Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writer's Workshop - My oldest, bestest friend in the world

Mama's Losin' ItWell, I thought I'd give this a try - it's a writer's workshop inspired by "Mama's Losin It". She gives a few topic ideas, you pick one, and you write. So today, I chose: "You’re so vain. You probably think this post is about you…don’t you?"

Ironically, the person I'm going to chat about is NOT vain at all - probably the least vain person in the world. She is the one, the only, the wonderful Patty ;) We met somewhere over the sandbox or playhouse in kindergarten, and the bond was formed.
(Left: Patty and I and our kiddos, July 2009) Sleepovers, New Kids On the Block love, sports - we had a lot in common. Especially sports -- basketball in particular. To say we had our heart and soul in it...would be an understatement. We lived and breathed for basketball in gradeschool, and our team was good. Despite the scrunchies fad and the inevitable bad/high/fully hairsprayed bangs phase, we had a pretty good team who liked to win tournaments. And win we did.
I remember one time in particular, during our first year of basketball, our coach told Patty to foul. Now, she didn't specify how to do this. We were all still in the learning phases. So Patty goes out there, grabs the girl's jersey, and tosses her. (Keep in mind we were 11, so tossing was probably not the best word. More like, slightly moved.) That was Patty - follows directions. (Right - Patty and I at camp - I'm waving at the camera, she's got big bangs). Now that I've shared that, she probably has a few stories about Doug Bruno basketball camp and the girls de-pantsing me in a photo. I mean, what 13 year old doesn't love a picture of her in her undies with a suprised look on her face making it into their 8th grade video? Payback will occur a little further down in this post!!
I admire that dedication about her. She has always been one of the smartest people I know. Class officer, good grades, graduate with honors. She received two honor cords when graduating college while I only received one (she's sharing her cord with me, left), because she was studying and taking notes, while I was the one calling her at 11 p.m. asking what we had to read only to find out we had a test at 8 a.m. ;) (Here's the payback picture, below)

She isn't just book smart though.

She's smart in life. She knows what she wants, and she goes out and gets it. She's been with her now-husband for 16 years, since she was 14 (there's us at her wedding, right). She knew what major she wanted in college. A few years ago, she knew she wanted more in her career and took a job halfway across the country to a place where she didn't know people. How amazing! Of course, my heart was broken that she was moving, but it was also very excited for her - I can remember thinking (and still think) how incredibly brave that was, and how I only wish I could do something like that. I always knew she'd succeed out there, because she's the type of person you can put in any situation anywhere, and she'll exceed with flying colors.
I know because she's been there for me through thick and thin. Breakups with boys, bad grades, celebrations, graduations. We've had some great times together. I think the real test of a friend comes though, when the chips are down. When you get a call from a friend who is at the hospital and has just been told her mom has a few days left to live, she tells you that she doesn't want any company and just wants to be alone, and you know better - which Patty did. I remember coming home from the hospital that day, my nerves shot and my heart in ten thousand unrepairable pieces. There were Patty and Jose, at my house waiting. No words, just hugs. They didn't say I'm sorry, they didn't stare awkwardly. They were just there. Patty always knows the right thing in the right situation whether she thinks she does or not. That was a true friend - just being there to sit with me and let me vent out my frustrations without a cliche response.
Halfway across the country, she's still there for me. Relationship problems, stories of my kids - she is there to listen. She recently had her own cutie pie, and I know it's hard for her to be away from the family and friends she has had all her life, but she's doing it. She's a great mother, a wonderful wife, and an amazing friend - and no matter how far away we are, it just takes a couple rings of the phone to connect. (There's us at left in college, hosting our radio program).

I'm not always a great friend. I tend to get pretty self-absorbed (I know, shocking right?). Sometimes I talk to her on the phone and think, "I don't even think I asked her about how she is doing!" And she's still talking to me. I hope she knows that it never means I don't care about her, because I think about them all the time. I'm always wondering how she is doing.
What I never wonder is if she is okay. She will succeed at everything she sets her aim towards in life, because that's who she is. We started as buddies, grew into best friends, and now she's like a sister to me. And while I've always admired her kindness and humor for the last 25 years, what I love most about Patty is the fact that she's my friend - no strings attached, no judgements. She knows me and accepts me, and she is truly one of the most fantastic people I have ever had the opportunity to know. And to be able to call her my friend, and know that in 40 years we'll still be chatting the same way we do now, well ... I don't think you can ask for more of a person.


  1. Completely random but I have the same kitchen table.

  2. Friends like that are so great! I have a couple like that! You both are so lucky to have each other!



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