The two ladies pictured above are two of my oldest and dearest friends. (oldest here applies to longevity!) On the left is Annette. We met as freshmen in high school back in 1959 and immediately bonded. We practically lived at each other’s homes; either she would spend the night at my house or I at hers. We played those old 45 rpm records on our record players (some of you bloggers have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure!), giggled, and gossiped our way through high school. We had some great times together. Some of you may remember the panty raid described on an earlier post. (see: http://wrestlingretirement.blogspot.com/2009/08/things-that-go-bump-in-night.html Annette was there that night.
She taught me to eat pizza. My Dad would eat nothing that had melted cheese on it, and I was sure I wouldn’t like it either. One day at lunch time we left the school grounds and went to this little convenience store nearby and bought a pizza. I hated the smell of the cheese—I know, it sounds insane, but I was a real neophyte where Italian food was concerned, never having had it at home! She made me hold my nose and eat it…Damn, her! I’d probably be at least 50 pounds lighter if that “pusher” hadn’t got me hooked on pepperoni pizza!
We graduated from high school together and went our separate ways for a while. I left for college and she married her high school sweetheart and moved a couple of hours away from our hometown to a suburb near the University her husband attended. A couple of years later, we found each other again, and my fiancé (hubs #1) and I would make the 2 hour trip from our college to spend weekends with Annette and her husband. I remember we would cook for the guys: our favorite things to make were fried chicken and fried onion rings. (Am I sensing a trend, here?) We made the onion rings from scratch and the guys would eat them faster than we could cook them! When I graduated from college, we went our separate ways again; I married and moved near the college where my husband needed to finish his senior year (Yeah, I robbed the cradle; he was 2 years younger than I! I was just a Cougar before my time!), and she and her husband moved to another state.
About a dozen years later, we found each other again. This time we were both divorced, and each had 2 kids. I had moved to a larger city than where we grew up; she had moved back to our hometown. One thing led to another, and she decided to move to the city. We shared an apartment for a few weeks, until she got a job and found her own place. We spent a lot of time together, doing things with and without our kids.
Four years later, I remarried; I had a job teaching in a city an hour away, and got tired of the commute, so I moved. Eventually, she remarried and moved in the opposite direction. But we still stay in touch by email and by phone. We’re both grandmothers now. This month means our friendship has lasted 50 years!
The lady on the right is BJ—the initials stand for Barbara Johnson, not Blow Job! I know, that’s what I thought, too. BJ and I met in 1979; we were introduced by a mutual acquaintance. We were both newly divorced, and the mutual acquaintance was a wild, kinda’ loose lady. BJ and I gravitated together because the acquaintance—I’ll call her Lola-- scared the living daylights out of us with her worldly ways. We would gape in awe when she would take us to a night club, pick up some handsome dude, and end up making out with him on the hood of her car. We would tiptoe away, jump into my car or hers and drive away, dumbfounded. Both of us had married young and had lead calm, rather sheltered lives; this wild singles life Lola was leading was way out of our league!
We often hung out together, Annette, BJ, and I. We went to the beach, we went shopping at the mall, and we would flirt with guys, realizing we would never reach Lola’s level of expertise. We dated fellows, compared notes, discussed the good and bad points of our dates, and spent lots of time laughing.
BJ had been married for 20 years; single life was the most foreign to her. She eventually met a wonderful man and fell in love, and panicked every time he pushed for a commitment. Finally he was offered a job in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and asked her to go with him. The prospect of living in a tropical paradise compared to wintering in Maine was very tempting; she finally agreed to go with him. But there was a catch; his company would only pay her moving expenses if she were married to him. Once again, she panicked at the thought of commitment. But this guy was clever; he made her an offer. He told her that his job in St. Croix, was a 2 year contract; why not get married for 2 years, and when his job came to an end, so could their marriage, if she chose. Well, she went for the deal; the pressure of a long-term commitment having been removed. He passed away last spring bringing that “temporary” marriage to an end, after 29 happy years.
We have been close during all that time, laughing together, crying together. I am so grateful to have been blessed with such wonderful, loyal girlfriends!