Shrinky Dink and I first crossed paths at childbirth class in 1999. I remember her mostly because of her (based on first impressions, butthole of a) husband who self-importantly talked on his cell phone in the hallway for most of the class. She remembers me mostly as a (likely single) woman who (most likely) pretended her husband was sick so she didn't have to admit that she had no man to accompany her to childbirth class. Turns out, her now-ex really is a butthole and I really was (and am) married. (Tree Guy didn't come to the class because he was sick, and we were afraid he'd pass it along to all the mamas-to-be in class.)
Fast forward 9 months or so, and Shrinky Dink and I met up again, this time at a young mothers' group at church. We both had our adorable, chubby, big-headed, blue-eyed, six-month-old babies with us.
We immediately started comparing notes. We discovered that not only did we go to the same church, but it was the first time for both of us to come to the young mothers' group; we were both raised in different religious denominations, but "converted"; we were both born in the same state; we both graduated with social science degrees; we both had our babies delivered in the same hospital by the same obstetrician a mere 4 days apart, and our kids had the same pediatrician.
We started hanging out. Over time we discovered that we also share a tendency to neurosis and a really goofy sense of humor. Bonus! We bonded over baby-obsessing, coffee, and shared values. Her baby pinched. Mine hit people with sticks. We went to story time at the book store. To the zoo. To birthday parties. Shrinky Dink had two more kids. I found out I had secondary infertility. She helped me through health crises, hospitalizations, surgeries. I helped her through a painful marriage and a just-as-painful divorce and custody battle.
And here we are, 12 years later. Living on the same street by choice. Sharing meals and gripe sessions, and as always, coffee. I help her with child care. She helps me with highlights and eyebrow maintenance. She's a fabulous cook. I can entertain slumber parties of giggly girls. She knows how to use a power drill. I can organize like a mofo. If we were fundamentalist Mormons, I'd totally choose her for a sister-wife.
Her birthday's this weekend. (Psst! She's got a BOYFRIEND! Finally, a guy we can actually be around without throwing up in our mouths a little.) So I probably won't get to see her much. I'll make her a cake anyway, even though she selfishly declined to babysit the house painters for me on her birthday. (I mean, what else does she have to do that day?!)
Happy birthday to my BFF!