Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sabrina and Kelly
We were just 8 years old when we met one another. My memory of our first day together is hazy but she tells me that we played "pass the orange" at a church youth function. I do vividly remember years of playing at the school playground which was just a few minutes' walk from our homes, and how we'd play games of make-believe, day after day. Our favorite games were King's Landing which involved many physical challenges such as lifting yourself up out of a stairwell without using the stairs, and Charlie's Angels where she chose to portray Jacklyn Smith's sexy character, "Kelly". I chose my favorite, Kate Jackson's brainy character, "Sabrina". Together with her older sister, who also became a very close friend of mine, we made a great team as we sidled up to houses with our walkie-talkies and our play guns or as we crawled out the window of her parents' parked station wagon and pretended to escape a speeding car before her parents realized we were crawling all over their car.
She had the perfect play area, a small room in her basement, complete with working sinks where we set up "House". She married "The Fonz" and I married "John Davidson" before divorcing him and moving on to "John Travolta" when she divorced and married "Eric Estrada". I think I ditched Travolta for "Shaun Cassidy", and she may have gone with Starsky for a while too. We were modern women balancing divorces with full time jobs and a handful of children.
We went skating and cross country skiing, sledding, and swimming. We saw each other through first and subsequent boyfriends, and had a couple of spats over boys too. We got competitive...always. I had "easier friends" but none challenged me as much as she did. I found our friendship worth the challenges. She did too. We let one another grow up and have different friends and interests, but we always held onto one another.
We graduated from high school and went our separate ways but not for long. The summer after our freshman year, we impulsively moved in together for three and a half months. We got jobs at a NH mall and although we probably didn't save a dime for college after paying rent and spending money on various things (I made the mistake of working at Filene's and came home with a gorgeous wardrobe, thanks to my employee discount), we had great fun. It was a most memorable summer.
In 1988 I married. She was my Maid of Honor. Three and a half years later she became my daughter's Godmother. A couple of years later I served as her Matron of Honor and a few years after that, she asked me to be her son's Godmother. We now have nine children between us and although life continues to take us in different directions, we continue to keep in touch. At first we sent letters and pictures. We mailed off Christmas gifts and birthday cards. Then we began emailing. We went to our 20th class reunion together and got ready at her childhood home. We made regular visits to one another's homes when she moved back to Maine. I watched her lose her Dad and then her Mom and I think it was then that I realized how very precious life is, and how dearly I love our friendship, how dearly I love her.
In the last several years I feel we have grown even closer. We continue to be challenged in our friendship for we still live miles away in different towns, have busy families, and individual passions that take our time, but the competitiveness between us has matured into a fierce loving protection of one another. I am happy to say that we indeed grew into strong modern women with a handful of children, but I am also happy to report that, thankfully, we are happily married to our FIRST and ONLY husbands.
I picture us years from now, swapping pictures of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I see us posing as "Sabrina and Kelly", the hippest elderly duo of Charlie's Angels. I hear us recalling our days of picnics on the rock or on one of her porches--the back golf course today? Sure!, of trying to remember who had the coolest Barbie accessories (She did. She had the motor home), and I feel the milk running through my nose after laughing too hard once again.
Ours is a friendship that will endure. We never need worry. For we have continued to cling to one another for these past 35 years. There is nothing that will ever make me let go.