I went to an all-girls Catholic high school.
An idea most people meet with
a look of horror,
but I loved it.
I mean not initially.
Initially I was convinced
that my parents hated me
and never wanted me to find a boyfriend.
I got pregnant anyway. Sorry mom!
The dress code was a uniform
with "free dress" days
that allowed for pedal pushers.
the fact that we had to wear penny loafers
was a degree of fashion torture
that can probably be blamed
for my adulthood obsession with heels.
And I still remember
getting a detention
for constantly wearing red nail polish
to my sophomore algebra class.
I'm currently rocking lavender grey nails. Take that!
But once I settled into
the dude free uniformed existence
I loved it.
Mostly I loved it
because I had a host of girlfriends.
Originally there were 17 of us,
and then 8 plus the one
who'd moved away.
A motley crew
of freshman driftwood
that somehow glommed onto to one another
on the concrete
outside of the home ec room
sometime around September '95.
17 years ago. Whoa.
Some of them
had already been friends for years
but not me.
I was the only one
from my group of elementary friends
that had gone on
to that high school.
I remember Brianne and Kierra,
older, more experienced sophomores,
telling us that it wouldn't always be this way.
That we would all go on
in different directions someday.
If you can count your closest friends on one hand,
I shook my head.
No, no, not us,
We're bonded forever and ever,
I don't know
how we all landed together
but we did,
and we stayed that way
through 4 years of high school.
cheerleaders and homecoming queens,
soccer players and ASB leaders,
choir members and drama kids.
Drinkers and pot smokers,
mean girls (to others and each other)
and community volunteers,
journal writers and note passers.
Dichotomies and contradictions,
blondes and brunettes,
little girls growing up together.
We bore witness to each other’s
It was a mine field but we managed to plant roots.
4 years of roots.
Roots that stayed on
and different colleges.
Roots that lay dormant
as we drifted in and out
of those first post-high school years.
Phone numbers I kept
even after I got caught in a rip tide of
new friends and bad habits.
Phone numbers I called
with the news that I was pregnant at 20
and wanted my oldest friends
at the baby shower.
And they showed up.
They showed up
and I was so glad
to see the faces that had known me
before I was anything else.
They were there when Lucas was born
and they were at most of his birthday parties.
8 years of roots.
Our lives sort of kicked into high gear after that.
Weddings (5 of them!) and babies (3 of those!),
new houses and engagements,
reason after reason
to get together
and just be girlfriends.
Bridal showers and birthdays,
a weekend on the Russian River,
and a boat ride on the Peninsula.
Dinners and Christmas parties,
housewarmings and life, life,
lots of life!
I relished in having longtime friends.
Knew how lucky we were
to have so many years behind
and so many years ahead of us.
12 years of roots.
It'll be 2 years since my initial blackballing from that group.
A summer of weddings that weeded me out.
It started with phone calls
going unanswered and not returned,
birthday dinners I was excluded from without my knowing.
It was a tearful Christmas cocktail party where
I admitted my missteps
and offered my apologies,
sobbing quietly in the kitchen
and left painfully unforgiven.
It was my first lesson in:
"I was wrong" + "I'm sorry"
(does not always)
= everything is better
Losing a friendship is kind of like a death;
disorienting and emotionally charged.
Now multiply that times three
and throw in the sting
of knowing harsh things
have been said about you,
and it's pretty much a shit sandwich.
It has been one of the most brutal experiences.
And I know brutal.
14 years of roots.
Every story has two sides,
and I only know my own truth.
The truth is I tried to be there as much as I could.
I tried my best
with 2 young children,
and a failing relationship,
and a full load at school,
and 3 jobs.
Admittedly sometimes my best sucked.
Sometimes I was selfish
and sometimes I was crazy
and sometimes I tried to please too many people
and sometimes I made the wrong choice.
16 years of roots.
According to “The Five Stages of Grief”
I’m in acceptance,
but I’m not sure.
Denial and anger
(and why isn’t sadness a stage?!?!)
still float to the surface now and then.
Mostly because try as I might to
hidedeleteWTF everyone from Facebook
I still get to see the shit I’m left out of.
And it sucks.
Thanks Mark Zuckerberg!
One of the greatest resources of perspective
in all of this
has been the friends
old and new
that have stayed by my side
through the crazy.
The ones I knew
wouldn't punish me
if I came up short
in the game of tit for tat.
The ones who patiently waited out my worst
and taught me how to be a better friend.
And I could say something
about being forever indebted to those girls,
but these friends don’t believe