“I’m so cool, I gotta wear shades”
That 80’s tune from the one hit wonder Timbuk 3 ran through my mind as I listened to the other homeschool moms chat. It was a new group and I only knew one other mom, the one who’d invited me. She’s the gossipy gal I wrote about in my last blog. Back then, I hadn’t yet discovered her passion for broadcasting everyone’s business about town. I was just another link in the chain of tittle-tattle that she expertly wove.
While the children played, the mom’s discussed curriculum and classes. All, but one. She sat there, silent. She wore shades. In the house.
In case you haven’t noticed, besides shooting my big mouth off without thinking, I also tend to be judgmental. Hey! I’m not proud of it, but it’s true! I told you, I am nothing if not truthful.
She was well dressed. She was thin. She had nice hair. She wore shades and refused to talk to us. I disliked her. Snort. I knew her kind and my kind do not mix. Snicker.
I left that meeting and didn’t give her another thought. After all, why would I? I’d formed my impression and that…was…that.
A few months later, I volunteered to run the tie-dye t-shirt booth at my church’s VBS. They assigned someone to work with me and guess who it was?
Imagine my surprise when she turned out to be hysterical! I mean down right, side aching funny. She was beautiful, intelligent, and a riot to boot. That cool babe was still wearing shades, only this time we were outside. It didn’t occur to me ask her why’d she’d worn sunglasses to that meeting. Maybe she’s in the witness protection program? Who knew. But what I discovered that day made me want to know more.
Time passed, our friendship blossomed and then it happened…I found out the truth. The awful, heart breaking truth. I can barely write it down.
I think I need a moment…
She had been a cheerleader.
A CHEERLEADER! Somewhere in my fat little heart I’d known.
Could our friendship survive? Was I woman enough to let go of my prideful, judgmental opinions? Would Starbucks bring back their Eggnog Latte? The questions tumbled across my wee brain.
The Giver just laughed at me as I teased her (rather unmercifully) about being a cheerleader. She’s like that. She also happens to be one of the most giving people I know. There isn’t an event she won’t help out with, even if she is sick. That’s why she sometimes wears sunglasses in the house. It’s not that she’s so cool (although, she honestly is) it’s because she suffers from debilitating migraines.
She has an incredible eye for color and style. Her creations leave me astounded and I wonder, again, why she’d want to be this idiot girl’s friend. I’ve never seen anyone who can shop like she can; spending less and getting more. A harder worker would be hard to find as would a better friend. She’s so nice that sometimes I wish she’d be meaner. Maybe that’s why God brought us together, I’m snake spit mean and she’s, well, she’s a sweetheart. Maybe He’s trying to tell me something?
Over the years we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve drunk drinks with salt around the rim and scared the poor Stalker into thinking we were taking her out for a beer. Poor dear Stalker. The Giver and I have basked in the sun on two coastlines, okay on one coast line, it’s flippin’ cold and windy on the Oregon coast 98% of the time.
Mary is the homeschooling mommy of two, the wife of the travelin’ man, and the best friend a fat, opinionated, idiot girl like me could have. She’s a giver, not a taker, and she’s soon to be a world traveler.
So, here’s to you Mar! You pizza bread makin’, card stampin, beautiful, beautiful shade wearin’ girl.
The warm coastline of Hawaii. Note the shades on her head :)
Mary, you rock!