Best Friends and Bees
My best friend Fern and I have spent the majority of the summer communicating via short, misspelled texts. (I have not yet mastered this new technology, as my 15-year old daughter Melissa will attest.)
Although Fern and I live a mere 15 minutes from each other by car, spending time together is a far and few between luxury. Certain obstacles get in the way of a get together, including, but not limited too:
1. Our jobs
2. Our kids
3. Our husbands
4. Our laundry
5. You get the idea
Finally last Monday, with Fern's daughter tucked away at the sea shore, and Melissa spending a week with my inherited daughter Jessica, we realized that, although we'd be abandoning our husbands, we could actually spend a couple of hours together.
I glanced at the clock every few minutes at work, looking forward to day's end and the start of my time with my BFF. After changing out of the dreaded work dress and pumps, I wolfed down a quick dinner with my husband Bob and ran out the door. Upon entering my car, I glanced left, then right. A veritable trash dump greeted my gaze, and, although I knew Fern wouldn't mind, I just couldn't let my her sit amid half full water bottles, an empty can of soda, tissues, napkins, expired magazines, rubber bands, gum wrappers, a broken umbrella, a blanket, a pillow, and a bag full of CD that are now obsolete since we've embraced the iPod.
I paused before starting the car and set to work making the passenger seat presentable for my dear, best friend. Several trips to the trash can later, I settled comfortably in my seat, and, feeling a sense of accomplishment, turned the key into the ignition.
However, unbeknownst to me, while I was cleaning the car, someone....or should I say....something had decided to join me for the ride.
(Cue theme from jaws)
No sooner had I turned out of my driveway into the street did I hear a soft, yet ominous buzzing sound. I glanced around for the source of the noise, and discovered to my horror the WORLD'S LARGEST BEE sitting comfortably on my windshield!
"Maybe it's on the outside," came my immediate wishful thinking!
No such luck!
At this point, I realized I needed to stay calm, keep both hands on the wheel and behave in a mature, rational manner so that I did not end up as video footage on the 11 pm news.
"Our top story tonight, a horrific accident occurred in New Jersey earlier this evening. Authorities are reporting that the driver, Lisa Weinstein, lost control of the car while trying to kill a bee."
Soooooo - I let out a blood curdling scream, swerved my car onto a patch of grass of the side of the road, came to an abrupt halt, threw open the door and begging my uninvited guest to leave, which, gratefully, it did.
The only positive side to the ENCOUNTER WITH THE BEE, was I knew I'd have a great story to share with Fern, which is exactly what I did an hour later as the two of us sat on a park bench savoring a huge cup of ice cream (there are no calories when you eat ice cream with your best friend).
We talked about the shared joy of our daily dealings with our delightful teen daughters.(For my readers who do not have teen daughters, please note that this sentence is dripping with sarcasm, since teen daughters were born with a genetic disposition to think their mothers are morons.) We talked of our husbands, our jobs, our finances, our dreams, our memories, our regrets, and our love for each other and our 40 year old friendship.
Fern came into my life in the first grade. I'm not sure if she invited me to her house first, or if I had extended the initial invitation, however, we fast became best friends. As the elementary years passed, hopscotch and bike rides gave way to walks to the corner drug store to buy the latest movie magazines. Middle school found us in different classes, and new friends temporarily filled the gap. When high school came along, Fern chose to remain in our school close to home, while I chose a school across town. The friendship could have ended there...but the gods had other plans.
We "discovered" each other once again during out first year of college and immediately picked up where we left off. Of course, our priorities had changed slightly, to now include boys and boys and boys and boys and boys, oh, and did I mention....boys. Of course, we also had to discuss parties, and our classes, which both included boys!
Graduation came and went, along with lamenting about job interviews and resumes, and nasty bosses, and shopping for work clothes, and searching for husbands. Then came weddings, and pregnancies, and babies, and health issues, and new jobs, and lost jobs, and a painful divorce, and a wonderful new husband, and step-children. We have shared secrets and laughter, screamed and cried, argued and made up, and, through it all, have never wavered in our status as best friends.
So last Monday, as I recounted the tale of the killer bee and we enjoyed the simplicity of a summer evening eating ice cream, I relished every moment with her and I knew, 40 years later, we'd probably be complaining about our grand kids, still eating ice cream, and reminiscing about killer bees!
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