Hot Pants Nance

Last week my oldest friend on the planet came to visit. When we were kids, there was one house between our homes. It’s safe to say I have known her almost my entire life. When I was growing up, she was a constant presence. It was easy to note how different we were back then. She has brown hair, brown eyes and luscious, thick, brown hair. I am blond, blue-eyed, and have straight blond (now dyed) hair. She can hold a tune with grace and finesse, and with pleasure. I sing off-key and loudly, and am full of joy. She is shy and so, so kind. I am opinionated and loyal. She ran with the in-crowd, and I surfed the edges.

She may hate hearing this again, but she once told me we could never be best friends, but we would always be friends. Sixth grade was hard, folks. Still, who else would tell me it was imperative to wear a bra with a rainbow t-shirt? (I did not and I rue that day.)

Ironically, we are best friends now. She is like a mirror I would love to look into every single day. The older we get, the more we realize how similar we are. There is a reason we called each other the day after Christmas so we could talk about our holiday loot. We are both hilarious, love reading, walking, shopping, talking, and eating. Best of all, we get each other. During this visit, she asked me why I kept at a writing job I hated. I quit Monday. Thanks, Beth! Watching her with my kids is one of life’s purest pleasures. They get her kindness, her humor, and how she loves them simply because they exist. My oldest daughter made her a huge card that read, “Thanks Beth for coming.”

There is nothing like being with someone who loves you unconditionally, who you can just be with. I bought a new favorite pair of pants with her, the perfect gift for my 40th birthday. We will call these my hot pants, to go with my college nickname, Hot Pants Nance, and my childhood moniker, Fancy Pants Nance. Alone, I would never have purchased these awesome black leggings. I would not have walked into the store, both because I rarely have time to peruse this mall, and because I would not give myself the pleasure of buying these pants after I had already spent money on myself. I tried them on three times, and she assured me these fancy leggings were for me. They show off me, the fun, indulgent side I don’t always let out. And they are warm, which is so important for my cold bones. Every time I wear them, I will silently give thanks for Beth, and to the universe for giving me a lifelong friend.

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