May 5, 2012

You're on my mind

When you go away to college you learn so much more than you expect to learn.  Not only do you learn the obvious 'educational' lessons from attending class (When you actually attend class that is . . . Not that I would know anything about not attending class or anything . . .), but you learn about yourself, about life, and about friendship.

I knew I would meet and make friends when I went to school.  I'm a social kind of girl. 
Once in 6th grade band when asked if I would rather talk or play my instrument, I boldly looked at my teacher, cocked my head, and with a little sass in my voice replied, "I'd rather talk."  I was promptly told to go into the hallway and 'talk to myself'.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand, making friends in college.  I made the typical kinds of friends, class friends, friends for the moment, partying friends, friends I lost touch with because life happened, close friends, and life long friends.

One of my life long friends I met was my room mate, Rachel.  To this day I still refer to her as my room mate and rarely, as simply my friend.  To me room mate means so much more.  You see Rachel and I lived together for 4 years.  In those 4 years we created a friendship, a bond, that will never be broken.  It's not often that you meet a complete stranger and find that you are able to relate to and understand that person so completely. 

We both started out with different room mates.  My 1st room mate moved out of the dorms and into an apartment shortly after the school year began. 
She was too cool for me.  She was a sophomore and I was only a freshman . . . 'Like oh my gosh!'  Oh by the way she was also a cheerleader if you couldn't guess.  I was so glad to get rid of her.  I wasn't sure I was going to make it in college living with her.
I asked Rachel if she would be willing to move up to my floor and room with me.  I am so thankful that she said yes.  We were meant to meet each other and become friends.  While we don't see or speak with one another as frequently as we both would like we both know that no matter what we are there for one another.

I always look forward to and love the times that Rach and I get to spend together, I fear that the next time I see her it won't be a happy time.  Her dad isn't doing well.  He's sick.  Cancer has invaded and is taking over his body.  With every fiber of my being I want to just fix this for her.  This is my personality.  When something is wrong I fix it and things are better.  No matter how hard I try I can't fix this one and it tear me apart.  So in an effort to 'fix' things for her I'm going to try a little comic relief and reminisce about some of our favorite memories.

*Before reading about my college stories I need you to know a few things.  First, all while I did like to have fun with my friends I didn't drink as much as it appears.  It was just what we took pictures of most frequently.  Also, I did go to school to get an education which I was able to accomplish.

*Please excuse the rather crappy pictures.  I had to resort to taking a picture of a picture :(

Me, Rach, and Cat

2000, Our freshman year of college.  One of the first adventures I remember was when Rach, Cat, and I carried a concrete sign, that Cat wanted for her dorm room, from the Marsh parking lot back to Cat's dorm room.  What a goofy thing to do.  Our fingers hurt, but we sure did have a lot of laughs over it. 

One night we began our night of drinking in Cat's dorm room (This was a pretty dumb risky thing to do.  If we got caught drinking in the dorms there was a pretty hefty fee to pay.)  We decided to walk to a frat house.  Along the way a car came by and asked us where we were going.  Rachel told the driver.  The driver asked if we wanted a ride.  She quickly jumped in.  I remember saying I don't think this is a good idea.  She quickly told me it was ok because we were drunk!
-This is one of my favorite, yet embarrassing stories.  Between the two of us she is MUCH more cautious.  It is so funny that she would even talk to the driver let alone get in the car.  Let's just hope that none of our kids find out about this one!  It was a dumb move for both of us.

Cat. Me, Rach, and Mitch

Cat's parents' house wasn't too far of a drive from our college.  We used to drive there frequently to have parties social gatherings.  I was usually the first to puke for the night.  On this night Rachel was the first to call it night.  She didn't get sick (She never got sick and never had a hangover.  Wish she would have shown me how to do that!), but a piece of toast with peanut butter on it sure made her nauseous.

Rach, Me, and Cat

We both often had classes that were at night.  Due to our class schedules we frequently did our grocery shopping at night.  We used to spend hours at Walmart trying on the cheepy rings and fantasising about what kind of wedding ring we would once wear upon our fingers.  During these late night shopping trips we were also fortunate enough to see the town's finest.  Oh my it sure was scary at times!  One time there was a fight that involved a baseball bat in the parking.  We eventually coined the phrase 'Only at Walmart'.

We traveled to Rachel's parents' home one weekend because they were out of town.  We had a little celebration of our own.  I believe this is where our jello shot tradition began (I'll get into that more later).  It was also the first time I experienced peeing outside while drunk.  There was only 1 bathroom and neither one of us could wait.  Her parents lived out in the country.  We grabbed a roll of toilet paper and found a tree.  I remember giggling like a 5 year old as we passed the roll to one another behind the tree!

After living in the dorm for 2 years we were ready for the freedom that an apartment offered.  During the spring of our sophomore year we visited several different apartments, collecting data in order to sell this idea to our parents.  Once all of the data had been collected we found our top 4 choices and invited our parents to come and see them for the weekend.  Both sets of our parents were apprehensive about the apartment, but in the end our sales tactics won them over.  This picture hung on the wall of our apartment and reminded us that it was our first home away from home.

We were so excited about our apartment.  I remember talking as we went to sleep the last night in our dorm room.  We both shared with each other how we could hardly wait to get to the apartment, but we were sad because we knew we would have our own bedrooms.  Not sharing a bedroom meant we we no longer have our late night conversations as we drifted off to sleep.

In our apartment we enjoyed watching Friends on Thursday nights and staying up late to see the CMA Awards shows.  We used to sing along with them, predict who would win, and comment on the dresses.

A sene from the first party we had in our new apartment!  Ok,  now I will explain the jello shots.  When ever we had a party at our apartment it became a tradition that we would make jello shots.  We never seemed to have individual cups on hand to make them so we used the next best thing, round cake pans.  We passed out spoons and cake pans.  Typically, she and I each ended up with a pan at the end of the night.  One time someone accidentally dropped jello on the floor.  Rachel was very worried about wasting good jello shots so she got on the floor on her hands and knees and licked it up.  She justified her actions  by telling everyone it was ok because I just cleaned before everyone came over and they all knew what a clean freak I was (am)!  After this we knew Rachel was have an awesome night if she would eat jello off of the floor!

We planned a weekend trip to Chicago for her boyfriend (now hubby), my boyfriend (now hubby), and ourselves before our senior year of college.  We had so much fun planning the trip.  We got our hair and nails done before going.  Little did I know that I would come back engaged after this weekend.

Would you look at all of these delightful things the girl made for me to wear for my batchelorette party?!  Those are purple (it's my favorite color) sparkly (I love glitter) penises on my head that she glued a veil onto.  Move on down and you will find the glow in the dark penis earrings.  Finally, she made the sparkly batchelorette tank for me to wear.  How can you top all this stuff?!  Oh what a night it was.

Here she is playing the get the pantyhose with the hot dog in it in the water bottle.  One of the many fabulous games we played before hitting the town for my bachelorette party.  While out on the town I had to complete a check list, which included things such as taking a shot with another bachelorette, having my last dance as a single lady, etc., I fell off of my flip flop and broke the strap.  Rach was right there with her name tag to stick it back together for the night.  She also held my hair as I puked out the side of the cab window on the way home.  Now, that's a true friend right there.

2004, My wedding oh we had so much fun dancing the night away!  This was the last time (we had no idea at the time) that we partied before having kids (I was pregnant with B 6 months after we were married).  I don't know if she will ever realize how grateful I am to her for helping to shield me from events that occurred (nothing to do with my marriage - it's GREAT) on this day that I am still struggling with.

The night before her wedding.  I passed down my headband.  B was only 6 months old at the time of her wedding.  This was the first time I had gone out with friends since his birth.  It was such a fun night!

Courtney, Rachel, Me, and Cat

2006, Rachel's wedding.  Such a good time.  This is when we all began to realize how far we have come since college.  We were no longer college kids out for a good time.  We were adults enjoying and celebrating our friend and her new adventure.

In 2010 we established a Girls Weekend.  Rachel's dad wasn't doing well she and her husband had a personal loss.  I was RIF'd (Due to budget cuts I was told that my contract would not be renewed for the following school year).  Our friend Cat's dad wasn't doing well and our friend Courtney was having job issues as well.  The 4 of us thought we needed some girlfriend therapy!  We went shopping, got pedi's, went out on the town for adult beverages (that's the mature way to say got trashed), and stayed in a hotel.  Oh what a night it was!

Our 2011 Girls weekend.  We had a repeat weekend with shopping, pedi's, and Rach and I were the DD for Cat and Courtney.  Both Rachel and I were pregnant.  Despite the fact that we couldn't partake in drinking, we still had a blast simply talking and not having to clean up after little people.

My photo journey for my room mate, my friend, my sister and I has come to an end.  I began this post with tears rolling down my face, but reminiscing about the fun we have had together and anticipating the good times yet to come has helped to lighten my spirit as I hope it will for her as well.

I love you Rachel.  Please know that you are on my mind.


  1. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today! :-)

    I have a friend a lot like your Rachel - her name is Cindy and we met as roommates at the University of Georgia. We only lived together our freshman years - but we are still best of friends today. We were in each other's weddings. She is the godmother to my girls. I don't see her near often enough - but when we talk we pick up like we just saw each other yesterday. It's such a blessing to have friends like these!!

    1. You are more than welcome! I'm so glad to have found you. My family and I LOVE Disney. I wish we could visit more than we do :( My husband and I would re-locate there if it were a simple thing to do.
      I totally agree friends are such a blessing. I don't know what I would do without them. Rachel and I don't talk all of the time either, but when we do it's like we haven't missed a beat. We are both involved in each other's kids' lives and a part of each other’s families, which makes the recent events so much more difficult.

  2. Morning, what a great post and makes me remember the people that help make us who we are is our friends. Bess you and we all have to make it a priority to keep those important friendships memories alive and if possible active ...

    Have a wonderful afternoon

    1. I agree our friends do help to shape us. Thanks!

  3. I love looking at those pics :)

    Now I long for my old friends. It's too bad we've gone our separate ways. Yes, they seem to have defined who I am today- at least a big part of my personality.

    Your Rachel is lucky to have you as a friend :)

    1. Thank you so much for visiting!

      Maybe you should trying looking up your friends. It's so amazing how a single moment can be etched into your memory for ever.

  4. What a lovely and true friendship you have with Rachel. So glad you have each other!

  5. Great shots, great friends. I giggled when I saw your disclaimer about drinking... there are those of us that drink a lot and those of us that don't but blog about it whenever we do... I fall into the latter category. :-)

    1. Glad you got a giggle out of it! Honestly, we didn't drink as much as it appears. That's the only 'cool' thing to take pictures of when you're in college! As for now . . . all I have to do is smell alcohol and I'll fall asleep!

  6. Sounds like you have a wonderful friendship with Rachel! That's great and I think it's something that we should all have with someone.

    1. You are right on! We need our girlfriends!

  7. You're so lucky! I always had terrible roommates!

    1. Oh I'm so sorry to hear that! I started out with a terrible roomie . . . she didn't last too long. I was so thankful!