Best Friends

Best Friends

My best friend in high school was my perfect friend match. Our friendship was one of the most important relationships of my formative years. Ironically, she was the complete opposite of me. We dressed different, she shopped for clothes in malls and mine came from the thrift store. We were from different backgrounds. I came from a poor home and she was the daughter of a doctor. She was a cheerleader and I was President of the Art Club. We were even of different races and from opposite cultures. Despite all of our differences, Angie and I became the best of friends.

Sometimes I think about what made us so close. How were we alike? We were both artists. We both loved comedy and loved to laugh. We were both individuals, not part of any clique. We were both responsible teens and fiercely independent. Each with single working moms who were not able to be around much, both of them trying to make ends meet, while raising spirited daughters.

Our friendship began when we both became friends with this girl in middle school and we all started hanging out together. We quickly realized she was a bully and quit spending time with her, becoming inseparable friends ourselves. I have to admit I am grateful to that bully because without her I may never have had the chance to get to know Angie.

One of my favorite things about having her as a friend was the laughter we shared together. I have never laughed consistently so hard in my life with anyone as I did with her. It was the early 1990’s and Eddie Murphy was huge. We were so smitten with him that we bought all of his standup comedy cassette tapes and memorized them. We were constantly in fits of laughter, reciting Eddie Murphy jokes to each other.

Like our friendship there was even an irony in this. We went to a high school where we saw a lot of the issues and characteristics that Eddie made jokes about. He laughed at white people and black people. With me being white and her being black and also going to polarized Decatur High in the early 90’s, it was relatable. Too bad that the other kids could not see the humor that we did.

Neither one of us really fit into any one group in high school. She got made fun of by some kids who said she was trying to be white because she wore nice clothes and was well spoken. I was often snubbed because I loved 60’s rock and dressed like a hippie. From my perspective, most of them were without individuality of their own. Neither of us was interested in being in a popularity contest. We both felt free to just be ourselves.

We lost touch for nearly thirty years but recently have been reconnected. It’s like we have started from where we left off. We are still so different but also so much alike at the same time. Her openness, non-judgement and care remind me of why I loved her so much back then. She helped make me who I was then and she still does today. I love my friend Angie to the moon and back! I am so happy to have her in my life again!

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