This Is Us

I have this one friend who knows where all the bodies are buried.

Feel me? We were college roommates, post-college roommates, post-post college soul mates, and now she goes by Auntie B. Together, we’ve done it all, from Spring Breaks, to wedding dates. From hook ups to break ups to makeups. From final exams to mid-pregnancy emergency cervical exams (true story).

Auntie B has so much dirt on me, I might as well change my name to Weinstein. She remembers the time that we dot dot dot fill in the blank any number of a hundred different ways.

We were babies when we met, and now she loves my babies like her own. She’s been there for my proudest days, my wildest schemes, and my ugliest moments. And still, she keeps my secrets.

More than that, she keeps my memories. Check that; she doesn’t just keep my memories; she is my memory.

She knew me back when; she  knew the girl with the black pants and the roll-on body glitter (don’t judge), the girl who thought she knew what stress was, and what the answers were, and all the words to all the songs. She knew the girl who knew how to get away with it (whatever IT was at the time), she was there when we didn’t get away with it, and she was down for it all.

And on the hard days, the days when it’s all just too much, she can still find the glimmer of that once-upon-a-time-girl when I’m sure she’s been lost forever.

She knows all the best stories. The inside jokes. The things that no one knows. The things I’ve done, and said, and can never un-say.  Through the parties, the punchlines, the costumes, the clubs, the boys, the babies, the darkness, the fights, the funerals, the failures, the heartbreaks, the miracles, she stuck. We made it. 20 years and still kicking it (what, whaaat).

The most amazing thing for me is that my kids will get to know Me through her. Me as I was, back when I was That Girl. They’ll (eventually, and with heavy redactions) get to hear the stories and the memories and pretend to not believe her when she tells them about their crazy Mom back in the day. She’ll help them slowly realize that I used to be a person, once, back in the 1900’s. And, hopefully, my daughter will learn what it means to have a real girl-friend, who then becomes family.

Time marches on, people change, responsibilities encroach and erode the hopeful excitement of the teens and twenties. Things change, but not all things, and sometimes we can just roll with the changes like the tides, different but the same, or better even. Like how things always taste better when they’re slow-cooked, the flavors deepening and melding together, until you don’t even remember what you put in the pot so long ago, anyway.

So, thank you, Auntie B.  Thank you for remembering, and thank you for still being able to find Me amidst all the chaos and the fine lines.

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