Sink or Swim

Mac was the first friend I made at my first job, when we were both fresh out of high school, and is the keeper of all my secrets. She knows where I have all the bodies buried and I am well acquainted with all the skeletons in her closets.

We have evolved to the point of being able to read each other’s thoughts on more than one occasion. To this day, any mention of a boy named Kennedy will elicit the most awful slurping noises and bellyfuls of laughter between us. Or, just the mere mention of the words “Western Whopper” can leave us doubled over in laughter and incapacitated for indefinite periods. That cheap date….

We’ve been there for each other for over 25 years, sink or swim. I had her shoulder to cry on every time CJ cheated on me. She had mine when when she had the measles and thought the spots would never go away. When her boyfriend, B, broke her heart over a ridiculous incident, I went to him and told him in no uncertain terms what a jerk he was. She’s better off without him anyway.

But perhaps the first real life “adult” situation we’ve had to face together was when I had to break the news to her that her boyfriend, my mentor and good friend, had passed away quite suddenly. I had arranged with our friend, D, to meet up at Mack’s house to deliver the sad news. And for the entire night of her ordeal we three sat and ate and cried together.

The night before my wedding, there was no hen party, no bridal shower. Instead, we were up making bridal bouquets and putting the finishing touches on wedding favors at Mack’s house, which was minutes from the church. After three hours’ sleep we were up again at 6:30 am to finish decorating the church pews. I couldn’t have arranged the entire wedding without my girls, considering that the groom, all the groomsmen, and parents of the bride and groom were geographically scattered in different states and countries. Mack also toasted my parents, while I kept nudging her and reminding her to mention how “kind and modest” I was. We couldn’t keep a straight face all day.

Now we’re grown and live a thousand miles apart, but we still keep in touch. We don’t share boyfriend problems anymore; now we stress ourselves about how to deal with spouses and children. We have an abundance of respect for each other that it’s actually impossible to imagine us falling out. We continue to bounce ideas off each other and cry on each other’s shoulders occasionally, albeit with a little help from AT&T.

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