Sunday, December 2, 2007

23 Years Of KR

Yesterday was KR’s 23rd birthday. 23. We met when we were 14. Which was almost a decade ago. You start feeling old when you can talk about time in terms of decades.

Looking back on nearly a decade of memories, a few specific moments come foremost than others to my mind. KR’s family moved to the Texas town I grew up in right before we started high school. She was introduced to MK at church by our youth pastor, and it wasn’t soon before we crossed paths. She was trying out for the tennis team, and since all of my BFF4L’s were doing the same, we quickly became interested in the new girl.

I spent many a Friday afternoon watching KR and my other friends play tennis that year, because obviously my social life could not start until they were finished with their matches. We even had a name for ourselves, which was the Fabulous Friday Night Five, which was shortened to the Fab Five, for all practical purposes. We shared our first traumatic high school formal experience with each other- mine being an unfortunate 80’s number that involved silver sequins and tulle, hers being the fact that her mother made her wear panty hose with open-toed shoes.

A year after that, she moved to the Austin area. A few girls and I surprised her over our fall break by going down to see her in her new home for a few days. It was a Sunday morning, her family was in church, and her mother came outside to help us orchestrate our surprise. She handed over her car keys to four 15-year-olds, leaving us to elect a driver amongst ourselves, with the exception of MK. MK was not allowed in the driver’s seat, due to being the newest to driving and the most ambitious.

I will never forget the scene of the church ladies and gentlemen leaving the morning services, only to see a red car going 3mph (I was the driver-elect) coast through the parking lot, blaring some teeny-bopper song with girls hanging out the windows and sunroof. I don’t know who was more surprised- KR upon seeing us, or me upon realizing that no one had been hurt and Mrs. R’s car was still intact after my parking lot driving experience.

Junior year of college KR transferred to A&M, and we found ourselves in the same city once again. Senior year we lived in houses less than a block away from each other, and got to spend many a game-day Saturday. The May and June of 2006 will forever be chronicled away in our minds as “The Lost Months”, which we spent taking a summer course in finance and studying/going insane in the far recesses of the business school. After graduating college I called her often and we talked wistfully of New York and how great it would be and how much we both just wanted to give it a try.

When I think of KR, I recall the time we begged her sister to drive us to Spaghetti Warehouse in her parents’ convertible ‘Stang (only to arrive at the restaurant with hair tangled beyond recognition).

I look back at an unforgettably hot summer spent working with her in Austin, and calling her father when her parents were gone one weekend to ask for detailed instructions on using his propane grill for the first time so that we could make burgers. I think he assumed we would either blow up his house or give up all together. Thankfully, we did neither.

I remember KR bringing over a package of just-add-water angel food cake mix to my house in college, only to watch the cake balloon up in the oven and realize that she had, in fact, added too much water.

I have fond memories of spring break trips spent together in Destin, and in New York.

I will never see anything leopard print and not think of her.

So, to a dear friend on her 23rd birthday, I offer my thanks. Thanks to you, the friend who introduced me to such movies as “Shag”, “Beaches” and “Anchorman”, who has a gift for making anyone feel comfortable and welcome, lover of all things involving bread and cheese, my fellow Will-Ferrell-movie-quoter and whose friendship has meant so many different things to me throughout the years. I would not trade this experience with you and AV or our friendship for anything in the world.

Know that you are so loved by so many.

We’re living the dream, kid.

"There are people whom one loves immediately and forever. Even to know they are alive in the world with one is quite enough."
-Nancy Spain

"...My cup runneth over."
-Psalm 23:5b

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