Yesterday, someone randomly mentioned the town where I went to college. This is weird. Jacksonville, ILLINOIS is a tiny little town in the middle of no where. It has quite possibly the world’s smallest college that NO ONE has ever heard of. Then, my BFF texted me to see if I wanted to go for a mani/pedi on Saturday. These events seem unrelated but they created the perfect storm for a wave of memories to come tumbling back into the forefront my my mind.
That must be why last night, I dreamed about the first time I met my BFF. Well, the first time I really REMEMBER meeting her. I am sure we had met before but this was different. She is the friend of a friend and we are planning on heading to the big town of Springfield for a little weekend shopping. I’m driving my tiny, little Saturn when she pretty much falls into my backseat while our mutual friend is riding shotgun. I remember her wearing an ecto-green colored jersey of some sort. Soccer jersey? That doesn’t make sense now, as I have never known her to be a fan. But since soccer was one of our college’s few competitive sports, that seems about right. Her hair is sopping wet and her shower shoes are still dripping. She’s clearly hung over. We make the trek into Springfield and shop at…The Buckle and probably some other equally dated stores. I’m sure we eat somewhere but I have no idea where or what. Arby’s sounds familiar but I cannot be certain. I think there is some sort of disagreement with someone at the restaurant because that doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. I guess my memory isn’t quite as sharp as I had thought.
But what I do recall with COMPLETE clarity…is that I met my counterpart that day. We have been friends ever since. We caused a lot of trouble in our post college years. We were young and single and ready to mingle. We drank too much and talked too loudly and hung out with completely inappropriate people. We made dumb decisions that I am glad Facebook wasn’t around to capture. We lived together and shared laughter and tears and buckets of macaroni & cheese. We watched bad TV and decorated Christmas trees. We took care of each other at our best…and worst.
She has seen me. REALLY seen me. After I got the news about my mom, I called my husband. Then I immediately called her. I’m sure she couldn’t even understand what I was saying but she knew I needed her. I was calling her at work in the middle of the day. This must be important. She answered as I knew she would. I cried and uttered some words that I am sure made no sense. She calmed me as I waited for my husband on a hospital floor shaking with emotion. She heard me when I couldn’t even speak. And she didn’t try to make it better. She listened and was just THERE.
That is what a BFF does. For almost 20 years, she has been THERE. It is a friendship I cherish. We don’t talk everyday. We are lucky to text a couple times a week. We probably only see each other every few months. But that doesn’t change anything.
She is my daughter’s godmother.
She is the PB to my J.
She is the mac to my cheese.
She is the Betty to my Gertrude.
She is my should-be-sister.
She will always be there for me as I will be for her. I love you.