Best Friends

Sheila and Me Proverbs 18:24 reads, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

I am blessed to have such a friend. I first met Sheila when I moved to Bethel in fourth grade, became best friends in high school and roommates in college. Calling her my best friend or even my sister doesn’t come close to pegging our relationship – although she’s both. We share memories and tears, inside jokes and boisterous laughter. We are each other’s mirrors, consciences and memory banks. When we’re together our lives are in mortal danger – we may just die someday of laughter!

Tonight we spent a night on the town, consisting of dinner and a movie. (Okay, I know I saw a movie yesterday with my Mom, but anyone who knows me won’t find this fact surprising. I see a lot of movies!)

I wanted to see Amour, one of the few Oscar picks I hadn’t seen so far. From the previews we knew it was subtitled and promised a lot of shots of actors staring off into space, what we didn’t realize was that it was a movie dedicated solely to watching an old lady die. I’ve read all the reviews and understand we may be in the minority here, but we just didn’t see any subtext, no layers of meaning, just a chronicling of death and so, we did what we always do when faced with something so serious. We went out to dinner and laughed our heads off. It says something about our maturity that we didn’t start this raucous display earlier while still in the theater. Give us a pat on the back please! But as we sprawled out on two comfy sofas in the restaurant’s lobby waiting to be seated, we dissected the movie, somehow managing to understand each other, as we always do, between snorts, knee slaps and bursts of laughter.

This picture of the two of us was taken 25 years ago in our sophomore year at Middlebury College and is one of my favorites. It is how I always see us when I think of our friendship. Sheila looks maniacal here, me like I’m stoned on laughter. We loved this photo of ourselves so much, even back then, that we printed out a score of them, mailing out one a week to Late Night with David Letterman with the hope that he would invite us on his show for our own segment of Stupid Human Tricks. “Andy Warhol says everyone has 15 minutes of fame, this should be ours,” we wrote on one of the photos. Needless to say we never made it on Letterman and he doesn’t know what he missed. We are a pretty special pair!