In 1997 I met my best friend, I just didn’t know it yet. We had both enrolled in a confirmation class at the Presbyterian church in my hometown. Neither of us were particularly religious even at the time but I think some combination of social pressure and general curiosity led us both to that same place. And thank goodness it did.
We skipped close to 50% of the classes, which I’m sure was a bad sign even to our very understanding pastor. We’d find ourselves on our way to the church but then…there was fresh snow and the sun was out and shouldn’t we really be snowshoeing instead? Yes. We should. I’m almost certain that at some point we used the phrase ‘What would Jesus do? Probably go snowshoeing.’ or maybe ‘God wouldn’t have made snowshoes if he didn’t want us to skip church school and use them.’
It probably goes without saying that neither of us were confirmed into that church and that class actually gave birth to my now rampant skepticism, but it also led me to the most important relationships in my life (because Jess later introduced me to Dave as well). I put my faith in that friendship over anything I can’t see any day.
Two years later on a hot August night my bags were packed and I was leaving, LEAVING THIS ONE HORSE TOWN (says 18-year-old me…30 year old me really really wants to move back to that one horse town) on to greener pastures. But moving on meant saying goodbye to my bestie, a year younger than me, and leaving her to fend for herself in the torturous hell that high school can be.
The night before I was leaving she said she had a surprise. We met at the park and walked to the breakwall where we walked stealthily out as far as we dared in the dark and sat down together under the stars with the lake washing up below us. And from her bag she produced a bottle of Boone’s Farm. Perhaps the most delicious juice-with-some-alcohol that has ever dared to call itself wine. And we passed it back and forth and promised to write (actual letters people, and we did) and vowed to stay friends forever. And we did.
In 2001 I met Dave. And a few weeks later I met his older sister Lesya. Our first conversation happened after they picked us up at Dave’s dorm and we had breakfast at Big Boy’s…not the most ideal first maybe-could be-future-sister-in-law encounter. We remedied that by getting out of our minds drunk later that night. Step one: each of us chugged a bottle of Boone’s Farm. Step two: I’m foggy on the details but I know we had a good time.
Since then our relationship has gone through ups and downs, as most relationships do. No one understands the importance of a sisterly bond more than I do, so when we hit the ‘downs’ I always felt really sad and confused. In retrospect I think maybe there were bound to be some rocky times when two first-born daughters with some control issues love the same man so much.
Luckily we’re also both intelligent, logical, and share a belief in family as a flawed, wonderful reason for living. Either way, I appreciate the way the trials we’ve had add to the strength of what we share now as sisters, mothers, friends and lovers of Dave.
Also, I firmly believe a shared love of wine that brought us together will get us through what is to come. And I assure you I am using that term so loosely in relation to the Boone’s and I vow that we shall never stoop that low again, right Les?