Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Girl Nancy

This is my girl Nancy.

Nancy’s birthday was Monday, and she celebrated right here, in New London. At Ocean Beach and then on our deck. The beach and a party: the story of our lives.

We met in 1984, when we were both seniors at UConn. A mutual friend had arranged for us and a third woman, to be apartment-mates at Carriage House, an off-campus housing dung-heap. Nancy and I immediately became best buddies, much to the chagrin of our third roommate.

We went to tons of Dead shows,

Had dance parties,

(nice kick, dude)

Dressed as 2 eggs for Halloween one year:

(the rest of the breakfast was off-camera),

And Bob and Rita Marley another year.

(Nice spleef, dude.)

We had countless ice cream cones together at Kathy John’s, in Storrs. Double scoops. We had a cartoon on our fridge: one person in a couple explained to a third person, “We’ve been through a lot together. Mostly food.”

In 1985, Nancy got her nursing degree,

And the next summer – 1986 – we took a 3-month cross-country trip in a rented station wagon.

We rode horses in Yellowstone:

(That’s Corky and Shang-hai)

And checked out this glorious land from Yosemite:

To Cape Cod:

In Arizona we decided it would be a REALLY good idea, after a couple months of sitting in the car, using nary a muscle, to hike the Grand Canyon.

This is about 6 in the morning, right before we started. At this very moment in time, we had NO IDEA what we were in for…..

This was our route:

That’s me sitting on Texas; prescient, don’t you think?

I got my Masters in 1988:

The next few years were mostly about parties and vacations.

A lot of my old photo album pages (these are all photos of photos, btw) look like this:

And this:

This looks like it was quite a New Years Eve:

And this is one of the best drunken bar shots of all time, taken at a pub in Boston:

Jonny came into Nancy’s life, and he and I spent the first few years looking at eachother like this:

Then in 1989 Billy came along, and I stopped tormenting poor Jonny.

We were -- and are -- a good foursome:

Look at the tiny baby Mistah Schleckah.

Nancy was Princess Bride 1990,

And I was her maid of honor. Oh, I was an excellent maid of honor. I performed my duties with great care. I helped to organize, and made sure the day flowed. I even made mixed-tune tapes for when the band was on a break. Most importantly, I was in charge of our bags – mine and Nancy’s. You know: the bride’s. I got our bags from the house into the first car. Then at the reception, I moved our bags from the first car to the second car: Nancy’s cousin Michael’s car. Then, at the end of the evening, I got MY bag out of Michael’s trunk. I guess I figured Nancy could get her OWN stinkin’ bag, at that point? Michael left. Naturally. And all Nancy had were the clothes on her back. Which happened to be a wedding dress. So I did the only thing a truly excellent, heroic maid-of-honor could do: I gave Nancy MY bag. So she went off on her wedding night with MY toothbrush and toothpaste, MY toiletries, MY jammies, and spent her first day of married life with MY shorts, tank top, undies, and sandals on. Quite an auspicious start, really.

No really, dude. You’re welcome.

A couple of years later *I* got married. In 1992. I’ve got about a half million sisters who were my bridesmaids, so asked Nancy to do a reading. At which she rocked.

I love this photo; look at Mom and Dad in the background.

A few years later, in 1994, Nancy had a boy:

My godson.

Then, in 1996, a sweet girl.

Ach. Those two make gorgeous babies.

And then, of course, in January 2001, Bill and I took off and showed our faces in this part of the country only during the summertime.

Which worked out quite nicely for beach days with Nancy and her family.

(That's our old stand-by, Watch Hill).

Or soccer games.

Or group hikes.

Or walks.

(I love that photo of Zo-Zo and the Beast running up the hill to greet us).

Or gay weddings.

That was a great day.

Or – gasp – trudging through the snow with my girl.

I know, I know, but my aunt – a huge part of our childhood – died last March, and all my sisters and I made it to Connecticut for the funeral. Bill and I drove up from north central Florida. It was cold. And it snowed. I wouldn’t trudge through the snow with just anyone, you know.

And so. Here we are. Twenty-four years later. Wait, can that be right? We met when Nancy had just turned 21 and I was about to. And now Nancy’s just turned 45 and I’m about to. Okay, that’s freaking me out. Let’s move on, shall we?

Anyway, what I really love about this whole friendship thing, with my most cherished dude Nancy, is that the next 24 years of my photo albums are going to be splashed with photos of us, with big cheesy smiles, too.

As it should be.

Happy Birthday Dude!


Unknown said...

Oh Dude, I love you and will always be your girl!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Nancy! Great photos, El. Love the contrast between falling-down-drunk and respectabile gigs like graduations and weddings. Although I suspect that you were both falling-down-drunk at your weddings. And graduations. Anyway, Happy Birthday!

Unknown said...

Awwww! I LOVE friendship stories! Thanks for bringin' a sentimental tear to the ol' Penguin eye...

Anonymous said...

Hey, I had great material to work with.....

Unknown said...

You are the cat's P.J's. Great photo trip down no memory lane. I don't know where Elliott got that very colorful jacket. May be his god mother?
We will have more photos this Summer @ the beach & @ the new hacienda.



P.S. Loved the body surfing photos.

Anonymous said...

Jonny, I would never give my godson such a godawful jacket. Blame someone else!

Good to hear from you, dude. Welcome aboard!