That name is “Abigail’Sure Thing’.” I was “Belle’Superiority Complex’.” We’re not that nice to each other. Her ringtone at the time was “Looking for Love (in all the wrong places)”.
I woke up this morning to a continuing of our text conversation from last night… and the last two years, since we both got smartphones. I realized today, that it’s been almost exactly 10 years since Gail and I became friends. She had this retainer with teeth on it and she used to click it as a nervous habit.
Awkward 15-year-old Me: “What the hell happened to your teeth?!?”
Awkward 15-year-old Gail: “Well, I was at this party… and this guy had these piercings.”
We were instant friends.
It, of course, wasn’t true. Neither of us was truly kissed until we were 17. We had our first boyfriends together, our abusive first marriages together, lost our babies together (hers more substantial, Grace compared to a late first/early second trimester miscarriage six months prior), went through our divorces together, learned to actually date together. She taught me to put on eyeliner and make a budget. She drove around all night pulling over so I could vomit Thanksgiving of 2010 onto the side of the road once I’d finally kicked out my ex-husband. I went to the ER several times for baby fevers. I didn’t sleep through most of my student teaching so I could hang out with her as much as she needed when she had bad Grace days. I hugged her while she cried when the Cop blew her off after she fooled around with him. I humored her when she tracked down everyone I know to ask if I was okay after she hadn’t heard from me for a day. Her baby died. Paranoia is allowed.
I’m not going to lie. I don’t believe in unconditional love. Not even for children. No matter how far out they are, everyone has their limits. And that’s okay. If Gail chopped up my dog, I wouldn’t love her anymore. But, there’s nothing she would do to make me turn away. We’re family now. My brother made the lesbian comment a few months ago. She’s been my sibiling in a lot more ways than he has. I didn’t angrily tell him that, because I don’t like confrontation. I love him, but he’s still an offensive redneck.
We have a multitude of codewords.
I’d replicate that = There’s someone behind you who just heard you make a joke about drawing the Mona Lisa in poop.
Massachusetts = This guy is creeping me out. Let’s go.
Liquid Nitrogen Slingshot Vials = Seriously. I’m not kidding. I actually (am pregnant, was raped, let him feel me up, etc.)
Super Best Friend Emergency = I’m crying. Come over if you can.
Clean sheets = Exactly how bad my marriage was. “Hey, it’s better than clean sheets.”
Bestie Withdrawal = I’m using “bestie” ironically and want to hang out since we haven’t in three days.
Those are only used when we actually need codewords.
“Cam knows how many pies I’ve baked.” = I finally told him about the musician I’ve been sleeping with.
“I don’t know how to be a girl!” = I’m alone in a changing room, stuck in a dress.
“I’m broken.” = I just did something super disturbing, because I’m mentally unstable (cried after absent-mindedly giving my old married name)
I don’t believe in unconditional love. I also don’t believe in romantic soulmates. You’re not meant to be with one person your whole life, because of destiny. You work hard at love and being together and if that doesn’t work, there are other people with whom it could. I do believe in other soulmates, though. Those people who were destined to come into your life and make it better. I believe in the ones who were meant to make you struggle, too, but I’d call those curses. My Gramma is a soulmate for me… and so is Gail. She is my best friend/sister/mom. If I call her and scream “Why can’t she just be FUCKING NORMAL?!? Has she given NOT being crazy a try?!?! I’m doing it RIGHT THE FUCK now!”, she apologizes and asks if I want to have lunch with my other mom.
We’re not physically affectionate, for the most part. I’ve hugged her twice in the last year, both times because one of us was distraught. Instead, we rely on each other to make inappropriate jokes when we can’t handle reality.
“Ugh. No wonder you got raped. Just remember. No only means no if you mean it, not if you moan it.”
We joke about how one of us imagined the other, because our lives and minds are too parallel. We both glanced at the soldier at IHOP and immediately thought about paying for his meal, based on a reference to the iPhone PostSecret App. We didn’t even discuss it other than to exclaim “We’re thinking the exact same thing! One of us is so made up.” and fist bump.
We know we’ll be honest, if not always nice.
“How’s this look?”
“I know we live in a world of genocide and baby rape, but that is the worst thing ever.”
“Do you have any gum?”
“Could you chew some?”
“Do I have a mustache? Does it look like one of my eyebrows fell down?”
If she reads this, she’ll either pretend to be uncomfortable over my blogosphere declaration of undying love or she’ll go “Awwww. You love me.”
I don’t know that there’s a point to this blog, except that I’m lucky to have this weird bond, which is possibly imagined while I’m rocking in a corner and chewing on my own hair. I hear adults say they wish they had a best friend… so my life fucking rocks. We’ll just continue to avoid hugging to lessen the assumption that we’re lovers.