Thursday, April 18, 2013

How To Be Lifelong Friends Based On Childhood Awkwardness

Megan: When I was four years old, I really, really wanted a friend who was a girl. I had four older brothers and a neighbor friend who was a boy, and I was just really sick of playing ninja turtles and GI Joe. It so happened that the house across the street was for sale, and I started praying with all of my little four-year-old heart that a little girl my age would move into that house. In what was the first miracle of my life, when a family did move in, they had a little blonde girl just my age, and we immediately decided, in the way that children do, to be best friends. And then, for some reason, we decided that this meant we should dress in matching clothes a LOT.

Melissa: Megan and I were fairly different as personalities went. I was a wild soul, my mom used to say my spirit was too big for my body. Megan proved to be a calming factor in my life, she balanced me out pretty well, and I probably did the same. She was the youngest child, with four older brothers in a family who was pretty established. My parents were relative newlyweds with three very young children.

Megan: Because my brothers were between 8 and 14 years older than me, it was like I was an only child sometimes - except that my wonderful brothers were all teenagers who occasionally got a little impatient with a couple of little girls bugging them. I think once we accidentally killed my brother's lizard, and another time a different brother tied Melissa up with duct tape and hung her upside down because she was being annoying (which she thought was hilarious until the duct tape ripped all of her arm hair off - then she went home crying to her mom.)

Melissa: Megan and I were quite the pair. We recall frequently one of our not so finer moments when we dug up a giant hole in her parents lawn to make alligator soup. We also tried to invent mosquito repellent using sugar and water. Not sure why that didn't work. My mom loves to tell the story of when Megan’s mom Judy called her up to congratulate her on becoming pregnant with my sister. My mom hadn't told a soul she was pregnant, she was only a few weeks along, but Megan and I had noticed she was acting weird. The only possible explanation was that she was going to have a baby, so I marched over with Megan to Bert and Judy’s to ask if they would mind taking me trick or treating that year since my mom would probably have a newborn by then. She did have a newborn, and they did take me trick or treating.

Doing "The Monster Mash" in ballet class
Megan: I don't remember that Halloween, but I do remember Melissa's mom showing us her pregnant belly (as the youngest child in my family I'm pretty sure this was my first close encounter with pregnancy). I had my first bee sting in Melissa's back yard (I think I was trying to get rid of it and I caught it with my hand, which I probably couldn't do again if I tried.) I'm also pretty sure that the alligator soup was some kind of witch potion that we were going to feed to (imagined) unsuspecting children.

We just "happened" to dress alike.
Melissa: Not only did we share an affinity for hideous fashion, (okay, that was our mothers) we also bonded over tree climbing, trampoline jumping, make believing, and common toys. We went through phases that basically started with Mattel and ended with American Girl dolls.

Megan: Plus we were always acting out anything we could think of. I remember using my blankets to play Batman and Robin (on the trampoline, of course, so we could fly), making up our own story lines for the characters in all Disney movies (Melissa was a really good sport about being the male characters more than her share), Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, and I'm pretty sure there was a phase when we were Fairy Princess Kitties, because we couldn't decide what we wanted to play.

What's funny about pictures of us from this time is that they start out pretty cute. I mean, when we met, we were four. But then our teeth fell out and grew back in all big, we both got awful 90s glasses and had ridiculous bangs, we started wearing jeans with zippers that were like 18 inches long. The years between about 8 and 15 are just rough, people.

Melissa:I'd like to emphasize the fact that we lived right across from each other, in a very small cul de sac. We were constantly running back and forth. In those days, the biggest problems in our lives were whose house we would meet and what we would play. I don't recall many instances where we would call and make arrangements to play, rather we seemed to be such an important part of each others lives that we were constant fixtures at one another's homes.

Megan: When we were 9, Melissa's family moved to another city. We were devastated. I remember sitting on my mom's lap for what felt like hours, holding my favorite doll and bawling.

Melissa: Moving was the most devastating thing that ever happened to me. It still brings tears to my
27 year old eyes, remembering the day I drove away from Megan. I sobbed the whole 45 minute drive
away from Bountiful. Even at 9 years old, I knew things would never be the same. Our parents were
always good to let us make long distance phone calls, and make the drive from Bountiful to Pleasant View (or vice versa) in order for us to continue to have our stylish and coordinated sleepovers. Over the next two or three years, the phone calls became less frequent, sleep overs were few and far between, I think there was a letter or two in there somewhere, but as we grew up we grew apart.

We were trying to be really cool.
Megan: We kept in touch, but eventually, we had our own lives and our own friends and just didn't make the time to see each other as often. I think we had a double date with our high school boyfriends to watch Psycho, and then I just didn't see her again until her bridal shower.

Melissa: Enter Facebook, and blogs. Of course we had to add each other. You can’t spend the
ugliest years of your life with someone who loves you and not be eternally endeared to them. We
reconnected. Melissa Marsden became Melissa Turney, Megan was there with her parents. Megan Winegar became Megan Long, unfortunately I was out of state, but my parents were there. We have been able to continue to watch each other’s lives, and once again, we've become good friends, thanks to facebook and texting. Recently, Megan and her family were driving through Las Vegas and stayed with us over night. Once again, we found ourselves having a sleep over. We stayed up for longer than we probably should have, laughing ourselves silly with our daughters and husbands close by.

Megan: I think one of my favorite parts of this whole story is that somehow, we have ended up with a lot of the same interests. We watch the same TV shows, we recommend books to each other because we tend to like the same ones. We realized the other day that we inadvertently bought the same car seat for our daughters. I find her family completely delightful, as does my husband, who got a taste of playing zombie dollhouse with Melissa's oldest daughter. Putting my baby to sleep in Melissa's baby's crib gave me a tiny glimpse of the life we imagined as little girls, where we would live next door to each other and have daughters who would be best friends.

Melissa: This summer, my daughter will turn four years old. I can’t help but wondering if she will find a Megan. I hope so. I pray for it. Having Megan was one of the greatest blessings of my life. Even though we never lived close to each other again, and we are adults, we can still be found on occasion, chatting via texting or facebook laughing ourselves silly to jokes that would only be funny to us.

Megan: Because really, when you have this many ridiculous pictures together, you just have to stay friends forever. You can't risk the blackmail.

Have you ever had a best friend? We want to hear about it! Share with us in the comments!

Follow us on Instagram @becominglovelyblog to see the awkward photos that didn't make the post - and then share your awkward childhood photos with us! #tbt #awkwardandlovely


Myrna said...

What an awesome post about a wonderful friendship!

Melissa said...

Although we still live far away I'm not giving up hope for roomates in a nursing home some day. We can wear matching robes again and read all we want.

Sean and Jennie said...

This post brought tears to my eyes as I thought of one particular childhood friend! What an amazing thing it is to have someone who is basically your other half at such a young age! I met Melanie in 4th grade and we did many similar things that you ladies mentioned. One of my favorite memories was painting my fingernails with her in the middle of class one day. Our separation didn't come till college, which I am grateful for! Its amazing how even though we barely get to talk anymore, when we do it feels like we are as close as ever! Yay for girlfriends!!!