Friends, Laughter & Fish Tanks

I met my best friend from high school yesterday for an afternoon of lunch and laughing. And we did both with great gusto.

I sat there looking at a face I have loved since I was fifteen years old, and marveled at how the years were washed away as soon as she walked around the corner of the restaurant. I also marveled at how we are still as spacey as we were in high school — it took us 30 minutes to find each other in a very small town.

Once, in high school, we stood on opposite corners of the same block waiting for each other. Since we didn’t have cell phones in those days, and couldn’t see each other because of the store in between us, we both left after approximately two hours of waiting.

Yesterday, we at least had cell phones to document the ridiculous conversation that sounded a lot like:

“Where are you right now?”
“I just got off the interstate.”
“On what exit?”
“The first one.”
“So what street are you on?”
“4th NW.”
“Okay, I’m on 4th NE and Market St.”
“What does that mean?”
“I have no idea.”

We finally found our way to a nice little restaurant and didn’t have to go home without seeing each other. See, you DO get wiser with age.

In that little visit, I noticed what hasn’t changed over the years. We can still clear a restaurant in a minute with our very loud laughter. We still talk about boys. We still have a very dark sense of humor that finds laughter in the oddest of places. We are still a little clumsy, knocking things over in stores.

In fact, around thirty years ago we were visiting a pet store in the same small town. Having arrived with our boyfriends, we were strolling about, looking at some finches in a bird cage. Suddenly, I noticed a mouse at the bottom of the bird cage.

“Does that mouse belong in that cage?” I asked, ridiculously oblivious to the obvious.

My best friend, recognizing a loose mouse when she saw one, grabbed my arm to pull me away from the bird area into the fish area where mice could not exit. As we ran to the fish area, our flip-flips simultaneously hit a puddle of water causing us to hydroplane (see, there are still dangers in the fish area).

Our feet flew up into the air, and we landed, somehow, in a sitting position while still back-to-back with our arm still linked. My friend had her arm in a fish tank. We didn’t break any bones, but we did bust a gut laughing. I mean that kind of silent, can’t get your breath laughter that feels almost like crying.

We still have that joy, and although we need to find bathrooms a little more often and have pain in those places that used to take falls so easily, we are the same two Dames.

I hope each of you has a best friend that makes you feel younger. If you do, use the comment area to tell us your favorite story!