Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Howie and Ollie: The Epic

Allow me to tell you the story of two girls who came to be known as Howie and Ollie (aka me and my best friend). Ollie and I met in a twist of fate: we were both assigned to the same freshman year gym class, among other classes as we soon discovered. In said gym class, we were the only two high school girls who still had AA-size boobs (and we knew this because we had to change out of our uniforms and into gym clothes in the locker room before class). Hence, our first similarity was discovered. And we bonded over AA boobs.

Our friendship blossomed that year. In biology class, we made a cell out of cake at Ollie's house, giggling while trying to get the frosting just right. In English class where we would sign to each other across the classroom in order to keep in constant contact. She knew more people than I did since she went to school in the area, so she introduced me into her group of friends. And my identity was born. I had found my family away from home.

Over the years, we did high school girl things. Rolled in laughter on my parents' living room floor watching Charlie Chaplin videos for an English project. Crying over stupid boys who didn't realize what great women we would become (and neither did we). Drooled over pictures of Scott Wolf in teen magazines. Hung out at the movie theater and the mall with our huge group of friends because that's what kids did. She made fun of my frizzy hair (I got a line of her homemade Le Pouf Ease hair care for my birthday one year) and my innocence (another birthday brought a vandalized box of tampons warning of the dangers of ITMS -- I Touch Myself Syndrome). I admired her because she was smart and pretty and had a boyfriend first.

People say college is the best four years of your life because you really solidify your identity and figure yourself out, meet friends you'll have the rest of you life. But, for me, that was high school. They were the best four years of my life, spent with my best friend, who is still my best friend, and always will be. We laughed, we cried, we fought, we apologized, we gossiped and we worked hard to make it into the best colleges we could.

We parted ways four years later: she went to college in Connecticut, me in Boston. But there were phone calls and e-mails and IM messages and packages of silly trinkets and notes and bus rides to visit each other. She was my backbone when I didn't have one. She cheered me up when I was depressed. I made her laugh when she was stressed out over her tough program. I sobbed in a corner the night she almost broke up with the man she married six years later. The distance and lack of high school drama actually brought us closer, and that trend continued after college when neither of us really kept in touch with those friends we were supposed to have made for life over the last four years.

I can't possibly narrate all of the memories, and I'm sure I could go on and on, but I'll let the pictures finish the story. I don't have many from those precious high school years because we didn't have digital photography back then, but here's some and then what happened after then...

Senior prom: Howie and Ollie BFFs

Out last day of high school (Ollie and I are next to each other in the second row, second and third from the left). This was about half of our group, six of whom are still with their senior year sweethearts! And yes, we wore uniforms.

Leaving for our senior cruise on Boston Harbor.

Graduation day! A happy and sad time. Ollie is laying in the front, sneezing (she's known for sneezing up to 23 times consecutively). I am in the back, hugging Pooh-Bear and standing next to Jed!

Many years later... I'm the one in the glasses, she's the one with the cute smile.
St. Patrick's Day 2006: one of the few times I could get her into Boston (she hates cities and crowds).

Girls' South Beach trip, Memorial Day Weekend 2006 (her unofficial bachelorette party)

My 25th birthday pub crawl in Boston, June 2006: this is how we get down, notice the dollar bill in my hand. (Yes, I'm wearing a camo miniskirt, yes.)

Ollie's bachelorette party, July 2006: Ollie giving me a dirty look but being such a good sport playing the entire deck of bachelorette cards we got her. One instructed her to wear her bra over her shirt, and she did walk around the entire bar before going into the bathroom to put it back under her shirt.

Ollie's wedding, August 2006: This is one of my favorite pics of my BFF because it is so her. Drinking a Coke in the limo on the way to the church, leaning so she doesn't accidentally spill any on her dress (I couldn't fit my Tide pen in my tiny purse). That is her brother on the side.

Girls' PVD night out, November 2006: Ollie molesting me at a bus stop, me clinging to the bus sign for dear life.

Girls' Christmas in Boston 2006: We saw Stomp and had dinner in the North End. In front of the Christmas tree in Boston Common (L-R) Tee, Ollie, me (I made the Oofa face back then!)

In da club, May 2007: Ollie, Jed, me (rockin' the Kangol)

Bermuda, October 2008: Sexy, drinking, cigar-smoking ladies on the deck of the Swizzle Inn

Hello Charlie! You called? Howie and Ollie armed and ready.

After living at least a half hour apart for 14 years, Ollie (who isn't really Ollie anymore because her last name changed when she got married) lives a mere five minutes from my new house, just across the Mass/RI line. = ) Our dogs get together for play dates, our men are close friends, and we chat until the wee hours of the morning with a bottle of wine (or martinis) and the SATC DVDs at each other's houses.

A Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop Assignment: How did you meet your best friend?


KatBouska said...

Wow! You two are tight!! Like Oprah and Gail...minus the famous part.

Love all the pictures!!

Unknown said...

Cute! I'm so glad you posted this!

Ally Wasmund said...

oh my gosh, you guys have such a special bond! it's even better you get to live so close to each other now. what a gift!

Elizabeth Marie said...

Oh wow!!! SO CUTE!! And I'm so glad you guys live so close now, what a freakin blessing!!

Elizabeth Marie said...

Umm..google said I wasn't following you.

Lets get one thing straight. I'd follow you to the moon and back.


Vivian said...

Aw, that is so sweet!!! Long-time friends are so special. I've known my best friend since we were 8 years old, and I think that gives us a pretty strong bond!