My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around. A lot. Maybe not as much as some people did, but when I tell you I went no more than 2 years at the same school, it's not an exaggeration.
So, unlike many of my friends, I don't have that BFF from kindergarten. And I have secretly (or not-so-secretly) been jealous of those life-long BFFers.
Until a couple of weeks ago when I realized that instead of one Bestie, I've had several.
I had Anne. She was my best gal pal from four to seven. She taught me that parts can be on the side instead of down the middle and bangs are optional. She ran super fast and would hold my hand so that I could keep up. We played house and Barbies and grocery store. She helped me be brave and walk through the giant pampas grass plants on the way home from school.
Then there was my sister Jennilyn. We did everything together. We played more Barbies, house, Primary, and school than any other kids alive. We played Charlie's Angels. With cap guns. On roller skates. We shared a room for about 13 years straight. Some days were better than others. Our bedroom was initially decorated in red and white gingham, followed by a crazy 80's rainbow theme, and finally the bedroom of our dreams--or at least the dreams of the designers of Seventeen magazine. We exercised at night when we couldn't sleep. And since we shared a room, we also shared a radio. And listened to the same songs over and over together. Take One Me will always remind me of Jennilyn.
Molly was the Shirley to my Laverne in 9th and 10th grade. We were constantly doing something crazy. We made all the scenery for the Ward Roadshow--mostly from a sheet we painted in the style of Bob Ross. We entered the Audio/Visual Competition in lieu of doing a report in our 9th grade chemistry class--and ended up making a volcano, filming it, and dubbing the stampede scene from "May from Snowy River" as the sound of our rumbling volcano. (Yeah...pretty weird choice, but it was the mid-80s and there just wasn't much to choose from). We gave each other makeovers constantly. We talked on the phone incessantly. And we made plans to go to Ricks College and be roommates--and then she went to BYU instead.
So Lynell was my Ricks roommate. We took classes together and crammed for finals--I still remember the scientist named Harvey had something to do with capillaries. We set each other up on dates. She let me tag along on dates with her and her Sophomore year boyfriend. We did crazy things in the middle of the night--taped deformities into our faces, wore our undies on the outside of our clothes, danced and sang too loud. We went to church together and shared our testimonies with each other. We even worked the weeknight dinner shift in the cafeteria together.
And then because I enjoyed my nights so much better than my days, I went home to Tucson and tried to figure out my next move. My compadre in adventure was Lorrie. We both were sort of trying to decide what to do with the rest of our lives. So we played. A lot. I think in the next two years, between us, we took 4 credit hours of classes at in institution of higher learning and 164 credit hours of LDS Institute classes. We were in Lambda Delta Sigma together. We went to every dance together. We played pretty well. And then we started to prepare for our missions. Lorrie got her call to West Virginia and left a few months before I did.
That summer before my mission, Jamie was also getting ready for her mission and moved in with her grandparents who were in my parents' ward. We both were working for probably no more than minimum wage in the fashion industry (she was at Judy's in the mall and I was at Famous Footwear across the street and down a block). We were pretty excited for September to come, so we talked about our plans. She went with me when I went to the temple for the first time and then we went the next week together. She came to the MTC a week after I did and together we soaked up all the good the MTC had to offer. We wrote each other on our missions and she was a great example of a missionary to me.
Allison had the important task of re-acclimating me to "The World" after my mission. She set me up on my first date a week after I returned. We rented an apartment together. She introduced me to her circle of friends, many of whom played a huge part in my life. Less than a year later, she moved to her parents' home to prepare for her mission.
A couple of years later, I decided I needed a change of scenery. Arlissa lived in Mesa and was willing to provide the scene change. We lived for a short while in her grandparents' house in downtown Mesa and then re-located to North Phoenix. She has always had a way of making whomever she is with think that they are the most important person to her. We found a great singles ward and jumped in with both feet. We had parties galore, where we would cook for days in advance (many times by the light of a lamp when the overhead light would stop working). We went on road trips to Utah. With no A/C. Over Labor Day weekend. With my beta fish. She introduced me to NPR. She worked in the Governor's office and introduced me to movers and shakers. And she introduced me to Darrell--and got him to eat Chocolate Silk Pie.
My last roommate before Darrell was Kira. She taught me to eat felafel. She was always thinking deep thoughts and asking me what I was thinking. It astounded her when I would tell her I couldn't remember or that I was just zoning. She is the consummate teacher and has a huge love for animals. Even rats. Especially Hans und Franz.
And there are way more that I could name. I have been blessed to have so many good girl friends who have taught me so much. And even though I don't always keep in touch like I want to (because I want to!), I really love the friends that I have made thus far in my life.
And last of all, I'm glad for you!