June 09, 2011

velveeta

Nearly 20 years ago, I was joking with friends at a party when I first met Melanie. The comraderie was instant. Within minutes, I felt I was talking with the sister I'd never had. We had so much fun we almost forgot we'd each come to the party with a date! Though we're 10 years apart in age and have never lived in the same city, for the past 20 years we've been inseparable.

We've cycled through jobs, relationships, pets, cars, fashions and hair styles... as best friends. She flew to my wedding holding hand engraved goblets the entire flight so they wouldn't break. She flew out to Austin after I moved there to bring out my cat, Charlie. We've laid on the beach talking for hours. We've eaten our tummies into a mess enjoying the autumnal frivolity of Apple Hill with all things apple and kettle corn. We've gone months without seeing each other and yet pick up right where we left off. There's nothing we can't share.

Crazily independent and strong willed, as we've hashed through some of life's toughest and most humbling moments, we've found solace and courage in each others warmth, humor and support. She's always got my back. I've got hers.

We share a code word we send in a text message when life REALLY sucks and we REALLY need to talk. Velveeta. We picked Velveeta because nothing melts worse into a sticky puddle of goo than Velveeta. Velveeta, sent as a 1-word text message, says, HELP! I really need the sound of your voice right now.

Today is her birthday. Today and when she visits me on Saturday in Sonoma County for a girls-day-out, we're going to celebrate her. I want to make sure she knows how special she is, how much she matters to all of us who love her.

Today, it's not about Velveeta. It's more like super nachos grande!!!

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