|Rochelle, my brilliant and beautiful best friend on her wedding day and Jaybird.|
"Are you a boy or a girl?" I'll never forget the very first words Rochelle ever uttered to me. We were all of five years old. I know it sounds funny because I'm such a girly girl now, but if you saw me, you'd be questioning too. Back then, I had a fondness for overalls, dirt and short hair. I even carried a wallet, not a purse.
|That's the two of us, when we were really young.|
"I'm a girl, geez!" I replied, indignant. Rochelle narrowed her baby blues on me and mumbled something that sounded a lot like, "We're going to take care of this mess right now" as she grabbed me by my grubby hand and dragged me into her bedroom hell bent on performing her first, (of MANY) make-overs on me.
Rochelle snatched that nasty velcro wallet out of my pocket and threw it right in the trash. I know I should have been mad, but instead, I was mesmerized by this girl. She talked at me non-stop while she filled up a darling pink purse with eye shadow and my very first tube of pink lip gloss. After washing the dirt off my hands and face, she placated me with her Nona's sesame cookies and a glass of chocolate milk. Then she brushed my hair, placing a barrage of barretts all over my head, and said "This will just have to do until we grow it out. You are going to let it grow out, right?" I nodded at her and in that moment, I knew there was nothing I wanted more in this world than to grow my hair out and somehow, become this girl's friend.
When it was time for me to go, I didn't want to leave. Rochelle hugged me tight, gifting me the pink purse and all it's sparkly contents, saying, "Let's play again tomorrow Jenny". I couldn't believe it!
The whole way home I begged my mom to allow me to play with Rochelle again the next day, while patting my new purse and holding my container of shiny lip gloss so tight it almost snapped! It was like she flipped a switch and a giant light bulb went on in Jaybird's head. My obsession with make-up and my forever friendship was born!
|Me, Roch and my little brother Chris playing Play Do, back in the day|
From that day forward, Rochelle and I were inseparable. Honestly, at one point when we had slept over each other's houses for the twentieth night in a row, our parents said that's enough and were going to force us to stay apart. So, we ran away. We didn't get very far before my Dad caught us, and man, I never saw him so angry. He told us we were being ridiculous and dragged us home by the back of our matching shirts while we cried and carried on.
Obviously, Rochelle, has always been much, much, cooler than me. I've always been well aware of this, from the very first second I met her. Many times (especially in our teenage years) I would pinch myself when we walked into a crowded party and everyone would start cheering. I knew it wasn't me the were cheering for, but I didn't care. I felt the same way about Rochelle. And I never stopped wondering, how in the world did this amazing girl become my best friend? I've always known how lucky I was to have her in my life. My gosh, I hardly remember a time in my life without Rochelle in it. We have been best friends and partners in crime for thirty-seven years!
Was it coincidence or luck that brought us together? Both of us swear it was divine intervention. Because not only did we benefit from a chance meeting all those years ago, our Italian mothers took one look at each other and became instant, immediate, life-long friends as well.
|Picture on the left we were about 8 years old: My Dad, sis Adrienne, Grandpa, Grandma, Mom Me & Roch. |
Picture on the right: Rochelle and Me, at our church/Catholic school in California
Even though Rochelle and her family still live in California and I moved back to New Jersey years ago, we have remained best friends. We have been through so much together over the years: from surviving unholy big hair and bad fashion, to boyfriends and break ups, the wonderful trips we took together, the horrendous trips we barely survived, great decision making and the very bad, providing a never-ending support system for one another through sickness and death of our loved ones, we helped each other get through school, meeting our husbands and getting married, having kids. The list goes on and on.
|This is a classic from our "unholy" big hair days :)|
You all know Jaybird here. If you think I'm the least bit funny and my stories are a little crazy, know this- I've got nothing on Rochelle! So when you combine these two wackos and unleash the pair of us on the world- trust me, it goes way beyond crazy.
When I started to think of the outrageous stuff and funny stories of what we've done together over the years, I couldn't narrow it down. My sister Adrienne called in the middle of me trying to put together this post and she asked what I was doing. When I told her, she laughed hard and added about three or four more wild memories of us to that list. By the time she was done we were both laughing so hard re-living them that I had to get off the phone before I peed!
|Top: My momma, my bestie Roch, her momma Marianne|
My mom and Rochelle's on the beach in Ca, a few years ago
No matter what, no matter where I move or where I wind up in this life, I know this: I will always be there for Rochelle and she will always be there for me. I can only consider a bond like ours, and this kind of life-long friendship, a God-given gift. Who's your BFF? Tell me about them!!
|Rochelle, my sis Adrienne and Jaybird- from one of my more recent trips to go see her :)|