Friends. What would we do without them?
You know, those people who are there with you through thick and thin, when you’re at your best or worst, happy or sad. Friends are someone with whom you share your secrets, your dreams and your sorrows. They laugh with us and cry with us. Friends accept us warts and all.
So, what do a math teacher, a librarian, a financial secretary/office manager, a computer typesetter and a domestic engineer all have in common?
Other than the same hometown, a wonderful friendship that’s just as strong today – if not stronger – as it was during their days at Amory High School during the 19??s. (We’ll let that one remain their little secret. They’re all very young for their age. And one member is a year or two below the others.)
These five women – my mom and four of her best friends – have for the past seven months or so made a monthly pilgrimage to Tupelo for a girls’ night out – shopping and dinner. They leave at home husbands who roll their eyes when another item is picked up, touched or inquired about or who take frequent looks at their watch with an accompanying comment about being home before a week from Sunday. Not that there’s a thing wrong with any of their husbands. They’re all fine men and that’s why they get to stay at home.
The five women rotate who drives and who gets to choose where they eat. From Greek, Italian, Chinese and Mexican cuisine to traditional fare, their menu selections are just as different as each individual, from salads to steaks or just an appetizer to coffee, sweet tea, water or unsweetened tea. And dessert is usually a yes, no, maybe.
I’ve become an honorary member of this group and have had a good time with them. I baby-sat all their kids. Four of the five each have two children and the remaining one who doesn’t have any children had a hand in raising one or two of the others’ kids. Only one of the five -my mom – has a grandchild.
Talk is lively and there is always lots and lots of laughter from tales of singing in department stores to digging for lost golf balls to family antics and emergency stops to purchase safety pins. They talk about pets, decorating, children, clothes, sporting events, classmates, church activities, exercise or lack of it, jobs, people they’ve run into, etc.
The math teacher comes in handy for figuring tips when a solar calculator in a dimly lit restaurant won’t cut it. She also tutored me. She likes things the way they used to be.
The computer typesetter worked at the newspaper in Amory when I first got my hands dirty with ink way back in the third grade. Her husband used to have a blue/green Volkswagen bug that we called “the Pig.” I was with her at a major intersection around noon one Saturday when the Pig ran out of gas.
The domestic engineer (a sister to the computer typesetter) and her husband lived in Booneville during the early years of their marriage, and we all visited Shiloh battleground together. I can still remember what she wore – a white shorts outfit with big navy blue polka dots and a red belt. She’s quite a seamstress and can whip something out in no time so she probably made that outfit.
The librarian, recently retired, ruled over the library and media center during my middle-school days. I served as a media center aide for her during study period. She’s a cat lover and is the crafty one of the group.
I recently bought a greeting card which fits this group perfectly. It reads, “They had the kind of friendship where each thought she was getting the best part of the deal.”
God bless our friends!
Beth Bunch Clements is Daily Journal Lifestyle editor.