Thursday, October 2, 2008

Friends forever.

My mom and her friend from high school, Gail, are still hanging out at the resort where my sister's wedding was. They'll be there all week indulging in the hot springs, taking in the glorious mountain views, going for walks and reminiscing about old times. If I'm lucky, they won't get themselves into too much trouble.

They called the other night to tell me to watch the news. "Turn on the TV right now," my mom said as soon as Bill picked up the phone. "It looks like there are some doubts about Sarah Palin. They might drop her from the ticket! It's Gail what channel is this? CNN? CNN. Turn it on and tell Mag to watch, too. You guys have to see this. Mmm, buh-bye."

Bill never said anything except for, "Hello?" He pulled the receiver away from his face and looked at it, more than a little confused.

"What'd my mom have to say?" I asked, not looking up from my book. "Anything important?"

"Uhhh...evidently there are some doubts about Sarah Palin?"

"Well, duh. Anything else?"

"Nooo...I think that's it."

A few minutes later the phone rang and Bill tossed it to me without so much as a glance at caller ID. "Hello? Mom? Hellooo?" I looked over at Bill and shrugged. "I don't think she knows she called me."

"Maybe she's holding the phone up to the TV?"

I hung up and two minutes later the phone rang again. This time she was there. "Did you see that?"

"Hey, Mom. Hi. No, we're watching Blue's Clues. Was it anything important?"

"Yeah. It looks like... What's that Gail? No... Yeah. Oh, um, OK. Did I tell you what we did last night?"

"No. What'd you do?"

"We found a blue magic marker and then went all over town looking for MCCAIN/PALIN signs so we could color in the L in PALIN and make the signs say "MCCAIN/PA IN."

"Mom!" I gasped. "That's vandalism!"

"I know. Gail was so nervous. We're going out again as soon as it gets dark."

My mom and her friends are like Grandmas Gone Wild. They've known each other for so long and yet they're still right there as if they haven't missed a beat. I love it. It reminds me of me and my friends. Or at least how we'll be in another 30 years.

When I was in Reno, I got the chance to visit with two girls I've known since 4th grade. That means we've been friends for more than 20 years. 20 years?!? I'm hoping my math is as bad as I think it is because there is no way I'm old enough to say things like that. Keep it up and pretty soon I'll be telling Liam how we did things when I was a kid and asking him if he knows that money doesn't grow on trees.

My friend Summer and I met for lunch on my way home from my sister's bachelorette party. I was unwashed, hungover and right in the middle of my walk of shame when she called. Typically I would ignore a call in that state but when I saw that it was her, I felt like she must have read my mind. "Hiiii," I croaked into the phone. "I need a cheeseburger."

We met up at In and Out and talked for hours over burgers and fries and fountain Cokes. It's always therapeutic for me to talk to Summer. We're similar enough to get each other completely but not so similar that we can't guide and teach one another when needed. We've always been close so there's no room for pretense. Sure, I could go out of my way to make something sound better or worse than it really is but she knows the truth. She was probably there when it happened.

Once, when we were in Girl Scouts, we got into a fight in the back of our Girl Scout leader's van. Not like a typical girl-fight where nothing really happens but you stop talking to each other and force those around you to choose sides. No. Like a real fight with hitting and kicking and pulling hair. I have no idea how it happened or how it stopped happening. All I remember is kicking her hard and being kicked back. I don't recall making up or talking about it afterward either. I mean, we talked about it way later of course, like Remember that time we totally got in a fight? That was weird... but not right away. I guess it was kind of like now. Whether things change between us or not, we always fall right back into step as if we haven't missed a beat.

I cherish this girl. She will be the one I get arrested with for defacing property with magic markers or toilet paper 30 years from now.

My friend Katie and I have a much different relationship than Summer and I do. I have also known her since 4th grade but we have never really hung out together. We didn't have the same teachers in elementary school or the same friends in high school, we never played on the same softball team or participated in the same activities, we never called each other on the phone just to talk. Yet, we've always been a part of each others lives.

I've looked up to Katie ever since we met. As far back as I can remember, she has seemed to know who she is and what she wants. When I was in that perpetual state of embarrassment known as my "awkward stage" (which lasted, like, 10 years), she was cool and confident and herself. To this day I'm still in awe of her.

In sixth grade, I went to her house after school one day (I think her younger sister and I played on the same softball team and were carpooling to practice or something) and was shocked to find the huge I LOVE YOU chocolate she had been given by a boy sitting out on the kitchen counter in plain view where everyone could see it. I saw it and started silently hyperventilating and thinking to myself, "Oh my GOD! The rumors are true. Katie got a chocolate I LOVE YOU from a BOY! And here it is. In her kitchen."

If I had been given something like that (which, by the way, was completely impossible: I was way too shy to talk to boys), I would have hid it in my closet or under my mattress or outside somewhere where no one (especially not my parents!) would ever know it existed. And here she was, flipping on Small Wonder and handing me a chunk of the U like, "Do you want some chocolate?"

In high school when most people were trying on different roles to see what fit and what didn't, Katie had already grown completely accustomed to being herself. She was friendly and sincere and smart and athletic. She had boyfriends and friends who were boys. Once she called the house where I was babysitting (she must have asked my parents for the phone number - who does that?!) to ask if she could give her friend who was a boy my phone number so he could ask me to a dance. I was freaking out thinking, "Don't you like him? What am I supposed to say if he calls?", as she waited patiently and asked, "Do you think you'll say yes?"

Now that I'm 30 I feel like I have finally caught up to her level of maturity. And without classes or cliques or teams to classify us as this way or that I've realized that we're very much the same. We share similar roles - women, wives, mothers, daughters, big sisters - and seem to have a kindred approach to tackling them.

The proof is in our sons.

Liam and Jarrett are just 2 months apart and could easily be best friends forever. Their similarities are staggering. They both talk in full, complete sentences, remember everything that happens, approach situations with thoughtfulness and compassion, and say please, thank you and you're welcome without being reminded. It is beautiful to see them together.

Katie has a great laugh; completely genuine and straight from her gut every time. When she told me several months back that this blog makes her laugh, I couldn't help but cry a little bit. Getting a compliment from a friend who you know would tell you the truth even if it wasn't good is a rare and precious gift.

Both of these girls have given me the kind of support that cannot be matched. Their encouragement makes me open up the laptop and write something, anything!, even when I am totally uninspired or want to sleep in just a little bit longer or don't want to do it at all. You can thank them anytime I post something random that makes you scratch your head and think, "Is she drunk?" I swear, if I did not have such supportive, encouraging friends, I would not bother writing at all on those days! It may not be so good for you, the reader, but I, the writer, am grateful beyond words.


Katie said...

Oh my gosh, I am famous. I made it to Maggie's blog! Maggie I feel the same way about you!!! I was thinking how we did not hang out much in high school, but have always been in eachothers lives too! You are so beautiful (inside and out) and stylish, and your body looks AMAZING! You inspire me to get off the friggin couch! I love the story about yo momma! Your dad would just roll his eyes.

LClaire said...

yeah for girl friends! Life wouldn't be the same without them!

Crazy Mama said...

Seriously, keep writing because you always make me laugh (and cry)!! That may be a little selfish, but keep writing anyway!!

Halie said...

For the record- you were cool in high school...and kind, and hilarious!!! That's why I am a "no mommy brain" devotee.

sunny @ said...

I have my blue marker in hand. Only 2 hours til dark. Wanna hit east nashville?

Maggie said...

yeah, sunny, like we could find a mccain sign in east nashville... ;)