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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
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Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Bosom Friend

One of my favorite movies of all time is Anne of Green Gables. The story of an orphan girl, one of her biggest desires it to find a best, bosom friend. You know, one of the few in a lifetime, people who you meet and click with. It’s not as easy as it sounds, some people go through their entire lives without meeting one. Happily, I’m not one of those unlucky saps.

It started off innocently enough. Another member of our RWA chapter, Patti Shenberger, and I had to buy a gift for that night’s speaker. Now I know that sounds like an easy enough task, but then you never seen Patti and I shop before. An experience that has been known to put FEMA on high alert, it’s not a fun event to witness. Not that we fight or argue, just the opposite, we are so alike that we feed off each other.

We went to this particular shopping plaza because Patti had remembered there was a Hallmark Store and nothing says you care like Hallmark. As we pulled in, however, we saw to our horror, the shop had closed and there was a Chinese restaurant in its place.

“Oh, crap! Now what?” we simultaneously exclaimed. As one, we looked at the clock in the car dashboard. There was no way we were going to have time to look around for another store and still make it in time to meet the speaker.

“We could always get her fortune cookies,” I ventured, only half kidding. I was pretty desperate at this point.

Patti gestured to a nearby grocery store. “How about there? They’ve got to have a plant or something.”

We went inside and found the store had one, very sad looking, plant that had one foot in the grave. With horror building up, as the threat of us showing up to the meeting, empty handed became closer to a reality, we stared down at the pathetic thing for several seconds. Then we raised our gazes to each other.

“We can do this,” Patti proclaimed.

“Yes, we can,” I agreed and then we were off.

Moving at a speed normally reserved for contestants on Supermarket Sweep, we went up and down every aisle in the store. Candy was dismissed, as were candles, finally we found ourselves in the wine aisle. Yes, this could work we decided.

“What kind should we get,” I asked as I looked at her hopefully.

“I don’t know,” Patti replied, as she looked back, the hopeful expression now directed at me. “I don’t drink.”

Oh crap!

“Neither do I.” It’s true too. I may have a mixed drink or a Mike’s Hard Lemonade now and again, but I wouldn’t know a Red Wine from a White if they slapped me in the face.

“We can still do this,” Patti said.

“We can?” I was two steps from pissing kittens at this point I was so panicked, but I wasn’t going to argue. Instead I searched around for help until I spotted a smock-wearing employee. The fact she didn’t even appear to be over eighteen didn’t dissuade me. She was stocking the wine so that was good enough for us.

“Help. Which ones of these are good?” I gestured to the row after row of bottles. The clerk shrugged one shoulder and snapped her gum.

Oh double crap!

Then we saw it.

I swear to this day a beacon of light descended on this lone bottle as the Hallelujah chorus played. It was dark red with little pink and red lips all over it. I don’t remember the name of the wine, I don’t remember the price all I do remember is the excited look I shared with Patti. Success!!! We are romance writers and the speaker was too, so it was perfect. With shared squeals of delight, we grabbed our treasure and ran to the checkout.

That night we found out the speaker was deathly allergic to alcohol and vomited blood whenever she drank it. Which just goes to show you can’t win all shopping battles, but the day was far from a total loss. I bonded with Patti that day and we have been inseparable ever since. Even our husbands have grown close as they share the woes of being married to a writer.

A true friend, and I mean a really true friend, is a gift in itself and I wouldn’t trade Patti away for anything. Not even for a bottle of wine with kisses on it.

-Stephani Hecht


Patti Shenberger said...

Aww Steph, that is so sweet of you. I remember the night well. And I remember the look of horror that crossed our faces when the speaker told us about vomiting blood. Of course what we really wanted to do was bust into laughter. Class acts that we are! You're the best!

Bonnie Rose Leigh said...

Sounds like an amazing friendship! It's wonderful that your husbands are friends as well.

Erin Sinclair said...

Laughing laughing laughing what an awesome way to bond!


Jambrea said...

What a great story! It is wonderful to find your Bosom Friend. :)

AJ Llewellyn said...

What do you mean about the woes of being married to a writer? I'm pissing kittens here! LOL - great post, My Stephani xo

C.R. Moss said...

-pissing kittens- that's good. i'm going to have to remember that one. & wow, to be that allergic to alcohol... hopefully she dumped out the contents of the bottle and used it as a really cool vase or something.

Stephani Hecht said...

Thanks, everyone! I have found a great friend on Patti, that's for sure. Our husbands are great guys, even if they are married to a couple of crazies.

Lynn Crain said...

It's always fun to find a true, blue writing friend as they are not like anyone else in the world!

You two are very blessed to have each other.


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