Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Trip to Becoming My BFF

When it comes to the times in my life where I have made friends that have lasted a lifetime, I'd have to say it was college & the 7 years I spent at Circuit City. Perhaps it was the time in my life where relationships with peers were the most important part of life, molding me for the future, challenging me, keeping me sane in the transitional period into adulthood.

There are many people I am still very blessed to call friends--18 years later. I can't imagine what life would be like without them! We've grown up together, gotten married, gotten divorced, been through births & deaths, jobs & unemployment...

Through those years, there has been one person in particular who has managed to cement her place in my life. Little did we know that when I started working evenings part-time at Circuit City that it would be the makings of a lifelong friendship.

At the time, Betsy (let's call her "AriCaVa'" from this point out) was given the task of showing me the ropes and the inner workings of the Advertising Production Department. It's safe to say I don't remember much about the 'working' aspect. The images that come readily to my memory were 'snack time' every night at 7pm, and then dinner time once we were both working full-time; proofreading; felt tip pens; her engagement; her wedding; crazy co-workers; me dating someone she didn't like; understanding the signs of a 'bad day'... it really goes on & on.

Then AriCaVa & Mr. AriCaVa decided to move to Arizona.

What? Do you KNOW how far that is??? It's not a day trip, for certain! Just HOW do you think we are going to stay friends when you won't even be in the same time zone???

I admit, in the beginning it took a little getting used to. She's not a big phone talker; I'm a big writer. We started with letters and emails, pictures & cards. It wasn't too hard, but not the same as being in the same city.

What about girls' night out? Who was going to see chick flicks with me? Would I have to find a new "go to" person?

At that time in my life, getting the money and time to go see AriCaVa in Phoenix just wasn't an option. I was only able to see her when she was in town visiting family--and let's just admit I usually had to be squeezed in because the trips were so frantic! Hey, not a complaint. I loved the chance to see AriCaVa when I could. It was ok though, because whenever we met up, we just fell into that familiar place in our friendship. And also, by this time we were keeping connected even better! We had moved from regular 'ole letters to actually writing in notebooks. It suited me anyway, because i just write THAT MUCH!

Over the years, there were several BIG events I was lucky enough to have AriCaVa by my side... the couple's shower Cop'er & i were thrown for our wedding, my bachelorette party, my wedding. She wasn't just HERE for my wedding, she was my Matron of Honor. Where some ladies don't make the best MOH, AriCaVa was fantastic! She was so awesome, saying the right thing, doing the right thing, being supportive. Doesn't get better than that!

I have always been so humbled that she would fly all the way back to VA to partake in the activities of my life. I know the cost to both take time off work & purchase multiple plane tickets to the east coast was more than I could ask for. I can't imagine her not having been there though.

Cop'er & I got the chance to meet up with AriCaVa on a trip we took to Las Vegas. No, we didn't meet them in Sin City, but rendezvoused in beautiful Sedona. Cop'er & I made that side trip more for me to meet up with my best friend than to see Sedona, but it turned out that I loved all aspects of that journey and was glad to have seen it with her. (If you haven't been to Sedona, I highly suggest making time to go!)

Eventually the 'shine' of Arizona wore off, AriCaVa packed it all up again & found a new residence in... California??? When you hear the words "We're thinking about moving," you HOPE the next sentence is "We've decided to move back to Virginia."

But not... further west???? (& was she going to move all my notebooks with her?).
Personally, I thought it was time for her to move back to her FRIENDS and family.

Ok, fine... move further away if you must. (Secretly hoping they don't fall in love with the far west coast)... Sure, I guess i can still do the long-distance friendship thing.

They settled in Monterey, a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean. While sounding as picturesque as it looked, it seems the weather left a little something to be desired. I believe AriCaVa referred to it as permanently foggy, cool & missing the 4 seasons of the East Coast.
Darn. Sorry to hear that. That really sucks.

It was here in Monterey that our friendship took on a new facet. AriCaVa brought Jeffrey (we'll call him 'Jelly') in the world--even if it was into the Californian world! She was a mommy!

uh... i don't know how to act around Mommies. How would that change our friendship? I have no idea what we will have in common--i don't do diapers!

Jelly was born in December and i was able to make my way to California before he turned a year old; 2 months later, in fact. What an incredible time! It was so wonderful to see AriCaVa with her firstborn, learning the ropes; me, being able to practice and patent the famous "butt pat" with Jelly.

AriCaVa is the kind of friend & mommy who doesn't make every conversation about 'what baby does'. (Have I mentioned I love that about her?) We still talked about the same things, laughed over nothing & compared how nutty our husbands were. She never made me feel like I was 'less than' or 'didn't understand' because I wasn't a mother. You really can't ask for more than that...

Wait... I lied. You can. How's about moving back to Old Virginny???

Fast forward to my next birthday ----> I received a card/package from AriCaVa, as I usually do. What was in the package was the best part! She'd sent a notebook she'd finished writing in. It was small, so i could read it in one sitting. When I got to the end, she said she knew where they were moving next. (Yes, i knew they were thinking about moving again. They just weren't digging the West Coast with all it's expensive lifestyle, crazy weather & no BFFs).

You're right. I don't know if she really SAID that, but it was definitely implied!

Anyway, I thought to myself --- YES! Finally she is going to say she's moving back to the East Coast, somewhere like Charlotte or Charleston or New York or Philly. YEAH! Those are all easy plane rides away or a day trip driving. This was going to be awesome!

Except... she didn't mention any of those cities. I reread it again. Did she...? Really? There?

Hell yeah!!! HappyHappyJoyJoy! What AriCaVa did say could be some of the sweetest words a BFF can hear: "We are moving back to Virginia." (By this time, it had been about 10 years since they picked up their life in VA). I don't know that I have ever had a better birthday surprise... Well, except that year my parents changed the spelling of my name, but that's another story.

It seemed like forever and then it seemed as quick as the blink of an eye, but finally they were on the East Coast. Though they didn't move into my neighborhood like I campaigned, I'm just fine with a drive across the river. I have never been a fan of "South Side", but I do love getting together for girls' day, dinners, lazy get-togethers, holidays, celebrations and should either of us have one, emergencies...

Here's hoping I don't hear "We're talking about moving again" anytime soon!

* There is one side note I'd like to add: When 'unloading' their belongings from the cross-country move, they found themselves with a little something extra. AriCaVa, Mr. AriCaVa and Jelly added a special shade of pink to their new home: Katie (We'll call her "Otoño Poco"). Now their family is complete.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I don't know what to say. This might be your BEST blog entry ever!