This weekend I read this article by Cracked all about Easter Eggs or hidden jokes. It got me thinking about inside jokes. How many you have with people. And some that aren't really jokes as much as they are just shared history broken down to shorthand.
I've told you about hookers don't wear hats and rock-star when I was telling you about my friend Jenny, for instance. And the name of this blog probably came as no surprise to my friend Susan. We have said, This is totally random but...or This might seem random but...to each other for well, decades. The game for us became actually telling each other how we got there. Because it only seems random. There are three hundred connections (give or take a few) that happened to get to what seems like the random thought in your head. And part of what our friendship is based on is that random connection. Or the love of a random connection more precisely. Though our friendship is slightly random as well.
We knew each other in high school. We took classes together, chemistry being the most memorable one, though we took honor's English together at least one year, possibly more. But in chemistry she, Michelle Miller (was it Miller, I want to say Miller), and I were lab partners. I was lousy at chemistry. Just to be honest here. Lousy. I hadn't taken the math I needed to be able to do the formulas and had a little problem with making it to class enough to really grasp what I was supposed to be doing. But the one thing I could do that Michelle and Susan couldn't was light the Bunsen burner. Which is actually very funny because I'm terrified to light our gas grill...anyway...I was in charge of the burner.
Susan was also friends with Nikki who was in show choir with Jim who I was dating at the time, off and on and off and on. And Tim off and on. And Andy off and on. And eventually Brent on and on. Anyway...Nikki and I got to be friends because of them. And Susan and Nikki were very close so we ended up at the same parties. As an aside, one of the biggest high school parties I ever attended, think John Hughes big, was actually at Susan's house. She wasn't there, but it was at her house. Which is also an inside joke between us. Though funnier to me than her.
Anyway...we were friends but not super tight. I always really liked her though. She was smart and funny and seemed very sure of who she was. All things I really like about a person. When Brent and I got married she said she was surprised to get an invitation, but I told her I liked her. I wanted her there. Now as her plus one she brought a mutual friend of ours, Erika. A few years later Erika ended up married to Chad, who was also a good friend of ours, he was a groomsman at the wedding, I wrote about that here and then part two here. So Chad and Erika end up in San Diego then Brent and I are transferred there as well. Susan who has always wanted to be a doctor decides she is a little burnt out on school and maybe is done with that after all. She gets a job in a research lab in San Diego and moves out there as well.
She and I got a chance to hang out a lot because Brent was always out to sea. So our friendship deepened. We got to share stories about high school and people we both knew but from different sides. Parties we had both been to. Hanging out at the same time. But from the other person's perspective. Add to that a love of shopping at Target and the belief that popcorn and ice cream is a perfectly fine dinner and a beautiful friendship is solidified.
She is such a good friend that she dated someone who was awful just so I could learn how to parallel park. Okay, that might not be the whole reason, but that's what I decided. You have to take a good thing out of a bad thing and that was all I could find to like about him. But it was a really useful skill to have years later when I was working in a busy area with only off street parking. I was always grateful for old ass hat teaching me how to parallel park. See what a good friend she is?
She's also one of very small handful of people that understands something about the core of me. The whole just because I haven't talked to you in a year doesn't mean I don't love you deeply and think of you often part. See, before Facebook ages, and I mean AGES could pass between times we talked. But then a phone call would be made, a few hours spent on the phone and everything was still right in the world. I haven't seen her face to face since her wedding day. She has a daughter who is almost 6 who I've never met. But none of that matters. I still know I love Ms. M. even if we've never met. Because she is part of Susan. I know that if I ended up in Memphis Susan and I would pick up right where we left off.
And I know that she will not be surprised at all that this blog was going to be about something entirely different before I went off on my Susan tangent...
Oh and by the way, she did go back to medical school and became a doctor, she got over the whole Bunsen burner thing. I never did get over chemistry....