2009/06/02

PROMPTuesday #58 – Friendship, Friendship, Just the Perfect Blendship

DaGoddess @ 02:42

Lucy and Ethel. That was us. We took turns concocting hairbrained schemes so our roles were interchangeable. The important thing was that we were in it together and if there was trouble coming, we’d each accept punishment as if we were the full-fledged ringleader, regardless. None of that turning on one another crap. That didn’t come until later.

It was the sort of friendship that tends to have an expiration date. You can’t expect to make it through childhood and into adulthood with a friend like that. Not when your world quickly expands and other influences take over.

We’ll call her Cindy. Yes, that’s a good name for her. Cindy and I met in 4th grade. I was brand new at school and she was quick to befriend me. Thank goodness for her. I was awkward and “advanced” for my age. You know, at that point I was already wearing a real bra. She wasn’t far behind. Was that part of our friendship attraction? Perhaps. It did make life a lot easier when you knew you weren’t the only girl sprouting real womanly features. Maybe it was the fact that she was the pretty, popular girl who saw me, the fat girl, as the perfect foil. I don’t think that was a conscious decision, but I do think it played a part. Whatever it was that drew us together, together we were. We were instant best friends and that was that.

Our parents endured weekends of endless giggling, odd hairdos, insane makeup sessions, and whispers late into the wee hours. They didn’t know (or turned a blind eye) to our sneaking the occasional cigarettes, or when we were “watering the neighbor’s plants” for hours at a time (read: we found a stack of Penthouse and Hustler magazines and were fascinated!), or even when we’d found a way to sneak out during our trip to Sacramento and San Francisco to meet the boys. (What were those chaperones doing, I wonder…) We found plenty of “adventures” and had a good run there for a while.

We did the whole Girl Scout thing together. Softball. Transitioned to middle school. She had boyfriends, I did not. But she encouraged my dreams of boyfriends, often walking past that guy’s house with me just so I wouldn’t have to do it alone. It didn’t hurt that the guy Cindy liked lived nearby.

We weren’t always very nice, though. Occasionally the urge to do something to get back at someone overwhelmed us and we’d strike out. As a team. Always as a team. If we got caught, we’d each swear it was “solely my idea”, even though the adults knew it was a team effort. Invariably, we’d end up sitting across from each other, pretending it was the first time we’d ever met. “Who? Her? Never saw her before in my life. I did it. Pure and simple. It was me.” Was it really any surprise that it made the two of us look even more suspect?

One time, and I do report this with the appropriate amount of hindsight being 20-20 regret, we teamed up to take down our Girl Scout leader. We’ll call her GSL. GSL’s daughter was cool with us, but GSL herself was often drawn as Elmira Gulch in our book. So there we were in camp one Spring, preparing part of our evening meal a bit ahead of time. We overheard GSL talking with the assistant leader about how she hated pepper and the rule was to be “no pepper in any meal”. Cindy and I looked at each other and silently went about plotting our pepper additions to what we were putting together (the approved Girl Scout version of minestrone, which really meant thirty large cans of various types of soup). And thus we began sneaking a pinch in here or there. About a half hour later, GSL gathered all of us around the fire. “Because I am allergic to pepper, I want to remind each of you in charge of meals to avoid pepper at all cost. It should only be used on your own food when I am not around.” Despite the fact that nearly an entire pepper container ended up in our minestrone, she never knew the difference. GSL’s daughter later told us she had added more pepper to soup when no one was looking.

Yeah, one of the few moments we managed to get away with a dastardly deed was one of those times we should have been punished. What if she really had been allergic? Forget the fact that most of the soups we used had pepper in them, it was just two little girls being mean-spirited. And yet, nothing.

As I mentioned earlier, these types of friendships are generally stamped with an expiration date and ours lasted for about five years before we broke out of the BFF category. In 8th grade, we were assigned to a different school. While we both attended, our classes were different and we made new friends. There was a brief period when things got rather nasty — right about the time I lost weight and boys found me attractive. Somehow by the time 9th grade came around, we were back to being friends. Not best friends, but friends. Even still, time and life took us different directions.

Over the years, we’ve run into each other. Usually at reunions and such. We live within 10 minutes of one another but other than a few emails and a single pizza party after our last reunion, not a thing. Oh, wait…there was that time I saw her at the one middle school meeting (the school I didn’t want LD to attend), but I didn’t approach. With our big 25th reunion coming up, we’ll meet again, exchange pleasantries, and generally go about our lives. I’m okay with that. Our days of troublemaking and girlish fun are clearly meant to remain in the past. If, however, we do get the opportunity to spike someone’s soup, who knows? Maybe the girls we used to be will show up again somehow, somewhere.

And thus we conclude this week’s episode of why I should avoid Debbie’s PROMPTuesdays. I get lost in the mists of time and really, it’s just plain sad to make you sit through them, isn’t it?

6 Comments

  1. I had a BFF like that. From the first day I walked into 2nd grade in my new school to the first day of 9th in high school, we were pretty much in each others pockets.

    People change as they age, though. We’re still friends, though for many years we lost track of each other.

    Life is funny.

    Comment by Pam — 2009/06/02 @ 06:47

  2. Oh yes, I had such a friend as well. We’re still in touch though she lives in Switzerland now. And whenever we’re together I get the same butterflies in my tummy like we’re up to no good. Good times! :-)

    Comment by Mama Mary — 2009/06/02 @ 08:07

  3. I’m kind of curious to see if there’s trouble we can still get into that would bring out our inner Lucy and Ethel. Guess I’ll know in a couple of months.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/06/03 @ 02:16

  4. I hope your reunion will refresh your friendship. It won’t ever be the same, but maybe it will become a new source of joy in your life.

    Comment by g — 2009/06/03 @ 08:19

  5. How interesting that you live so close to each other. But many friendships have their “seasons,” don’t they?

    Loved reading about your checkered past. :)

    Comment by San Diego Momma — 2009/06/03 @ 12:03

  6. Checkered past. :rofl:

    It’s more like a checkered “present”

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/06/03 @ 18:14

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