Okay, I think my good mood is partially back. Enough to write about my friend, Valerie, for Make It Count Monday!
I've known Valerie (a non-blogger, by the way!) since, well, it's hard to say. We went to the same junior high school, she was a year behind me and I knew OF her, but didn't really know her. In high school, I suppose we were acquaintances. At that time, she was more my friend Lindsay's friend. There was this pep club thing at AHS called Contnahomas (it means "Red Skirt") and Lindsay was the President and Valerie was one of the other officer people. So, that's the extent of my friendship withValerie during high school.
In college, we had a class together - my sophomore year, her freshman - and we sat together, mostly I think because we were each other's familiar face. We bonded at one point because our sisters were both pregnant at the same time. After that history class, we didn't really see each other or keep in touch. I think it was about a year later, we had yet another class together (small university so this is not that unusual) which included many instances of studying together. A friendship was born. Just a few short years later, we would become roommates during grad school.
Valerie is a very special and unique friend. She's that sweetest of personalities that everyone adores (and makes you feel like a grouchy bitch by comparison) and a sense of humor that can just shock you with a witty comment out of nowhere. Valerie and I have had very similar trajectories through life, same career choices, same geographic choices and have been side by side through a lot of life events. She was there when the planning of the wedding started (she's very big on lists and so was very helpful) and was there to answer my questions when I first realized I was pregnant.
But as important as all of that is, when I think of Valerie one word comes to mind: Laughter. She and I can laugh about everything and nothing all at the same time. Valerie's Kountry Kitchen/Experimental Cooking Night/Celebrity Cafe (with menu items like Anne Hech-browns, Kurt Brussel Sprouts, and Tom Hanks'n'Franks). And the trips...oh my goodness the road trips. New Orleans and our late discovery that labor day weekend is when they have Southern Decadence (aka Gay Mardi Gras), San Antonio (Dammit Wimberly!) and Taos - when I got sick and stayed at the hotel while she and Lindsay unwittingly hung out at a lesbian bar.
Valerie is back in Texas and now has baby number 2, who I have not met yet. So much of my adult life was spent with Valerie as my buddy, my friend, my confidant and now to not have her around is weird, unsettling and sad. I miss Valerie all the time and I don't think she realizes that, even though we don't talk as much as I'd like, she is always on my mind....especially when something funny happens.