Somewhere on the Upper East Side….
C: I need you to come over and alibi me while I pack.
Katie: Sure. I’ll be right there.
(5 minutes later I’m there.)
C: I’m throwing out these scissors and I need you to watch me do it in case they’re later used in a murder and have my finger prints on them.
Katie: I get it.
This is an example of why C is my beloved friend. She is really more of a sister than a friend. Our minds understand each other and I would not be who I am today without her. We became adults together and made each other better people. Before nights out together, I would coach her on how to make small talk in the bars. I would look over an hour later and she would be trying to get some guy to talk to her about religion or politics while I was quoting boy band lines. Over the years, she lightened up while I deepened up. We have shared a bedroom on 2 occasions. The second time, after our other roommate moved out, we still kept the bedroom empty, preferring to be together to talk late into the night. We knew it was going to end and wanted to drag out the inevitable. We had a balcony off the room and would sit for hours, drinking wine, and talking. Half the time it was in gibberish, since we could finish each other’s thoughts, or reference our past stories with only a word or two.
C, her husband, and her darling daughter moved across the country and the loss was profound for me. I usually did not need other friends when I was able to have her. While we are 15 years older and have changed in multitudes of ways, we are still together. She is one of the greatest luxuries in my life. I have been thinking about her a lot because she just got her court date in Africa to go and petition to bring a little boy, who has become her child, home to America. She has already flown to Uganda on her own to visit him in his orphanage, and has been on a quest to get him permanently into her arms. I have no doubt she will be able to conquer this. C has never been one to take no for an answer and I fear for the entire country if they try. I cannot wait to visit and play wild games of hide and seek with him. I will be Auntie Kat who teaches him the slightly inappropriate songs and phrases, because that has always been my role in our ever evolving friendship. Go get him girl!
I grew up in Omaha, NE and attended college at Texas Christian University. I thought I was street smart when I moved to NYC because I was an adult. In Omaha, the streets were so tough that my biggest feud was with the rival high school’s show choir that won contests playing the fiddle to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. We had one guy in our grade who was Creepy McHandy, but all the girls knew to never share a table in class with him, and that was that. When I was at TCU, someone tried to break into our house and my response was to play dead. This was my background that prepared me for NYC. My parents were a wreck.
I worked at a racketball/personal training gym when I moved to Manhattan because I could do laundry there for free. One of the personal trainers asked me if he could show me around the city. I accepted. My roommate asked me if it was a date. I said no. We worked together (I had watched a lot of Melrose), he was 40, and I was 22. Clearly he would not ask someone that much younger out. She asked me if he knew it was a not a date. It went without saying right? Nope. My first clue should have been when he became annoyed when some guy talked to me while I waited in line for the bathroom. Over dinner, he told me about his rescue cat. I love all animals, particularly ones that have come from hard times. He asked me if I wanted to go see his cat. Smarty pants said yes. We walked into his apartment and he immediately put the moves on me. I pushed him off and asked where the cat was. He showed me and I started to pet it. (Seriously says older me???) He then tried again. I told him we worked together and this was not going to happen. I reference this story with humor because God’s hand was on me that night in that it was only an awkward, and not dangerous, situation. We did not socialize after that night and I had learned a big lesson.
I often think about situations I have put myself in when animals were involved. I don’t regret them. Today, two of my greatest joys in life are my rescue dogs. My big guy, Cooper, and I have a soul connection. I have never felt safer in my house, or out walking alone since Cooper joined our family. Rescue dogs have an innate appreciation for life, and I believe they are more affectionate because of their past. Cooper had some aggression when we got him. He tried to bite me when he thought I was taking a treat away on our way home with him. He also stalked all visitors who came over. We got a trainer, were consistent with him, and today he is the best dog who trusts humans. He guarded baby T from danger when we brought him home, and goes from room to room with me all day. He is a gentle giant who would have become a raging giant had he been with me the night I “went to see a cat”. There are so many wonderful animals in rescue groups or humane societies waiting for you to bring them home. Every day my day is better because of sweet Cooper and wild Ernie Bob. If you cannot adopt, support or volunteer, if you are able.