Over a decade ago, I had one of those change-your-life meetings. I was 17, at an age where my insecurities were met by dressing like a weirdo and getting boys to like me despite of it. Or something like that. Anyway.I met Kristy at a summer program for high schoolers at Taylor University, the prestigious institution which would eventually give us both degrees. It took maybe a week and a half before we were inseperable, and before we returned home for our final year of high school, we vowed to go to Taylor together, be roommates, best friends forever, pains in the butt to our future husbands (who of course are not the guys we thought they would be that summer), and role models to each others’ kids.
Fast forward through all of the dance parties on our beds, questionable pictures that we let the Taylor bookstore develop, different boyfriends and friends of boyfriends so there wasn’t a third wheel (always me, by the way), and games of Minesweeper, and we got married and became real people with responsibilities.That’s when it became clear that we weren’t used to having to CALL each other to keep in touch. We were used to just being together for at least 12 hours a day.
Fortunately, luck, God, and the powers-that-be where I work have ensured that a bi-annual (does that mean twice a year or every two years? Because I mean every two years) conference I need to attend takes place at her graduate school. So, we’ve gotten to keep hanging out, which is a relief, because if it was up to us to pick up the phone, we probably wouldn’t even know the names of each other’s firstborn. But, we’re getting a lot better.
Here’s the other irony, that perhaps only I find interesting. Before we got married, and our lives revolved mainly around each other, Kristy and I took a couple trips – one to Fort Collins, Colorado (where she and her husband would go on to live for 7 years), and one to a small town in Ohio (where Ben and I have worked for the past 7 years). What? I’m the only one that cares?
This was us then:I used to go to class dressed like I was going clubbing. I had a thing for leopard, and Kristy secretly did too, but she hid it well. But if she ever gets out of line, I have pictures.
And, this is us now. Four kids, two dogs, a doctorate degree, a cross-cultural life, and not enough time together later.
Best Friends? Check.
Pains in the butt to future husbands? I think her hubby would agree.
Role models to each other’s kids? I think her little Ellie definitely wants to be like me, and I’m saving my red pleather pants just for her.
Kristy moves to Iowa today, where she is going to be on the faculty of a university – teaching gross anatomy, and other things that I’ll never understand.
But I do understand this: I can always trust her - with my crises of faith, when I'm in tears over potty training, and to see me for who I am today and not who I was ten years ago.
Trust is important, especially with someone that has a box of pictures of you from college.