I've known you since we were awkward and learning...permed, frizzy hair (the both of us) and still getting used to how to move our longer limbs and bigger feet. We started as mere acquaintances then, but over the next TWENTY-THREE YEARS, we evolved into best friends, safety nets, roommates, support systems, cheerleaders, wives, mamas, and the kind of women girls who know who the other is from home.
We've definitely had our drama-mama moments, but we've always been kind to each other, remembering ourselves and forgiving easily. From my end, there has never been a grudge or a bitter thought. I think, mostly, it's because I see so much of myself in you, so it's a little like giving myself a break.
You forget all the bad and remember all the good.
Nothing phases you. Going to prom as a baby before all the rest of us didn't phase you, calculus never phased you, embarking on the big, huge, man-eating university didn't phase you, living on our own didn't phase you, and birthing babies didn't phase you. You said: bring it on, and Stacey? Just watch what I do...I'll show you how, and you'll be just fine.
You've been loyal and steadfast and funny and willing to do anything - or nothing at all - and you've always managed to remember me and make me feel like I really do matter. I think you might actually think I do.
You were always game for playing around and acting silly everywhere we went: we've worn do-rags (how do you spell that, for cryin' out loud?!), we've giggled at ridiculous stuff 'til I nearly wet my pants, we've annoyed everyone in a twelve-mile radius, and we've done homework together. I'll never forget sitting at the card table in your converted garage and doing math homework. We had two snacks: you taught me you've always gotta have a salty and a sweet. (which is why all weight gain is directly your fault) And the T.V. was on...you said you simply couldn't do any kind of homework without the T.V. playing in the background.
What else did you teach me about the T.V.? That if you're going to take a nap with it on, go ahead and turn it up loud, because if it's down low, you'll be so concentrated and focused on trying to hear it, you'll never go to sleep; your brain will be too busy.
You taught me that it's okay to act a fool. You taught me the theme song to Friends when it first came out. You taught me how to get cookie dough off the back of my truck in the middle of the night with a garden hose. You taught me how to talk, laugh, and play the flute, all at the same time - and sometimes while marching. (Yes...I just went there...BAND.)
There was that one time when we were riding down Market Street in your teensy, tiny, biscuit-colored toy truck, and we somehow managed to stuff two more people and 45 balloons in with us. And one balloon was the size of a small person. It got so crowded that we ended up opening the windows and letting the balloons out one-by-one...oh, to be following us around town.
I probably would have wanted to shoot our tires out from under us.
And then there was that one time when we drew that huge mural in chalk behind the movie theatre. HEATHENS, I tell you. HEATHENS.
Please, no one arrest us.
I won't even list all of the fun and rowdiness we had in college, because hey...important and impressive people read this, and I think we might BOTH be disowned.
The sight of you on that old couch eating olives directly out of the bottle will forever cause me to cringe...and then grin.
Remember when you called me on my cell phone from the next room to bring you Gatorade when you were sick and too dehydrated to get up? I drove to the gas station and bought you a slew of it...with no make-up, no hair, and pajama clothes on. That's love, my friend...that is love. 'Cause this sister doesn't go anywhere without some level of Primp.
It's better for humanity.
We've done all the mundane, rote, and ceremonious steps together, and I couldn't have picked a better companion. Please keep giggling and grinning at everything and absolutely nothing at all. Please keep talking to me with your words and your funny noises [bird], and please keep coming to see me and inviting me over and texting and picture mailing, because if you don't, I'm going to take that big, brown-eyed picture of you shoveling cheese dip into your mouth at my mama's house, and I'm going to put it on milk cartons everywhere.
The Girl That Will Never Forget Earnest P.