Thursday, September 2, 2010

The new term for best friend: "I've Got a Patty"

FriendsYouLove
I think people should start using a new term for best friend, like how when you're going to spend a lot of money you're going to "make it rain" -- you should just say, "I've got a Patty."

We met over the sandbox in kindergarten. Or maybe it was the playhouse. I'm not sure - but either way, I knew she was special. In Sex and the City, Samantha tells the girls, "We made a deal ages ago: men, babies, doesn't matter; we're soul mates." That's the best way to describe it - Patty is my soulmate. Boys, tests, kids, moves – a lot has happened, but through it all, we’ve remained close. When I think about my life and my future, I’m not certain of what it will bring or where I’ll end up, but I always – always – know that Patty will be a part of it.

This year, we’ve been friends for 25 years! In fact, we toasted to that this summer in a beautiful winery in San Diego:

We started as sandbox buddies, grew into best friends, and now she's like a sister to me. From chocolate milk lunches to wine tasting; playing basketball to watching our kids play catch; from sleepovers and scary movies to -- well, sleepovers and scary movies ;) -- we've grown up together and grown even better!

 
(Pic: Patty and I and our kiddos, July 2009)
Birthdays, 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. (Pic: 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 me...like 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 in this pic), 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)




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). 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. And above all, I knew that she and I would never lose touch. It just wasn't meant to happen - she's my soulmate!
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. Like when she got a call from a friend (me) who was at the hospital and has just been told her mom has a few days left to live after her battle with brain cancer, and tells her that she doesn't want any company and just wants to be alone; and she knows that her friend is lying through her teeth, trying to be strong. I remember coming home from the hospital that day, my nerves shot and my heart in ten thousand unrepairable pieces. My head pounding from the massive headache from non-stop crying. There were Patty and her husband Jose (my husbands bff), at my house waiting. No words, no questions or condolences – I just remember being wrapped up in their arms. I don’t remember much else about that night, except for having three of the people I cared about most in my life hugging me like they would never let go. They didn't say I'm sorry, they didn't stare awkwardly. They were just there, like she has been ten thousand other times in my life. There's never a question about how I'm going to get through anything - because I know she'll be by my side. Patty always knows the right thing in the right situation whether she thinks she does or not. There's no question between us that if one of us really needed the other, we'd be at each other's doorsteps to help or take care of the other's family. We don't worry about the future or what it will bring, because we know we'll always be taken care of.
 
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. Oh yeah, we were awesome!).

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. And like college, she'll probably drag me along kicking and screaming (haha!) 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.

And now, our kids are the next line of friends from our families - we love to watch them play together!


Some people imagine sitting next to their hubby in rockers on the front porch admiring the sunset. In my front porch scene, hubs and I are with her and her hubs, sipping a beer and playing cards, laughing at all of the fun we've had in our lives. Soulmates, all four of us (well, and our other friend, Jake!):




LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails