Friendships forged in fire can never be broken. When you experience horrors side-by-side, the bond is forever. When you see things that no human should ever have to see, experience atrocities that will never be spoken of again, and somehow live to tell the tale – that is what authentic, everlasting camaraderie is made of.
Sam and Frodo had Mordor.
The Band of Brothers had Germany.
Christina B. Ward and I had junior high.
[Right there might have be an ideal opportunity to share a picture of us at 13. You’re clamoring for it, I KNOW. But please. Allow us to maintain a small amount of dignity.]
Long before “Ward” was a part of her name, Christina and I were girlhood pals in Montrose, Colorado. We bonded over our love of boys, and our complete inability to do anything about it because – and I know this is hard to believe – we weren’t exactly “cool.” “Cool” came later. Obviously.
Her family moved away in 9th grade, and by the end of high school, we had almost completely lost touch. It wasn’t until several years out of college that we reconnected, and she boldly flew out to visit me in Seattle. A risky move, perhaps – because who’s to say I hadn’t turned into a sociopath?
Luckily, we picked up right where we had left off – only this time, with bigger boobs, clearer skin, straighter teeth, and better style. Christina had just finished law school, taken the bar in Boston, and was getting ready for her wedding. I was selling my furniture and preparing to head out on a 3 month road trip, followed by a move to Nashville. I remember commenting during that visit that our junior high selves would be in awe of our current selves. I hold to that.
We get along because we both like wine & cheese, and we both like karaoke. Those things don’t necessarily go together, but then again, YOU’D BE SURPRISED.
Christina is an amazingly loyal friend, and writes some of the best emails I’ve ever received. She and her very awesome husband are both lawyers in Boston, and as an homage to their education at Boston College, named their puggle “Dog Flutie.” She has been known to do the splits on the dance floor at weddings. She lives a very New England existence, which is foreign to me, but I take advantage of experiencing it as often as possible with visits to Beantown. I have half a mind to just take up permanent residence in her guest room.
And no matter how bad life gets, we both take great comfort in the fact that we will never, ever have to go back to junior high.