Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Your friend is the person who knows all about you, and still likes you." - Elbert Hubard

As part of a business trip last week I had a four hour layover in Atlanta on Thursday evening. Usually a long layover like that would be an annoyance. Since it was in Atlanta, though, it was an exciting opportunity to see one of my best friends.

My friend Jess has lived in Atlanta since around the time we graduated from college with her husband, Dustin, with whom I’m also friends. Jess and I were roommates our freshman year of college, and knew within 12 hours of meeting that we would be good friends. We knew this because we were in a triple room and heard that one person would be moved- we didn’t even have to discuss it, we asked our RA in unison, “Can we stay together?”

We still laugh about that third roommate who only lived with us for a week or so. We mostly enjoy the fact that she had lacy red lingerie hanging in the bathroom right next to her Barbie bath towel, that Jess broke her phone, bought a replacement and then wouldn’t give it to her when she moved out and that we would make fart noises from our beds when she was talking on the phone to her parents early in the morning.

That last thing is pretty representative of the basis of our friendship. We both say we knew we’d be friends for life when, while I was handing Jess hang lights while she stood on a chair to hang them up, she ripped one and then looked down at me, and after a beat stated matter-of-factly “I just farted,” before we both collapsed into giggles.

She changed schools after freshman year which was really sad for me, but we stayed in touch and a year to the day after graduation I was the maid of honor at her wedding.

Most recently she stayed with me at my parents’ house for a few days over Christmas and came with me to a dinner party at one of my friend’s houses. After dinner everyone was sitting in the living room and one girl was talking about her dog’s health problems. The dog would pee on the floor all the time and she was telling us the vet said the dog couldn’t control his sphincter muscle. Everyone nodded and expressed their concern and the conversation continued on. Then about 45 seconds later someone looked over and realized that Jess and I were both silently shaking with laughter on the couch. Everyone looked at us quizzically, and I choked out “we’re still laughing at sphincter.” A lot has changed in our lives but our mutual enjoyment of bathroom humor never will and I think that’s an important part of what has kept us so close all this time.

Now our latest joke will be the piano player at the Houlihan’s in the Atlanta airport who played sassy, ragtime type versions of songs by T.I., Outkast and Dr. Dre.
When I left we didn’t so much say goodbye as sing a lounge-y “You can have whatever you like” to each other as I got in line at security.

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