4 Jul 2013
My Besfrinn Emily and the equally awesome Ashley suggested the greatest themed Thursday post series: pictures and stories from back in the day. The first topic is summer vacation, but honestly, before I thought of summer vacation, my iPod played two Smashing Pumpkins songs in a row on shuffle (well, one Smashing Pumpkins song and one James Iha song), and I decided that the world needed to see the kind of silliness that Em and I got up to in high school. I met Emily in the tenth grade when she transferred to our school a few days after the year had started. She walked into our English class, and I remember feeling such great sorrow for her that she was going to have to read The Last of the Mohicans, unquestionably the most tedious and dull of the books on our summer reading list, in mere days, when it had talen me many torturous weeks. I felt terrible for her and decided to be nice to her. And then I noticed that she was awesome.
She had drawn Smashing Pumpkins logos on her binders, and I thought this was wicked cool. My brother was obsessed with that band (that is not an overstatement), and I thought they were pretty great too. Before long, we were sharing our nasty cafeteria nachos with each other and planning sleepovers. We used to go out into her dad’s office in the garage and fire up the old modem (modem!) to read Smashing Pumpkins message boards while eating Pancho’s cheese dip. We thought we were so impossibly cool. Our Smashing Pumpkins activities were largely limited to blaring cds and comparing notes on which member of the band we’d marry, along with the occasional gold mine of gigantic concert posters we’d find at the used cd store. Until one day when Em noticed that there was going to be a Smashing Pumpkins concert in Nashville, 3.5 hours away from Memphis, and asked her mom if we could go, fully expecting her to say no.
But she said yes. What?! I am pretty sure she gets a parent halo for that. Em and I spent the summer planning our outfits and dyeing our hair. Yes, dyeing our hair. We got some really tame brand that would not destroy your hair forever (parents’ orders!), and also did not really work. At all. Mine was supposed to be blue, and hers purple. You can only really see it in the hemp hair tie I have no recollection of creating. Ah well. I realize we look full on terrifying here, or actually only I do. Em actually looks really classy. But she always was and always is. She talked me out of putting my fake nose ring in because she is a person of good taste. That’s the best kind of friend. This little card is a Valentine she made for me, with all kinds of inside jokes around the frame, almost all of which I still remember, including the endless nicknames we gave each other. I remember being so proud of those silver tights and my former school uniform shoes, which I painted with my ridiculous array of nail polishes. Those shoes may still be in the closet somewhere at my parents’ house. If I ever find them, I promise a full archeological excavation.
We took this picture the day we left town, clutching our pillows. Please note my not at all ironic Sailor Moon pillowcase. I was mighty proud of that thing. This is Emily’s house, where her mom still lives, among always freshly cut flowers and the most stately of drinking glasses. I love going there.
This is not actually a summer concert, but a fall one, based on our velvet attire. Emily came with me to a Tori Amos concert, because she is the best. I loved Tori as much as she loved the Pumps, as we affectionately called them. This picture makes me laugh so hard. We all wrote poetry in high school and vowed never to become pseudo-intellectuals (ha!). We hung out at the local bookstore and conducted “independent surveys” as an excuse to approach boys we thought were cute. Oh my goodness, we were living the life. A retrospective analysis would highlight our love for hyperbolic discourse and a tendency toward excessive effusion. But what else are the teen years for? Besides wearing shoes painted with nail polish, I mean.
This picture is from a summer music festival, and I have no idea what we were doing. All I remember is that it was really hot, hot enough that I wasn’t wearing my requisite long skirts. I was a really big hippie in high school. And that may deserve a post of its own. But for now, I’m content to look back on these pictures and laugh, and be grateful that I have a friend who saw me through all that fun nonsense and is still one of the people I am closest to in the entire world. Love you, Besfrinn.