They wore shoelaces in their hair like ribbons, those pretty decorative shoelaces that were popular when I was a kid. I don't know if they had shoelaces in their hair that day, the little girls, but in my memory child-Christine always had her hair pulled back with a printed shoelace.
We weren't in the same class in school until fifth grade, but we were best friends anyway. We played together at recess every day, and after school, strange little imagination games that hardly ever involved other children. We went to the same church, and the same dentist. I got involved in ice skating because Christine and her sister were taking skating lessons.
We remained close friends until college. One of the strangest aspects of going out of state to school was the realization that Christine wouldn't be there. I wasn't worried about the fact that my high school boyfriend wouldn't join me, but I couldn't imagine not having Christine living just down the street.
After college, we both found ourselves back in Michigan for awhile. We spent a long summer hanging out every weekend with Kate, finding various ways to amuse ourselves. It's funny: it's all so long ago now, all the details are blurry. Over ten years ago, she decided that Michigan was simply not for her. Without a job or a plan, she packed up her belongings and moved to Seattle, where she re-identified herself and started a new life.
Since then, I hardly ever see her. We used to talk and email quite regularly, but our communication has lessened with each passing year. (We're both rather unimpressive correspondents.) However, it doesn't seem to matter. She is the kind of friend who, no matter how long since we last saw one another, we fall immediately into easy and comfortable conversation. We joke and chat and tell stories, as though it was just a week we were apart instead of years.
It was a delight to see her this week, even though it was unfortunately her grandmother's death that brought her back into town. I visited the funeral home on tuesday, paying my condolences and catching up with the family that once was almost as close as my own family. It was good to see them all again. Fortunately she was clever enough to schedule her flight home for friday, so she could squeeze a night of fun in before she left. Always good to have something to look forward to.
Last night, four girls (all friends since at least high school) went to Luna. It was awesome, and so much fun! 80's night at Luna was the perfect place for us of course, because it was all about flashbacks and reunions anyway. Three of us had been in Dance Club together during high school, so when a couple of songs came on, we tried to remember our old dances together. We introduced some new friends, danced like crazy, shared memories ("Remember listening to this in the Green Bean?"), and laughed with one another.
At one point, when we were sitting against the wall and jokingly doing the Hand Jive to...um...the B52s?...a guy slumped down next to me and asked about it. I showed him how it was done, and he introduced himself around.
I was surprised to note that Christine introduced herself as "Chris". Surprising, since when we were younger she would never allow anyone to leave the "-tine" out of her name, but fine by me.
After a few more minutes of chatting, the guy asked me, "So is Chris your boyfriend? Will he be mad that I'm talking to you?"
I was so startled! Sure with her slim build and short hair, I suppose she does look (and act) awfully masculine -- especially in a dark bar. It just totally made me laugh though, because I've known her FOREVER. But I figured it wasn't worth explaining. I just responded, "No. Not my boyfriend."
Then of course it occurred to me what he really wanted to know, and I elaborated, "My boyfriend's not here tonight. But I do have a boyfriend. You're welcome to hang out with us though." He politely stayed a bit longer, then wandered off. Just as well... I was busy having fun with my girls.
I requested Sister of Mercy, but the DJ didn't want to play them. "We play them every other night," he told me.
"Even if I ask nicely? But I only come on thursdays!" That made him more open to the idea, because he only spins on thursdays. Eventually we bugged him enough that he played it for us, the second-to-last song. Yay! Unfortunately K missed it, because she and her boy had a long drive home.
After dancing, despite it being 2am, and despite having a 9am meeting this morning, I suggested Coney Island. I was having too much fun, and I didn't want the night to end! Alas eventually, after deserts and more conversation, it had to.
I've been fairly exhausted today, but it was completely worth it. I need to make myself go out to Luna on thursdays more often. I always have a great time, just sometimes after a long day of work I forget how much I will enjoy it. Maybe that should be a resolution of sorts: more dancing on thursday nights.
Dancing, and more time with friends! That's the best way to spend an evening.