“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”
HAVE YOU EVER met someone who you instantly knew was meant to be in your life forever? I’m not talking about the guy you took home from the bar one night after eleventy-seven rum and Cokes. You know, the one who disappeared after making your vagina sing a lovely melody. I’m not even talking about the person you’re dating, engaged to or that you married. Sure, some people find that one person they know they want to spend the rest of their life with, making babies and growing old together with, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about your soul mate. Your REAL soul mate. The person who was put on this earth just to get you, not to breed with you.
I met the love of my life, Jim, in college and I did all those things that you’re supposed to do with him. We fell in love, got married, had babies and lived happily ever after, but I found my soul mate much earlier than that. I met her in high school.
Oh, shut up, I’m not a lesbian. I’m talking about my best friend. My person. You might want to sit down for this next part because when I tell you how we met, I’m sure you’ll fall over laughing your ass off. There will be no judging how Claire and I met or I will cut all of your mothers.
We met during cheerleading tryouts.
Shut up, I told you this is a judgment-free zone.
Commiserating over our fellow female students bouncing around and squealing exactly like cracked-out puppies brought us together, but our bond kept us together. We shared so many commonalities that it even freaked us out. Our parents shared the same wedding anniversary, somewhere in our ancient family tree we shared the same last name and family crest, my first name is her middle name and her first dog and I shared a name (I never met Liz the beagle, but I heard she was an asshole who licked her twat all the time. Sounds about right). We liked all the same movies and books and we finished each other’s sentences. Claire and I met in the back of our high school gym, the only two girls in a group of thirty standing off on the sidelines with our arms crossed in front of us and similar resting-bitch faces plastered on.
We’ve been through everything together. Losing our virginities, college, starting a successful business, marriage, children, the imminent marriage of our children… through thick and thin and all the years in between, nothing could tear us apart.
Or so I thought.
Then that bitch had to go and give me the news that you never want to hear out of your best friend’s mouth.
I can already hear all of you saying to yourself, “Awwwww shit, I wasn’t expecting this; this is supposed to be funny and what you’re about to put us through is NEVER funny.” This is where I prove you wrong. The one thing this group has always had going for us is our sense of humor. Even when you get the worst news of your life, sometimes all you can do is laugh.
This is the story of the day everything changed, the day we all began looking at life a little differently than we did before.
It’s also the story of how we almost got kicked out of a hospital, a funeral home, a tattoo shop and a small handful of bars.
So, basically just another Tuesday.
I feel like a little background is needed before we get into that whole crazy mess, though, so buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Tenth day of eleventh grade.
Too many years ago to count…
I HATE MY mother. This is probably a little bit of PMS and a whole lot of teenage-angst talking right now, but whatever. I hate her and I will continue hating her until the day I die. Or until the day I smother her in her sleep, whichever comes first. Not only did my parents ruin my life by deciding halfway through my high school career that we should move to some podunk town in Ohio, they are now forcing me to participate in extracurricular activities or suffer the consequences.
Their consequences usually entail an entire month of being confined to the house I’m forced to clean from top to bottom every single day. Being in a new school and not having any friends yet, I wouldn’t normally care about the whole grounding bit, but it’s the principle of the thing. My parents are under the illusion that if I become a sheep and follow around all the other stupid sheep with the added bonus of wearing a matching uniform, I’ll instantly have friends and will no longer spend my hours at home locked in my room playing “Teenage Wasteland” on repeat as well as watching my new favorite movie—Heathers. My mother seems to think my obsession with a dark comedy about teenagers killing each other off is not healthy. I beg to differ. I tried to reason with her that the movie is set in Ohio so really, I’m supporting this shitty state they’ve forced me to live in, but it didn’t work. She confiscated my VHS and it’s on lockdown until I find an after school activity.
My goal this week wasn’t really about finding a group that would be fun, because any situation where I’m forced to interact with other people is never fun. My goal was simply to pick the first thing I saw to shut my mother up and pray to God I wouldn’t die from boredom or start passing out cups of Liquid Drano to my fellow students (See? A Heathers reference. That movie really is sanity saving).
As I was grabbing a few books from my locker at the end of the day and in a total panic that I still hadn’t found a flock of sheep to join, a group of girls walked by all in a tizzy about some meeting going on in the gym and how they were going to have such a fun year going to all the football games. My ears immediately perked up at this information. I’m a football junkie. I love watching it, I love playing it every Thanksgiving with my cousins and, if my mother didn’t think wearing a football helmet would ruin my hair, I’d have demanded to play on the school team. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the only sport/activity that I truly would have joined the masses for without one complaint. Deciding to see what all the fuss was about, I trudged behind the group of girls and tried not to gag on the smell of Love’s Baby Soft wafting from each of them.