Once upon a time, when I was a sophomore in high school, I heard my friends talking about this girl. “Do you know B?” They’d say. “You should meet B, you’d like her.” Fat chance.
I was jealous. Who was this interloper? My friends didn’t need more friends. They had me!
A few weeks later it was Halloween. Everyone came to school in costumes. I went as Pippi Longstocking.
I wore mismatched everything and threaded a bent clothes hanger through my braids. I got big points for the braids, but I was missing one thing: red hair. After school a friend said, “If we could smash you and the other Pippi together, you’d make one perfect Pippi!”
Other Pippi? Excuse me?
My friend stepped aside and there she was. The other Pippi. B. And she had the red hair. Nuts!
I didn’t know what to say. She looked great! She seemed nice. Crap. I really wanted to not like her.
“Darn! I should have got my hair to bend like yours!” B said.
“Hanger,” I said. “I should have got my hair red like yours,” I said.
“Well, with hair this red, Pippi Longstocking is a staple costume,” she said. And I laughed. Crap. We were friends now.
It just got worse. We became good friends, and then better friends, and then best friends. Our senior year, every day after school we would go to my house, make loaded baked potatoes, and play puzzle games on the computer until my Mom came home. Half the time she’d stay for dinner and if she was staying for dinner why not spend the night?
She taught me how to drive and I had a bed and a toothbrush at my house just for her. She has seen me through two tattoos, my wedding, two kids, and countless personal crisis.
She knows all of my scars. All of them. Those are the kinds of friends you hang on to for a lifetime.
So, B, from one Pippi to another: Thank you and Happy Birthday! 🙂