About a year ago, The Hubby asked if I wanted to go for a ride and run an errand with him. Even though we weren’t on quarantine, I was still up for a ride and some peaceful time alone with my man. As we were driving, I asked what we were doing. The Hubby, being The Hubby, had seen on Facebook that a friend needed help. I forget the exact circumstances, but I do remember this. He said, "Now, you can NOT get all crazy about what I’m going to tell you. The reason she needs help is," he turned to give me a warning look, "she just had a baby."
A baby? I looooove babies! Even more than dogs! Too bad for me.
"Listen," The Hubby continued in a serious tone, "you are NOT getting out of the car. She needed someone to help her because she’s got two other kids and her husband is working. She does not need some nutjob drooling all over her baby. Are we clear? You are not to get out of the car." Dang. He knows me too well.
So, we drove to the lady’s house, The Hubby gave her whatever it was (I honestly don’t even remember what,) and I sat patiently in the car. I behaved myself. Karma rewarded me.
The lady, Liz, immediately sent The Hubby AND me a Facebook message, thanking us profusely. It was super sweet. "You should friend her," The Hubby said, "I think you’d really like her." So, I sent a request, she accepted, and the rest is history.
Eventually, Becca and I were able to go meet up with Liz, the adorable baby, and her hilarious toddler (the big boys — Ben and Liz’s oldest son — were both at basketball, I think) at Burger King. I got to hold the baby, FINALLY, and Liz and I got to chat. And chat and chat and chat. I believe it was then we began to realize that, clearly, we are somehow related. Sisters from a different mother. Awkward amigos. Friends for life.
Honestly, I don’t even see Liz very often. Mostly, she posts on Facebook and I comment, or I post on Facebook and she comments, or we message back and forth. But, the more I get to know her, the more I love her, and the more I see why people say the things to me that they do. When she posted photos of her boys making cookies and licking the beaters, Liz gave about 50 reasons in the post about why it was OK her boys were consuming raw cookie dough. I said, "Stop worrying about people judging you! My mother isn’t your Facebook friend! SHE IS CERTAIN I’m going to die from eating raw cookie dough!" (Sorry, Mom.) My point being, she should just post what she wants and trust that we, her friends, all know she is a great mom. I, however, also stress over every little nuance of my posts, worry that my voice sounds too crabby, or my kids sound too sassy, or my tone comes across as know-it-all. I can dish out the "don’t worry about it" advice, I just can’t take it. So, we both freak out about what everyone thinks of our parenting. Which, I guess, is probably true for many people and not all that amazing.
To see where our sisterhood lies, you must dig deeper. You need to know that Liz has done things like start the washing dishes, go to change over laundry, get distracted by folding, and flood the kitchen. Hhmm. Remember the time I started water in my laundry sink and then flooded the entire laundry room? She interrupts other people unintentionally because she’s gotten an idea and is so excited to tell them. The Hubby has to grab my leg or step on my foot to shut me up, OFTEN. She has left the cap on liquor she purchased in a store and then had to send her husband back in to get it taken off. I’ve walked out with a bag of Oreos in my hand and gone back the next day to pay for them. We’ve both set our potholders on fire, more than once. We’ve walked into glass doors. We’ve knocked our kids over accidentally. We are dangerously clumsy. Even these types of acts, though, may not necessarily make us related. You may have to look even closer.
When you go to a drive-through, do you get nervous about making an order? Does it make your palms sweat? If you must leave a message on someone’s phone and you didn’t rehearse it first, do you end up stringing random sentence fragments together until the time limit is up? When you buy someone a gift, do you get knots in your stomach, thinking your purchase will be a major disappointment and ruin your friendship? No? We do. Liz and I are nutty like that. What I love about Liz is that she GETS what it’s like to be inside my head. She does not think I’m a looney bird when I tell her ordering a sandwich for my father-in-law at Jersey Mike’s gives me a panic attack — even if I have his order written down (and I know in my head he’ll eat whatever the heck I bring him anyway.) One night this week, The Hubby looked at me like a specimen in a science experiment and said, "Do you realize you just said five different random comments within a one minute time period? How do you do that?" I told him he should feel what it’s like inside this head. I told him he’s lucky, he gets to get away from me sometimes. I have to be with me and my crazy brain all the time. Liz understands that. She gets that ADHD and anxiety are debilitating, irritating, frustrating, illogical, uncontrollable, and sometimes downright hilarious. I know I can tell her my weirdest fear, and she’ll say, "Oh, I’ve thought that!" I can’t explain to you how comforting it is to know someone else has. Even just one person.
A year ago, The Hubby went to help a friend. He was just being kind and generous and wonderful, like usual. In his act of random goodwill, he helped me find my spastic soul sister. We’ll try not to burn the house down, but we’re not making any promises.
Laura Hall lives in Indian River with her wonderful husband, two of her three children, and two loving Golden Retrievers. It’s a bit of a zoo. She is an elementary reading teacher and a writer. You can contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.