A few days ago, my BFF In Loco Parentis compared reading my NaBloPoMo posts to opening an advent calendar. I was flattered by the analogy and to thank her, I would like to present her with the prize behind box 24 (or 30, in this case): A post about her and how much I value our friendship.
I'm shamelessly stealing from her playbook on this one. She posted this during my IVF cycle and it was a bright spot during a really stressful time. I revisited the post today and read it again. Glad I did, too. I forgot which stories she shared and it turns out they were pretty much all the same ones I had planned to post, but enhanced by her superior wit and charm. Foiled!
Fortunately, I'm certain I can scrounge up a few more...
For example, did you know that she is a hairless cat owner? Have you ever seen a hairless cat? They are truly unfortunate looking amazing creatures. One might say (and has said, frequently, in fact) that they look like a dinosaur/chicken fetus. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's her current cat's actual name: Dinosaur Chicken Fetus. ILP has to have hairless pets because she nearly died one time of a hamster-induced breathing incident. She would have been in big trouble if she hadn't driven herself to the emergency room and walked herself through the doors before falling unconscious. She is a serious bad ass.
When M and I got married, ILP was one of my bridesmaids. She came up with a hysterical alter ego for the occasion, complete with a special name that hinged upon her achieving a perfectly bronzed exterior prior to the big day. I shared this with KD during the week leading up to the wedding, so when she arrived, the introductions went something like this:
ILP: Hi, I'm ILP (real name, not alter ego name). It's nice to meet you.
KD: You're not very tan.
*palm to forehead* Fortunately, I didn't need to scold him. He beat himself up enough for the both of us, and still does. He's brought it up no less than a dozen times in the years since. Every time ILP comes up in conversation, he asks for confirmation that she's the same ILP he made an ass of himself in front of at the wedding. Yup, that'd be her.
It was awesome having ILP in our wedding. She was really understanding and non-judgmental when I went all bridezilla on my friends and family, or at least she put on a convincing front. She restrained herself from putting the smack down on the bridesmaid newsletters I allowed The N.est to convince me were Absolutely Essential. She sucked it up during a marathon group mani-pedi session and played Apples to App.les for hours on the salon floor. She marched down a dusty mountain in heels because I had A Vision. And to secure her position as MVP, she hung around after the Sunday brunch to fill me in on alllll the juicy gossip she extracted from our wedding guests while I was busy being a princess. What more could a girl ask for, really?
ILP and I share custody of a magic hat. We pass it back and forth depending on who needs its powers most at the time. It may be hard for me to explain the origins of the magic hat, but I feel compelled to try. The hat came from Blockb.uster Video during the original wave of Harry Po.tter madness. ILP and I had been wandering aimlessly through the aisles and I turned around to see her holding an inverted sorcerer's hat in both hands, staring raptly into its depths. When she felt my eyes on her, she looked up and said, in the most incredulous tone imaginable, "This is a magic hat!" I found her child-like awe so irresistible, I demanded the hat go home with us. It turns out that she didn't think the hat was endowed with any magical powers - she was actually referring to the fact that there was an adjustable band inside the hat that allowed it to snugly fit a wide range of head sizes. As I recall, there was some pants-wetting-caliber laughter once we shared our respective understandings of how the hat was magical. She has it now. I may ask for it back if (when) M and I go crazy and decide to ttc #2, lord help us.
We've been through a lot together in our 10+ years of friendship. I think it sucks ass that infertility is on that list. I would have liked to have spared us both the pain it caused. That said, words fail me in describing how therapeutic it has been to have her companionship during our shared journey. A "beginner's luck" baby could have easily been the thing that divided us, but instead, we have both been allll the way around the block and we can swap 2ww and PIO horror stories to no end. We've talked about how much closer we've become as a result of our infertility experiences, and I count that as one of the gifts I'm taking away from the madness. I can't wait to see what the future brings, both for us and our oh-so-wanted little boys. I hope they grow up together, experiencing the same fondness and respect for one another as I have for ILP. Oh, and I hope they share a little magic, too.