The Story: Kris and I were both in the honors track so we had many classes together during high school. We met in one of those classes freshman year – we can’t even remember which one – and became fast friends.
We were always quite the pair – in a bunch of ways. I’m at least a half a foot taller than her so we kind of look like Mutt and Jeff for starters. Add to that, she was a cheerleader, which immediately made her cool, and I was on the school newspaper, which didn’t have quite the same result. Kris grew up in Manchester, so she knew a lot of the kids in school, and I grew up in Candia, so I only knew the small fraction of kids from Candia. Still, we connected right off the bat and developed a friendship that has lasted for decades.
In the 1980s, the big thing to do in Manchester if you were in your teens or early 20s, was to “cruise Elm,” which was essentially driving up and down Elm Street flirting with people in other cars. While some people took this to an art form, spending a whole night driving up and down and up and down, Kris and I would typically cruise up and down once or twice on our way to or from something else – like a movie or a school event. Even in that little amount of cruising, though, we were able to find enough mischief to keep two teenaged girls busy.
One night, we pulled up to some crazy little sports car containing two boys. Over the course of a couple of stop lights, we struck up a conversation and learned that it was a kit car, meaning the boy driving it had built it himself. At the next light, I told the boy driving that I wanted to drive his car. He asked if I could drive a standard; I scoffed and told him of course I could. We followed these boys to a parking lot, the passenger in the other car jumped into my seat and I took over in the kit car and we tooled around town like that for an hour or two. Then we switched back and never saw them again.
Those were the kind of escapades we’d get into – nothing too terribly outlandish but not completely well-behaved, either.
Kris met Spike, her husband-to-be, while we were in college and they got married when we were 25. I remember one day, we had been out and she was dropping me off at home. We were in our mid 20s at this point and were probably talking about boys in general, or perhaps her engagement to Spike, when she said to me, “I can’t wait to meet the man who tames you.”
I laughed at the time, mostly because I never really wanted to be tamed. I have always been looking for someone who can keep up with me, and complement me without having to tame me, but sometimes I have to giggle because, whether she even remembers that or not, she’s still waiting to meet him, and so am I.