Yes, I am a lucky person. I am one of nine Soeurs (please see Glossary to the right of this entry). Also see: http://40andoverblog.com/?p=3897; http://40andoverblog.com/?p=942; http://40andoverblog.com/?p=2418.
We have been friends (or connected through friends) since 1981, our college freshman year.
Many years, many tears, many happy times, and oh-so-many epic journeys.
The stories have been told and retold among us that they are canon. If someone misses a key detail, a Soeur who was not even there at the original event will chime in a correction. Yep, we all remember that we were all there (wherever “there” was) — all nine of us. We were all in the coat closet when, just after college, Mi Casa Es Su was scamming with he-who-shall-not-be-named?
Oh, absolutely. We could pass lie detector tests.
Sidebar: Mi Casa Es Su also had a tag line in college, “so many men, so little time.” Just sayin’.
Our memories are that collective. CTFOB had pneumonia (nearly so) but had to go to a frat party to see a guy she liked. We told her to rest, but she insisted: “I’d have them wheel me into that place in an iron lung!”
I remember being turned back from the Canadian border on a ride to get Bradoors. NYCFOB, Mighty and two Soeurs who don’t yet have sub-category names [Sidebar: JT and HH, YOU HAVE TO COMMENT, GIRLS and then you can choose your “handle”] were REALLY on the expedition. But twenty-odd years later when we were re-uning in New York during the Winter Olympics, we all stood up in the hotel room and sang the Canadian national anthem, just as we (or they) did all those years ago for the border guards.
Mighty has these long tapered fingers and long nails. When she pointed her index finger at you in an up-and-down motion, you had to spill your guts to the group because she detected you were hiding serious good gossip. She used to have to say, “if you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler,” but after a while, just the finger motion was enough.
Didn’t we all fall asleep in the snow outside ΑΔ fraternity only to be saved by mystery man? [Oh, hiiiiiiii, JT and NYCFOB.]
And which of us had crushes on Boring Tall Man and Tall Boring Man (different people)? I remember!!! JKGB (another Soeur who needs a subcategory name) had a crush on Tall Boring Man who was a grad student who hung out at the undergraduate library. She wore electric plaid pants (on a diagonal) in a sytlistic send-up to the uber-prep.
And then there was Tie Man who used to get drunk and ask people to talk into his tie. He had a thing for CTFOB.
JT was perpetually on the latest fad diet and I joined her on one and fainted a few times. (NYCFOB has my fat pictures, and if anything should happen to her, those pictures will go to Woodward and Bernstein). JT also had a thing for ΒΘΠ frat jocks. They wore boxers that were longer than their outer shorts. They also had a rare disease, U-trou-creep-up-ium, coined by NYCFOB and CTFOB.
CAFOB, who is rock solid and an old soul, did have that period during which she went from computer star to capturing essence of North Star. We are grateful that she found balance in between. And she has been our counselor and sage all these years.
HH, did you really, really think you would avoid mention? HH is a Soeur who has opened her home and heart to those of us who have had a long journey to adulthood. Gentle HH, a Soeur who judged, if at all, out of earshot. And whose husband diagnosed the Chuppah problems at the wedding. The challenges, losses and happiness of her life made this gentle spirit more gentle and more accepting. And forgiving of me and accepting the true friendship that I can offer all these years later.
So here we are: CAFOB, CTFOB, NYCFOB, Mighty, Mi Casa Es Su, JKGB, HH, JT and Blogger. For 31 years.
At the wedding, we had to have a picture, just us. No one else, so no need to worry about someone being in the photo-croppable position should a relationship not work out. We are bound by love, by time, by a secret handshake and by crazy stories.
Sidebar: I mean STORIES, like driving on a dark road when a dog that bit a deer, staying at the Norman Bates Motel and the rodeo hotel (because the neighbors next door), the time JT had a terrible “flu” or so we told her younger sister who was visiting when she asked why I was holding a trash can near JT’s head and propping her forward or my “fat” pictures which the Soeurs will admit to only under oath (or if NYCFOB goes missing).
When I thanked Mi Casa Es Su for schlepping across the country after chaperoning her child’s class trip to Yosemite until Friday, only to turn around and pack and fly to New York on Saturday, she said, “I wouldn’t miss this, are you kidding?”
These are the ties that bind. The people who can show up on your doorstep any time. No questions. The people who need to be there in the good times and the bad times. The people who descended on my home the week after MOB died and soothed me just by their presence in my living room. Peeps.
I love you. And you danced at my wedding until your feet were bloody stumps (ok, gross, but a phrase of ours). Looking at all of you dancing at the wedding, well, I was walking on sunshine. Remember, Katrina and the Waves? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKh0dLIuIu8
Sidebar: POB made sure the band played this for us because I have told her about Mighty’s happy keds many times.
We are nine. We are an amoeba. We are separate yet we are one. Discuss.