Bonesy's Blahg

Insomnia and the Besties

In case I’ve never mentioned it, I’m kind of an insomniac.  And by “kind of,” what I really mean is “am.”  And by “am,” what I really mean is “HOLY CRAP, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT IS FOR ME TO SLEEP WITHOUT THE AID OF DRUGS!”   When you take that… and couple it with my borderline obsessiveness & the fact that I recently gave 80% of my sleep meds to Kid2 for HER insomnia & now I’m out (Oh, the sacrifices we make!), you get nights like tonight.  Nights where no matter how many hours you’ve been up, no matter how comfy & warm that bed is, no matter how sweet it feels to wrap yourself up in the arms of the man you love, no matter how long you listen to the “rain” or “ocean” or “thunder” or “waterfall” (which, seriously, just sounds like static!) on the white noise machine…Sleep just won’t find you.  And by you, I mean me.

ANYWAY, what I’m trying to say is that as I was laying there trying to sleep, I got to thinking about the Besties.  (Which is really a ridiculous term that I never use in my real life.. but kind of works here.)  … The girl you gave the “Best” half of the “Best Friends” heart necklace to.  (Okay, I never actually HAD one of these necklaces, mostly because I don’t own or wear jewelry… but I love the symbolism of it.)  ANYWAY…Most people tend to grow up in the same neighborhood they were born into.  They go to neighborhood schools with neighborhood kids & keep the same neighborhood friends throughout.  I wasn’t that kid.  My family moved seemingly each year, making me always the weird new kid.  I was the shy outcast, never able to fit in before we’d move on again in our White Trash Nomad lifestyle.  At the time, I hated every second of it.  But now, I can see that there were so many good things that came out of that time.  While most people have had one “best” friend…I’ve been gifted with several.  They all pulled me out of my little introverted protective shell & crafted me into the person I am today.  (So if you decide you don’t like me, Internet Masses, now you know who to blame!!)

So, let me introduce you:

M – Ground zero.  This person is the basis for all of the relationships I’ve had through the years, the first person I ever really considered a friend.  She was the first person who didn’t ask why I looked like a boy or wore the same Fonzie t-shirt nearly every day.  (Hey, cut me some slack here.. I was like 8 years old & The Fonz was THE MAN!  Also, it said “AAAAAYYYYY” on the back.   If I could find this shirt again somewhere, I would STILL wear it!)  M didn’t care that I couldn’t skate worth a damn…she waived the tryout & let me be in her rollerskating club anyway.  AND, when a certain other member complained that I couldn’t skate… M stood up for me, all fierce & determined.  No one had ever done that before.   We spent so many hours sitting in her bedroom laughing & making fun of people (which to this day is still one of my very favorite things to do!)…. or roaming Mellett Mall, where we could spend an entire day on just $5.  With her, I bought my first 45s  at Camelot Music (for those of you younger than 35… those were really little vinyl records that had one song per side!)… The theme song from “Greatest American Hero” and “Jack & Diane” by John Cougar (in his pre-Mellencamp days!).  If we had a soundtrack… it would be Jack & Diane, played over & over again on a little plastic record player in M’s bedroom.  Not because the song had anything to do with us… Nope, just because I remember hanging out on the playground at Cedar School in the summer with M the very first time I heard that song.

Also, for a kid like me, her house became home.  Her family were the Cleavers to my Mansons.  Which, okay, is a bit of a stretch.  Nobody in my family ever actually killed anybody.  Also, I was kind of the violent one.  And by “kind of,” I mean “was.”  But my house was chaos!  My house was emotional distance and alcohol and resentment.   Truth be told, M’s house was also kind of chaotic since they also had 5 kids… but hers was also filled with love and kindness, two things that I didn’t find much of at mine.  I got more attention from her mom than I ever did from my own.  Mine would tell me to “Go outside and play!” which meant “Go outside & don’t come home till the streetlights come on!”  M’s mom would ask me to stay an extra day or two, if I wanted.   There were even times when she asked ME what “we” should have for dinner!

And then we moved.  Like all girls, we swore we’d be best friends forever.  And, like all pre-teen girls who move away, I also moved on.  It wasn’t intentional.  We still talked, still were friends… But I needed to escape my chaos, needed a new set of Cleavers.  And I found…

K – Who was DEFINITELY NOT a Cleaver!  The first time I met that girl, I swore that we would NEVER be friends.  Our moms had met while we were moving in & introduced us.   She’ll tell you her hair was wet … but I thought it was greasy.  That was enough for me.  She just thought I was weird because I had this spinner toy that I wouldn’t put down the whole time they were in our kitchen (I think she was just jealous I wouldn’t let her play with it.  That thing was AWESOME!).  But somehow (and I have no memory whatsoever of how this happened)… we became inseparable.  (Except for the one week per year when she would get mad at me.  It would last exactly one week & I’m not sure there ever was a reason for it.  So, if you’re reading this, I’d still like an explanation please!)   She was wild & beautiful & free-spirited & had no bellybutton… and somehow able to talk me into nearly anything.  I won’t go into too many details (Hey, I know for a fact that Kid2 & Kid4 read this blahg!)… But I will say that a gigantic chunk of my best days were spent with her.   Our neighborhood softball and football games were epic and brutal…. We built tents in the yard and terrorized the neighborhood…got banned from Montgomery Ward together (which I probably still owe her mom an apology for!)…walked from one end of town to the other… and NEVER, EVER stopped talking.  We were the original Mean Girls.  And we laughed…long and loud and incessantly!  To this day, no one makes me laugh the way that she does.

But K was also there for me as my mother began her descent into alcoholism.. and then finally abandoned us.  K didn’t question me as I called all the area hospitals, thinking that surely my mom had been in an accident & COULDN’T come home.  Instead, she snuck food out of her own house so that my family would have dinner.   She let me “borrow” her new school clothes so that it would look like I had some, too.  And she never told a soul.

Her family was raucous & wild, but just incredibly FUN… And they welcomed me with open arms (Okay, with one exception – the step-dad.  But he didn’t like much of anybody back then!)  And when K & I were together, it kind of sucked all of the air out of the room.  We’re like that moment right before the tornado when all gets quiet & then you suddenly see weird shit like cows flying past.  No, I’m NOT saying we’re cows!  I’m saying we’re the TORNADO!  Keep up with me here, kids.

Our soundtrack would be Prince’s Purple Rain and Van Halen’s 1984, played on cassettes on a gigantic boombox outside in the summertime…. with the soundtracks to both FlashDance & Footloose laying nearby.

My parents divorced & we moved away.

G – By this time, I had kind of withdrawn again.  I was having a hard time adjusting to my new home situation, back in the city after my idyllic suburban life had ended.  I became “quiet writer chick”… keeping to myself and not putting forth much of an effort in anything.  And that’s where G comes in.  I met her once before our sophomore year.  I was dating a friend of her sister’s & we were introduced in passing.  I don’t think either of us gave a thought to it, to be honest…  And then we shared a table in Mr. Tyler’s Bookkeeping class.  She sat down beside me & the rest is history.   To this day, I think that poor man is sitting somewhere, shaking his head at the two of us.  I was Queen of the Slackers, skipping two days out of five.  G was friendly & outgoing & TALKATIVE.  While that made a good combination for the two of us (me especially), it was bad news for poor Mr. Tyler.   We never shared another class after that one.  I still think the administrators put their little heads together & conspired against us!  But we did manage to finagle our way into sharing a locker… and a series of notebooks (instead of passing notes in the hall).  I’m not sure what we filled all those pages with, but I would LOVE to go back and read them now!  Oh, the teen angst & drama in those pages!

If left to my own devices, I would have either stayed in my bedroom or found trouble.  Instead, G’s friends became mine.  Her social life became mine.  She introduced me to her church friends & her school friends.  I was like a marching band groupie…hanging out with the band while not being IN the band.  We went to Noble Roman’s Pizza after football games, movies, the mall, etc.  It was the simple, innocent fun of good kids in simple times. I still had a separate, smaller group that I hung out with as well.  Kind of a “bad girls” club that balanced out the “good” band kids.  But G didn’t care…she just kept asking me to hang with them.  No judgment, no third degree.  She just accepted me, broken as I was.

And her home life was amazing!  They were nice and normal and loving and peaceful…all the things that my family was not.  And I spent an awful lot of time there, soaking it in like a dried-out ChoreBoy sponge.

Our soundtrack would be a hodgepodge of  LL Cool J (hey, she LOVED HIM!), Richard Marx, Peter Cetera, & The Pretenders.  Only she would talk her way through The Pretenders, because she never liked them anyway.  (Had I known this BEFORE Mr. Tyler’s class, this whole section of my story would have been avoided.)  The songs would be recorded onto cassettes from the radio, played back on clock radios in the bedroom as I talked to her on my peach ConAir phone all night long.

T – I met T in much the same way & nearly the same time I did G.  Same school, different class (Marriage & Family Living, which I took not because I wanted to be married or have a family…Nope, I needed credits, & the easier the better) Again, I thought there was no way we would ever be friends.  (sensing a trend here?)  While I was bitter and cynical (yeah, I haven’t actually grown much emotionally), she was open and honest.  I was an atheist, she was a devout Catholic.  She was conservative, good-hearted, & old-fashioned… Truly unlike anyone I had ever met, especially at that age.  We were damn near polar opposites…and we just clicked.  She was a grade ahead of me, plus graduated early for her class.  But somehow we managed to talk every day & still hang out on the weekends.  After I graduated (barely), we spent nearly every minute together.  T eventually got me a job as a Popcorn Bitch at the movie theater where she worked (I was working for a COMPETITOR). .. & we spent one of the best summers of my life.  Working all day, cruising Tusc all night in her Ford Tempo.  (Joke all you want, it was a HUGE step up from the giant gray bomber with the leaky windshield that she drove before that!  We had to sit on garbage bags in that car at times!!) She patiently taught me to drive a stick shift, never once bitching as I ground the gears…Though she did swear me to secrecy so her parents wouldn’t find out I was driving her car.  (Hey, it’s 20 years later… I think it’s okay if they know now!  I’m sure they suspected anyway!!)

Our soundtrack would be Rush’s Moving Pictures (even though it was “old” by late-80s standards, that was THE SHIT!)… and WhiteSnake… With a little bit of The Pretenders thrown in, just because she loved me 🙂   It would be playing whether we were cruising or parked somewhere drinking Pepsi or wine coolers (Okay, the coolers were mostly me… I honestly don’t think the girl ever took more than a sip before giving hers to me to finish).

While her home life was just a hair shy of perfect (at least to my jaded eyes)… there were no sleepovers at T’s house.   Which is probably a good thing…all the statues kind of gave me the creeps.  Instead, we stayed out all night, cruising, hunting for ridiculous things to add to our lists of “Goals for Life,” hanging out in parking lots, & talking, talking, talking.  She patiently waited while I floundered about, trying to figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my life…  Patiently waited while I chatted up one boy or another…. And patiently sat by while I fell hard for one after signing up for the Navy.  She never complained, never tried to talk me out of joining, out of leaving.  Instead, she supported everything I ever tried.  And she was standing next to me as I married that boy I fell so hard for.

These girls are all women now, in various states of marriage/divorce/single/parent/grandparenthood.   They’ve rotated in and out of my life at times, through both choice and circumstance.  But the important part is that they all filled such an important, empty part of me at one time or another.  And I’m happy to say that they’re all back in my life.  I intend to keep them this time.  They’re the “Bests” of my fictional “Best Friends”  necklaces.

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March 13, 2010 - Posted by | Friends

3 Comments »

  1. This was a really cool post! Just so you know some of my best memories were ones shared with you!! I can’t even see pita bread without singing our Grace & Bob song to this day! It’s been my privilege to have such a GREAT friend!! & I have always considered you as one of my very BEST friends!! & NO ONE can make me laugh like you either!! & just for the record….my hair was WET!! NOT GREASY!! UGH!! That is SO bad!! & I’m so sure….

    Comment by Kel | March 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Hahaha .. I’m singing that damn song in my head right now! Wet… right. 🙂

      Comment by bonesysblahg | March 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. i too am very greatful for meeting you and having such a huge part of my friendship and life. im very blessed to have still call you a TRUE friend. not everyone can say that. We or I should say I am very talkative person but that’s way we are great friends,it works. Mr. Tyler im sure will never forget us… thanks again for sharing your life and friendship with me….

    Comment by Glenda | March 14, 2010 | Reply


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