"Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one." -- C.S. Lewis
My palms were sweaty. My leg was twitching up and down and I nervously refluffed my turtleneck collar over and over again as I watched another performer at the front of the room. I laughed when everyone else laughed, not because I knew the punchline but because I was frantically going over my speech in my head and pretending to be a good listener. I fooled no one.
I looked to my right and locked eyes with this adorable blonde haired, blue-eyed girl also sporting the familiar leg twitch. She smiled. I immediately took that huge smile as an invitation to disclose just how nervous I was, that this was my first speech tournament and I just might puke when I get up there. And then I asked her name and what school she was from, "Jill from Oak Lawn" she replied, "This is my first tournament too."
When it was my turn to perform, for some reason I wasn't nervous anymore. That huge smile of hers not only comforted me---but encouraged me. And while yes, we were in fact competing against each other, never once did it feel like competition. It was something more.
And that's how our friendship started, circa 1991.
Hmmm, how to describe her? Well, think of the funniest person you know. Got it? Okay, well she would blow that person out of the water and leave them flipping over in the sand gasping for air.
YES, SHE'S THAT FUNNY.
Jill was two years younger than me, so after I spent two years on the Bradley University Speech Team I encouraged her to bring her talents there. And she did. And our friendsip grew even more.
|Our Planet Hollywood Basement at the Bourland house|
I learned that behind the funny face was a loyal friend, a supportive friend, an honest friend.
Being college roomies, we've shared SO many laughs over the years. Too much to mention in fact.
But shiiiiit, we've had our share of late night drunken bathroom stall talks and were there for eachother when our hearts were broken. Several times. Obnoxiously singing at the top of our lungs,
laughing so hard we have to cross our legs to avoid piddling,
dancing when no music was playing---this is how I remember us.
|God only knows what we're doing. And wth was a wheelchair doing in our house?|
I stood up for her when she married her true love.
Once again having another late-night bathroom talk, of sorts.
|I kid, this was totally staged. But wouldn't it make a great Elegant Bride cover?!|
When it was my turn to marry, Jill and her Mom (whom I adore)
traveled to Italy to share in our happiness.
And although we have such different lives, when we see eachother, it's as if no time has passed.
The key to a great friendship, I think.
Since I worship the comedic ground she shimmies on, I had no choice but to oblige her
when I recieved the following text
Just like that she brought me back in.
And once again my palms were sweaty and my leg twitched up and down as I nervously tugged on my blazer. I half-heartedly listened to the other performers from backstage as I ran over bits in my head. When it was my turn to perform, for some reason I wasn't nervous anymore. Just like that high school day 20 years ago, I looked to my right and that adorable blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl smiled back at me with encouragement, making me feel like I could do it.
And so I did.
Thank you Jill, for everything.
If you'd like to see the performance, here ya go...