Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My best

Two days from today one of my favorite people will be celebrating the anniversary of her birth. I won't tell you how old she'll be because it isn't polite to ask a lady her age, and it's even less polite to tell it without permission. I am, however, going to take the next couple of days to tell you a little bit about her and our friendship.

I am talking about my very best friend, Julieanna. I just call her Julie.

We've known each other since the fall of 1997. I had entered my first year of Ensemble (the auditioned chorus in our high school), and I didn't know anyone in the class. Actually, I did know one person but she clearly didn't want to admit that she knew me considering that she pretended I didn't exist.

At this point I'm sure you're wondering why the heck it matters if I knew anybody. It's a class, shouldn't I have been focusing on the teacher and not socializing? Well, yes, in a normal class I would have. But ensemble was different. There was a lot of down time as we would often practice in individual parts. I was a soprano, and when sopranos weren't practicing I didn't have much to do except stare at the wall. This is why it helped to have some friends to distract you.

I was a newbie and most of the class fell back into the groups they had formed the previous year. I was often left alone to entertain myself. I didn't mind much. I like my alone time and it isn't often in high school that you get such a rare opportunity. The first week or so it bothered me that I didn't have anyone to talk to, but I got over it quickly. I started bringing a book to read; saving it for this one time of day when I could do whatever the hell I wanted. At the time I was reading the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. I think I was on book three or four. When I was free from singing I would find a private place in the classroom, away from everyone else, and lose myself in whatever shenanigan Anne had recently gotten herself into.

Then one day, about a month into school, I hear someone say, "Hey! What'cha readin'?" I looked over the top of my book to see a girl with dark hair, high cheekbones, and a big beautiful grin looking up at me from a chair a couple of feet away. I answered with the title of the book. I was annoyed because she could read the title from where she was and why the heck was she interrupting my solitude? She asked me a few more questions, I answered as shortly as possible and made it pretty obvious that I preferred to read my book. Eventually she gave up and left me alone, but she came back the next day. This went on for a few days until one day I grudgingly caved and just stopped reading all together.

Her name was Julie, she was and alto, and she was going to stop at nothing until I joined her group of friends. So I did. I began chatting with them in class and sat with them at lunch (ensemble was during lunch period), and they invited me to games and things after school. I had found a group of people that I enjoyed being with. I had made friends in ensemble.

Julie, however, was the leading influence in my activity with the group. She invited me to do all sorts of things. She even drove me home from school a few times, and let me tell you, I was going to be her friend forever if she would save me from having to ride the bus.

The school year was going along and then Julie started talking about her birthday coming up. I knew I wanted to get her something, but couldn't quite figure out what.

This is where I tell you the weired thing we had going in our group. We were all girly girls and one of our major loves were pretty panties. A local department store always had a really good selection of cheap, frilly panties, and we loved to go shop there. Often if one of us was having a bad day Julie would go and buy a $3 pair of panties, wrap them up and give them to us just to make us feel better. She's a giver like that. It was fun, and to this day I can't resist a pretty panty display.

Then one night I was walking around the local Walmart and I came across a little box. It was painted yellow with a vine pattern on it and it had six tiny drawers in it. The drawers were the perfect size to hold one pair of panties. So I went to our favorite panty store, picked out six different pairs of panties and stuffed each drawer full. The perfect gift.

Something about that little box filled with women's underthings sealed our friendship. From that birthday on Julie and I have been like two peas in a pod. I haven't been able to replicate such a perfect gift in the last eleven years. I don't know if I ever will.

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