of my iPod, the reason I know a little bit about a lot of bad 80s movies, and is someone who encouraged me to write even when I had no idea I wanted to. Growing up, she was the Kelly to my Sabrina (only because she'd call dibs on it first, and neither of us was nearly blond enough to pull off Jill)(and in a somewhat related note, she always claimed ownership of the name Jessica when we played 'Rich Girl in the Big City' games or, if it was a lazy weekend, simply 'Waitress').

We'd climb into her family's tiny camper, the one whose greatest adventures began and ended where it was parked on their driveway, and pretended to see the world. When we'd seen all there was to see on land, the RV became a rocket ship, and so believable were we as space adventurers, we came dangerously close to convincing her younger brother he was the spawn of aliens we'd rescued him from and given him to Kay's parents when they desired a son.

I was there, hiding my Barbies, while she pierced, tattooed, and put her own through rigorous breast reduction surgeries involving cement and a painful sounding scraping motion, when she was trying to decide what to do about college, and later, as her maid of honor when she married. I am absolutely looking forward to our lunch date because Kay is my best friend.

And because I haven't seen her in almost 17 years.

Is it strange, I wonder, to refer to someone you've not talked to, laughed with, or seen in so very long as your best friend? When I talk about friendship with my children, I inevitably mention Kay and how we grew up next door to each other (our mothers each still live in those respective houses), and forged a friendship when it seemed like no one else wanted in on our quirks. As my stories go on, I always, always preface things with "My best friend Kay and I..."

I do have other friends, of course, even some who've earned the 'best friend' crown, but no one in that circle of intimates has been with me since I was stealing (cough cough) copies of Smash Hits magazine from RecordLand so I could kiss the posters of Simon LeBon I'd rip from the pages and tack to my bedroom walls. None of them were there when I made the unfortunate mistake of wearing little other than fluorescent yellow the majority of my freshman year of high school, or the even greater mistake of giving myself the nickname 'Garbanzo Bean' during my sophomore year. I'm nobody's Jessica, baby. To her credit, Kay, the perpetual pretend Jessica, willingly adopted the nickname 'Kidney Bean.' No wonder we liked each other.

There's no reasonable excuse why it's taken us close to two decades to reconnect, especially considering during all this time, we've lived 30 minutes or less from the other. The last time I saw Kay, she came charging through the front door of the church just as I was getting ready to walk down the aisle. The sanctuary doors opened and my guests thought they'd see me, but I had to duck out of sight so Kay could enter and find a seat. And that? That was actually the first time I'd seen her in a couple years. We had no fights. Just...life. Life, as great as it can be, can also get in your way. So can people, opinions, and stuff. Lots of stuff. But mostly it's just been life.

It took Facebook, the great Switzerland of the Internet, to reunite us. Tenuously at first, then eventually to this place and our plans to meet for lunch later this week. She LOL'd me in a Facebook message when we'd firmed up our plans, saying she was going to "try and work a miracle in an attempt to get the gray that continues to keep coming back out of my hair...too bad I can't lose 50 pounds+ in the process :D" In my response, I told her not to worry about how she looked, that the zit on my 43 year old chin would trump any gray hair she thinks she has. But secretly, I'm bee-lining for the magnifying mirror and praying for a sunny day between now and then so I can hunt for errant chin hairs. That alien brother of hers once accused me of having a mustache, and a girl doesn't forget that kind of thing...especially when she's reached an age where, in that bright sunlight I've been praying for, it might actually look like she does!

In reality, though, I really don't care how either of us look (except note - paint fingernails). I'm only looking forward to seeing my best friend again. I hope lunch is an afterthought and we really just find we can start where we left off nearly 17 years ago. I can't say I'm not nervous. It may be like having to make a friend all over again, but I feel it's worth it.

Especially if I can fight imaginary crime again...only this time, I get to be Kelly!



Blogger Will said...

Recently had the same thing happen. The years... melt.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:38:00 PM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

I have a best friend exactly like that. We've been BFF since 1968! And sadly, even only being 75 miles apart, we had many, many years pass in between get togethers. Doesn't matter though - we are like sisters and it always feels like no time has passed when we reunite.

Have a wonderful time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:44:00 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

I've had that happen a couple times in my life, where you don't see your BFF (or, uh, you know, whatever) for years, and then when you do, you just slide right back in to the comfortable thing you had way back when. . .

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 7:37:00 PM  
Blogger Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

AWESOME!!! I hope it goes great. I always wanted to be Kelly, but there were 4 of us, so I ended up being Bosley. I sense a blog post coming on. My daughter and her friends play "Poor." Not sure what it entails.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

Neat! I wrote about a similar friend, a couple years ago- and since then, we've seen each other a few times, but we talk on the phone several times a week, and it's great!

I hope it's as excellent for you and Kay, cuz there's something tremendously special about having a friend that not only knows all the back-story "dirt", was likely there for a lot of it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger SciFi Dad said...

I have a friend from high school like that; we haven't seen each other since his wedding (only eight years), but we still email every few months.

The friends I had from childhood have gone off in very different directions, and we just don't have anything in common anymore. I tried once to reconnect with one in a fit of nostalgia, and after 45 minutes on the phone I came to the sad realization that we're not the same people we were when we were kids.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 5:25:00 AM  
Blogger WILLIAM said...

I have know my best friend for 40 years. I am soon going to be 41. He lived across the street. Friends like that get the "Best" tag no matter how often (or not so often) you se them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger lime said...

have a wonderful reunion. i have a strong feeling the years will melt away quickly once you meet.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 7:18:00 PM  
Blogger justmakingourway said...

So excellent.

My best friend from high school and I had been pretty good about getting together or at least touching base a few times a year. Then about a year and a half ago - maybe two? - we fell off each others' radar. I recently swallowed my nerves, ("Maybe she doesn't want to be friend any more??") and emailed her. We are having dinner this weekend!

Totally psyched for you and Kay. Have a great time!

Thursday, March 24, 2011 7:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like riding a bike - just hop on her and go. Or, errr, well, you know . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:19:00 AM  
Blogger Zephyr said...

I love reconnecting through facebook. I suspect you'll do like I have and lose yourself in hours of talk. It's wonderful... you find an old friend and make a new one, both at the same time!

Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will keep my fingers crossed time just melts away. I have a friend like that and right now we can see each other once or twice a year but I have a feeling life will eventually get in the way. And it's nice to know that even seventeen years can't make a difference!

Thursday, March 24, 2011 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

I'm looking forward to hear how this all worked out. Somehow I feel that a true friendship never dies.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 7:29:00 PM  
Blogger Homemaker Man said...

That left me with a warm, wistful feeling. In truth, the first person I'd call my best friend, I haven't seen in 20 + years. Good luck. I bet you guys fit together better than your hand and that old glove.

Friday, March 25, 2011 6:25:00 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

How did it go??? I'm a bit behind in my blog reading. But I've been there too. I've found that reconnecting with old friends is pretty easy. You really do pick up where you left off. It's the more recent - haven't talked to you in in three years - friendships that are risky. You sometimes find that they were based on proximity and people in common. The friends of your childhood are deep and true - because back then, you didn't know how to be superficial.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 10:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

I hope it was fabulous.

MPS caught up with his best friend via skype the other night.

They hadn't spoken for 6 years.

He was shirtless and his hair a mess, his friend wearing a suit and tie and drinking chardonay. And they had a BALL catching up.

I wish girls just didn't give a shit like that.

Monday, March 28, 2011 2:40:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

I'm happy to report that, armed with all your good wishes and good reunion stories, my very own BFF reunion went off marvelously! Within minutes of our meet-up, Kay was saying things like "When you come over..." and I was reciprocating with "Next time you're near..." This, happily, was all being said even though, within a few more minutes, I'd nearly tossed my entire tossed salad all over her in a full-handed attempt to get it on the table (without spilling, ha). Welcome back into my life, pal! You know what you need? A little lo-fat Asian chili dressing!

The two hours we had together during this opportunity flew by, and I hope we can get back on track again. I think we're off to a good start considering that when I opened my email today, there was a chain mail forward from Kay in my in-box. I think we have arrived!

Monday, March 28, 2011 7:56:00 PM  
Blogger 1blueshi1 said...

So glad that your story has a happy ending! My last post included missing my Bham friends terribly....sobsob...my besties, now long ago and far away. Glad you were able to have lunch with a friend...on a friend, what's the diff?!? Everybody looks better in lowfat Asian, it's the new black!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:24:00 AM  
Blogger Legallyblondemel said...

Aw . . . hi! I'm sorry it's been so long since I've been by.

With certain capital "B" capital "F" Best Friends, decades can go by, and it just doesn't matter. Something - the Simon LeBon-ness of it all? - transcends the time. I'm hoping you two had a blast, graying chin hairs & all.

Friday, April 08, 2011 8:30:00 PM  
Anonymous louis vuitton replica handbags said...

Looking forward for the further strategy ,time really melts like an ice which can be saved by working hard

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 1:34:00 AM  

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