When I was in junior and senior high, I had an incredible friend named Shelly. She and I lost contact when I moved to Canada and proceeded to lose my mind. When my mind came back, Shelly had moved and I didn't know where. Her husband has a common name and every time I looked him up, there were a bazillion choices. I gave up.
We were in a small school (that's a severe understatement) so friend choices were limited. However God was looking out for me and I got a great friend. Shelly was as easy-going as anyone I'd ever known and had a kick-butt sense of humor. I loved her as much as a teenager is capable of loving. She was a year older than me so she graduated before me. I wondered how I'd survive without her. I cried and cried.
Several months ago I tried looking for Shelly again. I found a website and from that site was able to determine where Shelly lives and get her phone number. (On a side note, I'm curious about what I'd get if I paid money to find out stuff? I've been really tempted to pay and find out what's out there on me. I never have, only because Gordon won't let me use a credit card to find out stuff about me. However I have typed in many names to see what I can find out for free. I learned that my sister Stacie is married to Jimmy and the last five places they've lived. My mom is married to my step-dad and they live in Mena. I used to be married to Kent, now he's married to Julie. People Search lost track of me when I left the US. They have me in North Dakota. I guess when you leave the US they put you in whatever state is closest to the country you went to. Anyway the site is cool and I'm sure you'll have fun learning where your mom and dad live, and if they are truly married.)
I phoned Shelly's number and had a delightful chat with her daughter - I didn't know if she had kids - and spoke very briefly with her husband. Shelly wasn't home but I confirmed that I had found my Shelly. We connected two days later. When you care about a person as much as I cared for Shelly, there a void in life not knowing where or how she is. I feel more complete and whole knowing Shelly has a good life, is healthy, has a great family, is happy.
Shelly has an amazing ability to make me laugh. Even 15 years since our last visit, I immediately felt comfortable with her, and again, her sense of humor had me laughing. We talked about school days and a teacher I disliked. I rehashed my disdain for the teach quite adequately, I commenced rehashing it a few more times. About the forth time around Shelly squeezed back into the conversation by saying, "Leeeeeetttt it go." I had forgotten how easily she could make me laugh.
In high school she liked this guy, let's call him Bozo. One day she and I were sitting at Sonic when he pulled up with a girl. Soon he and the girl were kissing while we stared from a distance, Shelly broke the silence. Calmly she said, "I can tell he likes me by the way he kisses her." I blew coke through my nose.
Being from a small town, it didn't take much to make the local news. Weeks and weeks after she'd had any contact with Bozo, the local news (radio) said that Bozo was going to Arkadelphia that day for a competition. After Shelly heard the news she said, "I know why Bozo didn't call today. He's in Arkadelphia."
She had such a great way of summing something up succinctly, but with great humor. At Sonic, (Sonic was THE place back then), a good-looking guy parked beside us. He was pulled up further than us, so we were able to stare without being noticed. We did just that. Then he turned around and looked straight at Shelly. She croaked, "Oh gosh, he caught me drooling."
One Saturday night we were dragging Main in her car. Do I ever feel old using that expression? For clarity, "dragging Main" means we drove up and down Main Street. That seems so stupid and senseless now, but it's what teenagers did when they weren't parking and getting pregnant. Shelly and I were innocents who felt risque' dragging Main. Anyway, there was a car without headlights on that we'd meet every ride down Main Street. Every single time he passed us, we talked about the loser dude who didn't have the sense to turn his headlights on. Yes, we were so cool.
We wanted to get a better look at these certain guys. We pulled into Walmart parking lot hoping to see them clearly as they passed. When we parked, I reminded her to turn her headlights off so they wouldn't notice us. She reached down and then pulled back and humbly confessed, "Oops, they're not on." The whole time we were talking about the loser boy who didn't have the sense to turn on his lights, our's weren't on.
One Friday night before dragging Main, we were at the car wash when a beautiful fellow arrived on the scene with his dad. The son was very, very good looking. The dad was very, very not. He was oily, dirty, disheveled, but it was the teeth that really stood out - and I mean just that - his teeth stood out. Stood out.
We finished our vacuuming then sat reflectively staring at the handsome guy. I broke the silence by saying, "Wow, is he ever good looking?" After a short silence Shelly dryly responded, "Yeah, and his son's not bad either." I about had a coronary.
Shelly was an amazing friend. I missed her enormously when she moved away. Thankfully with the marvels of the world wide web, I can easily keep in contact with her again. She's as amazing as ever. I'm so happy to be back in contact with her. Shelly, I love you and always will. You were my first real friend and I still think of you as a best friend.