Nine years ago we moved our family south. The day we moved in, another family was moving in just across the street from us. “She” was a mom with two little girls with bows in their hair that matched their dresses and their dresses had monogrammed little initials on the front. The family went to church every week, never yelled and they attended “play dates.” “She” drove a white Volvo station wagon, (uh-huh, one of those.)
“She” was going to hate me.
The first time we met it was dark outside and I was walking down the street. I was pregnant with our youngest. I will translate that since you don’t know me well enough yet…
I was crazy, loud, screaming at my twin four year-olds to stay out of the road and I had my own moons orbiting me, (If you read my story about giving birth to farm animals and how my bellybutton is now a cup holder you understand and if you didn’t I will put a link below.)
“She” was, thin and blond and she had her front door open and the glass storm door closed. Who does that at night AND with the lights on? Sure, I have done it but I have threatened my husbands life if he turns a light on.
So, “She” has two small children AND her house is clean.
I hated her.
Due to proximity and the fact that I would NEVER schedule a “play date”, (what is that about) we exchanged phone numbers. It doesn’t mean that my kids don’t “play.” We just play with kids when play happens.
Our kids would often hang out in the driveways together. They were a great match. My boys don’t have sisters and her girls don’t have brothers. My boy’s mom is a fast blinker and her girl’s mom is a slow blinker.
Blinker Definition: I define people that I come into contact with as either slow blinkers or fast blinkers. You have to have something to size people up by. You do it too! You can “blink both ways” but you are mostly one or the other. I know I am a fast blinker because when I talk, slow blinkers look out of the top of their eyes at me. I am sure “Conservative, Connecticut, Catholic, Cathy” found me a bit overwhelming. This was never going to work.
One day I called Cathy regarding a neighborhood issue. I asked the rhetorical question, “How are you?”
She replied, “You know, I am trying to figure out what to do about a little girl at school that is being mean to Chloe. Chloe came home from school crying. This girl wont stop calling her names. I tried telling their teacher before that this little girl is mean to Chloe but the teacher keeps saying the girls have to work things out on their own.”
“Do you know where this girl lives? I will go straighten her out. Come on, you and me! We’ll show her what it’s like to have someone bullying you.” Yeah, it was me that said it. I was threatening to go shake down a preschooler. I wasn’t really going to.
Guess what? She decided, at that moment…
“She” liked a little crazy.
Cathy laughed at me. I then pretended that I was joking and I laughed back.
At that moment we became friends.
I have NO IDEA why we are friends.
Have you seen the television show “Two Broke Girls?”
That is us.
We even look like the characters, (a little older, you didn’t have to point it out!) She is so polite and mindful of what she says at all times. She says “yes” to being a “scissor mom” when the teacher stares down the classroom of new parents and I am dunking behind someone snickering.
When my husband was done with training we bought a larger house in a neighboring town. Within a year a lot went up for sale around the corner from us and I called her as the guy was pushing the “For Sale” sign into the ground. They bought it it that week and built their new home. She has been as close as a sister and her husband has been my husbands partner in crime. Our kids go to the same school, we belong to the same club and we have spent Christmas with their families. They are ours, without the family tree.
We are yin and yang.
We have laughed for years, before we even knew what a “sister wife” was, that if we could just share our work it would be so much easier. I like to cook the savory dishes and she likes desserts. I like to play in the dirt and she likes to clean dirt. I like to wash and she likes to iron, well we don’t “like” to but someone has to do it. She does the homework help and I do the shopping, (mostly because I didn’t do homework when I was a kid and I’m not starting now.) If we could work it out with separate houses and husbands and beds and it would be _____ amazing!
Then her husband was offered an awesome new job. In another city. It is too far to commute. He has been trying for a year to drive 2 1/2 hours each way or stay in an apartment a couple nights a week. I cannot complain. I keep telling myself, I cannot complain. I know she is torn up about moving from a place and a community that they all love. I know she is a good wife and wants her husband to be happy. I know he is a good husband because he tried to make it work. I know it is wrong of me to think about ways to make him “disappear.” I am kidding people!
We have five gloomy kids between us and now it is my turn to be happy and supportive. I am finding all the reasons they should move, because I know it is best for their family, and because they need to be together more.
They might have an offer on their house and I am saying prayers for them because I know this past year has been hard. The reality is hitting home and I realize they will be moving away. I count my blessings to have met her and know they will always be a part of our lives. I think I will write a personal reference letter for her to give to any of her new neighbors in case any of them are fast blinkers.
Dear Fellow Fast Blinker,
I am writing this letter as a person that has known Cathy for nearly nine years. Please give her a second chance as a friend. I know that when you met her you thought she was a “Hard Right” republican and that she doesn’t know how to have a good time. You probably figured she has a blog about cleaning tips. She is none of those things.
She can drink you under the table and she drinks scotch on the rocks. When you have had too many cocktails and are trying to take off your saggy tights she will get down on the floor and yank them off by the toes, (and then display them in your house for you to find the next day.) That is a good friend that can be both helpful and bad at the same time.
When your boys catch something really gross and they want to go show her she will rustle up a scream to make your kids proud. She bakes gourmet desserts but keeps Little Debbies in her pantry because she knows the neighbor moms wont buy them for their kids, (because
I the mom’s will eat the entire box before the kids get home from school.)
She will cry if someone hurt you or your family but first she will comfort you. Don’t expect her to come to your football parties, she is a snob like that. She cannot stand football parties because all the women talk and she can’t watch the game. She will send a dish to pass at the football party with her husband but she will stay home and watch the game, uninterrupted. Do not be offended.
So if she gives you this letter, you just won the neighbor lottery. Be good to her but not too good. She will be a little homesick and will need some attention. She takes harassment well. She hates Halloween so do things like leave fake body parts in meat packs in grocery bags on her front porch. A simple bloody handprint on her front door does double duty as scary and dirty. She will thank you later.
PS. If you aren’t nice to her, I know where you live.
Abbie at allthatmakesyou.com
(I totally fuzzed her out so she doesn’t get kicked out of church)
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I love this! I’m so sorry your girlfriend is moving – but, where there’s a will, there’s always a way …
My bff and I are like Mutt and Jeff (remember them? LOL) She is a 6′, American born and bred (but living here in Canada), tell it like it is in plain language, non-stop go-getter. I’m a 4′ 10″, soft-spoken (polite) Canadian; disabled house-bound writer ….. and I’m the one that moved away. She says that when I’m ready ($$$$) she and her hubby will drive from the next Province, pack me up and “bring me back home” where I belong – and I know she’s serious, and we have plans to do just that, when the time is right. I love her big time, and I know she feels the same way.
… where there’s a will, there’s always a way …. ((((Hugs)))) 🙂 xoxox
A good girlfriend can take a lifetime to find. Aren’t we lucky. 🙂
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If you were to, say – I don’t know – write for television, I’d watch it. Every week. And since it’s my idea, you’d owe me a cut. I love WordPress.
A job that doesn’t involve hunting? Ha ha! I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I wasn’t buying camouflage and talking to hunters about boots that squirt deer pee. Oh…my…word! Your right! I need a sitcom! How else would I end up working for a hunting boot company, (pre kids) when my husband only believes in “shooting a camera?”
I need a career. I need a new career! You can be my comma placement director. Oh…my…word! I don’t even have to know how to use a comma if people are going to say my words out loud! So I can write for actors to speak my words or find a job telling stories around a campfire, to adults because of content, crap I am going to just have to hang out at a bar for nothing.
This is hilarious–I loved it! Thanks for sharing it. I’m sure you will find a new local BFF in no time but still hold on to Cathy. She seems like a wonderful friend!
Oh, she can’t get rid of me. That is what I tell her. I never have to worry about getting the herpes from her lip balm. That is a keeper.
I was the friend that moved…across the country. We still keep in touch and act as if no time has passed but it is just not the same. I have been fortunate to have found a few others to replace that empty black hole that had been left by my moving. I hope the replacement BFF will be a good one…and if she isn’t you will help her pack! Hehe…just thinking about the Pre-schooler shake down.
It is hard. I am sorry. You had it worse because you had to leave and that is what I tell myself when I get all boo-boo lipped. I have a good group of friends and they all know they are in a whole “reality tv” type competition with each other, (it’s all in my head but it is still fun to tease them.) I figure the next stage will be kids off to college and time for us all travel. 🙂
You sure have a knack for touching the heart. Loved this!
Thank you. I made her read my “stupid blog” before I posted it. She has a little pent up blog hostility. I am working on her starting her own blog so we can go to conferences! He he he…
When I first started reading this post, I thought it was gonna be “one of those”. You know, ragging and complaining on the neighbors while being perfectly self-righteous. I was pleasantly surprised and giggled and cried the whole way through. A two-and-a-half hour drive every few weekends won’t be that bad if you have a working car radio. Thanks for the wonderful read.
I totally never blogged until a couple of months ago because that is exactly what I thought all bloggers did! Thanks for reading and complimenting. I hope you have time to try some of my other stories. I honestly think this blog is my way of coping with her moving. 😦
Wow. What an endearing tribute to your friend. I love the “eyelash blinker” part, so much so that I started conciously registering which kind I am. I’d have to say people would say I’m a slow blinker, but only because I always look down on people (I’m 6’2″).
There is an added version of that when you move to the south. I call it the “slow blink-shut-up-you-fast-talking-yankee-woman.” Luckily, once they get to know me and they teach me to slow down my cuss words, we get along fine. 6’2″, you can be whatever kind of blinker you want! You can just push them over! This is why God made me short. 😉
I cannot stop reading your blog. I want to curl up in a dark corner Witha bowl of popcorn and settle in.
You. Are. Hilarious.
Oh, I read your first! I love it! We had a “shack” once. I remind my kids all the time all the places we have lived and why like, medical school. My husband and I have been together since we were kids, (raising each other) and I couldn’t understand why we would pay rent that was more than a little house. I loved making it cute, (my version of cute.)
Please, read away! I need encouragement. I too am a newbie.
I love 2 Broke Girls. Hilarious show.
Sorry about the friend moving. At least it’s only a couple of hours away.
They are so bad on that show! The diner scenes remind me of Taxi, they shouldn’t but they do? Oh, we will see her. I tell her all the time that as close as we live we can still talk on the phone in the mornings. I told her that I wanted us each to get one of those, “confessional” rooms like they used to have on “Real World” and then we can Skype. She just agrees.
I don’t watch the show you mentioned, but this was an excellent read! While it’s a beautiful miracle to find a friend that is on the same page as you, it’s equally as miraculous to find someone completely different that you connect with because of their amazing qualities. I laughed so much while reading this because I have several friends who are very similar to yours 🙂
Isn’t friendship amazing! I was never a “girlfriend” kind of girl. You really should pity her. I have an active imagination and I am sure I can be exhausting for the “slow blinkers”.