Friday, January 13, 2012
The other day, in a place where I spend entirely too much time *twitter* someone tweeted this out:
Remember that girlfriend that made you do crazy things? Yeah. I miss her.
I tweeted back:
Thanks for making me laugh. Yes. I do. Both. Remember and miss.
The sane and the stable are wonderful; they have their place in the world, and I appreciate the calm and peace they bring. But, oh, a good push you to the brink cray cray girlfriend is someone I wish once in everyone's lifetime.
I was lucky enough to be with one of the craziest girlfriends possible throughout high school, into my days of college, and her days spent as a newly working girl. I met Susie on my first day of high school, during study hall, at an all girl private school. She was a sophomore, I was a freshman. She sat in an empty spot next to me and held her left hand out. "It's my engagement ring," she said to the table. I heard a voice call her liar and tell her that was probably her mother's ring. "Jealous," she said to the air. I remember thinking how first of all, I'd be too scared to take my mother's diamond ring to school; and second, she looked like a girl who could have an engagement ring.
The school was divided into two types: the good girls who were sent there because their parents wanted to keep them good and that meant away from finding out about boys, drugs, and all the in between; and the bad girls who were sent there for almost the same reason: to keep them away from what they had found out about boys, drugs, and all the in between. I was a good girl.
I used to wonder why she plucked me out of the crowd, I was always the girl in the background. That an older girl would take an interest in a frosh was intoxicating to me.
She took my world to a whole other level. I would watch her, listen to her, go anywhere she wanted me to. And laugh. Laugh until my triple layer mascaraed eyelashes would get stuck together from the tears pouring out of my eyes. The more I'd bend over convulsing with laughter, holding my aching side and begging her to stop, the more outrageous she'd become. She performed it all: flawless impersonations of our teachers, ruthless imitations of the current jerk boyfriend, and dead on perfect skank mimics of the tramp that got the bartender we both wanted.
She wasn't the only person in my social circle back then, there were some level headed people peeking in from time to time. Occasionally, one of these dwellers in groundedness would take me aside and ask, What in the world are you doing with her? She's just too much.
Ah, no, she's not too much. I think she's fabulous.
Friday nights would come and she'd drive over to get me, a B-52's cassette playing in the boom box that sat between us in her father's rusty pale yellow Cadillac, and we'd head for the freeway. Black Pat Benatar blazers on, boxy and to our thighs, lips painted matte red, our bangs held six inches straight up in the air with Paul Mitchell hair shellac; our first stop would be the dance clubs. Two girls on fire with youth, no responsibilities, and a case of Friday night paychecks.
We were glamorous. She made me glamorous.
She was pretty, tall, thin, big eyed and pale. She had hair so dark it might as well have been black and a side profile that I wished was mine. She had more freckles than I'd ever seen on anyone in my life and could slam screwdrivers like a 300 pound meat packer. When she laughed, she sounded like she was five years old.
I can begin to tell you a story about how, at the end of the night, she'd always forget her car's parking brake was on until we'd be driving and the smell of smoke would hit us, she'd open her mouth and out flew the profanity, Sh*t. Damn farkin POS parking brake is GD farkin on again. She swore like a sailor, and my mother, who, by no surprise, was already not a fan of our friendship -- always knew when I had been with her too much, my salty speech giving me away. She thought nothing of spending our last twenty on shrimp cocktail at 2 a.m.
We would slip into our weekend as soon as she punched out on the time clock, and I rushed out of my biology lab. Friday night, when she'd pick me up outside of my campus housing; I could hear her coming down the over parked one way street in front of my shared apartment, boom box blowing the Caddy's doors off with The Scorpion's The Zoo. I'd be standing out in front waiting for her; when she'd see me, she'd start to slow down, but never really stop. She'd lean over and creak the heavy door open and I'd slide in, slamming the fifty pound door behind me with both hands. I'd be with her from then until the sun rose Monday morning. One pre-dawn Monday after dropping me off at 5 a.m., she drove straight to work, parked the Cadillac in the lot there, lay down across the front seat and slept for one hour before starting her job at 7 a.m. I dragged my tired butt across campus to physics class at 7:30, all the while thanking god I had five days in between to rest up before the next time.
For every story I begin to tell about her, there are tens more waiting to be told.
My husband is not a loud laugher. I know when he's having a good time because I see his shoulders shake up and down and his mouth opens up in a quick surprise O, while his eyebrows arch up.
Every story that has ever made my husband's shoulders shake up and down, begins with Did I tell you about the time me and Susie ...
By the end of our twenties, she had married and had children, I had been accepted to graduate school. We went on to live our lives.
Yes, there are sane and normal human beings in the world. And then there are the ones that Katy Perry sings about. The ones that got away.
*I want to thank the charming Melissa Kirtley from the very versatile A Wide Line. She has bestowed upon me the highly flattering Versatile Blogger Award. I thank you, dear lady, and you've warmed my soul on this blustery January day. xo *Pssst...peeps: you need to check her out. Seriously, always an interesting post.