Saturday, March 5, 2011

Opposites Attract

No one on this Earth is meant to live this life alone. We are all built with missing pieces that other people posess so that we can link together and become parts of the whole. This theory is not new. We have heard it in bad Paula Abdul songs from the '90's and the whole Men are from Mars series.

I am not going to talk about the Hubs and I. (Later, I promise, but not tonight.)

I am going to talk about my two friends. (Yes, only two, I am a little socially awkard, I smell funny, have a weird laugh and a tendency to talk too much.)

I met J in high school and while we were aquaintances then (I kept everyone from high school at arms length, I didn't really want them to know about the stuff that I was dealing with at home, and again, there is that whole smelling funny thing) when we met again my first week of college we became thick as thieves. We built our friendship around cheap gas prices, an Escort that could drive anywhere, Dr. Pepper and bi-weekly trips to the Plasma Center to make some quick cash. She convinced her sister-in-law to give me a job working in the Counseling Department at the college and introduced me to the show Friends.

J is a tomboy from Mississippi, with a Southern accent so thick that you feel like you could curl up in it and take a nap. She prefers beer, country music, fishing and talking about cars. Her entire family adopted me from the moment that I met them, Z calls her mother "Mamaw" and I refer to her son as my Godson. I caught the bouquet at her wedding and was there the day her boy was born.

She is beautiful (even down to the glistening silver threads that I notice every now and then around her temples) and was always able to talk her way out of a ticket. She is compulsive and spontaneous, adventurous and headstrong. She does not care what people say or do, she lives life with a passion that few exhibit. She has a gigantic, giving heart for everyone (including people she does not know). She loved my dad until the end, even when others had nothing good or worthwhile to say about him.

Our lives are intertwined almost as far back as I can remember. She has defended me in hopeless situations, encouraged me in moments of doubt, and pushed me to do things that I never would have done (take a job as a Karaoke DJ?, go fishing at 2 AM?). If I had a superhero, J would probably be my girl.

No matter if it has been a day, a week, a month or a year since we spoke, if the two of us find time to get together, we are completing each other's sentences and nodding in agreement as if there has been no time lost. No one can beat us if we team up for a board game, which may be why our husbands won't let us do that anymore.
S is younger than both us, but I have always known that she was an old soul.

At 21 and she 16, we were an odd pair. I was the youngest employee at her grandma's job before she took on a part-time position doing filing in the office. When we first started having lunch together, there was much grumbling amongst the co-workers about why a 21 year old would want to hang out with a 16 year old, especially from her "Granny". Our friendship flourished as we swapped shocking stories and compared parental disasters.

S is also stunningly beautiful. Her eyebrows are so strikingly perfect that I study them. She knows how to use them too; making precise facial responses to everything that a person says or does. It's hypnotizing to watch her reactions to things and I catch myself staring at her.

S adores most things girly. She loves to try out new beauty products, bring over hair dye for us to both get updates to our looks, painting toe nails and research ways for us to give ourselves layers without having to pay someone to do them for us. Without her, I am certain, that I would perpetually look like a truck had recently run me over.

Her family is different from J's in most ways possible. While her "Granny" has finally accepted me (and actually complimented me!) and her mother (unofficially) adopted me, to most of them I am just another character in S's cast of friends. Her boy calls me his "Step-Momma" and I call him my Godson as well.

S is vicacious, caring, strong and determined. She does not accept bullshit from anyone and does not back down in an argument. She is strong-willed and level headed. In times of illness or depression, she shows up at my door with gossip magazines, toenail polish, treats and a card. She loves me for who I am, showered or not, hair combed or not, she is willing to get down into my mess and help me dig my way back out of it. She makes me feel important and pretty, even in my darkest times. During a particularly bad day in my marriage, she arrived at my house at 7:30 in the morning armed with garbage bags, a baseball bat and a shovel (we are still not sure what her plans were, but her intentions were in the right place).

If we were missing one piece, we wouldn't be complete.

We have a standing date on Saturday nights. Some weeks, it feels like Saturday will never come, but when it does, it is always greatness. Every Saturday night, we are able to dump out all of our collective baggage from the week, bounce ideas off of each other, laugh and play with our kids (building forts, making homemade play doh, baking cookies and helping the kids decorate them), joke about the lack of parenting skills that we posess, play Scrabble. When it is over, I feel refreshed, renewed, able to dust off the frustrations of the past week and focus on what I have in store in the coming week or month.

These women complete me. They helped make me the person that I am today. They have helped shape and forge the mother that I am now and the mother that I will become someday. Where they are strong, I am weak and vice versa. They round out my world to make it not as warped in my own silliness. They strengthen my arguments, inspire me to do more and encourage me to come out of my shell.

I hope that I give them the tools that they need to conquer the world as well.

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