Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friend Spotlight: Cathy

I have been ITCHING to write this post since January.

Positively ITCHING.

Editor's note:

The background of the original post
took on a life of its own
and turned into a spotlight.

So the post I've been positively
to write (Girls' Weekend)
is coming soon.

A little background:
Growing up, I had a best girl friend. Her name is Cathy.
She lived about 45 minutes away from me,
but that didn't stop us from getting together
as much as humanly possible.

I looked through my scrapbooks.
I have pictures as far back as 1987,
though I'm fairly certain we met in 1986
when we were both 12.

Mess Hall, Girls' Camp, 1987
There she is in the yellow shorts and bandana.
Her shirt says, "Frankly Scallop, I don't give a clam."

I have pictures of us in Cape Cod,
in RI (where she's from), and
in MA (where I'm from).


I have pictures of us as teens in Washington, D.C.
visiting the monuments and the zoo.

Washington, D.C., 1990
I took the picture, so I'm not in it.
Cathy is on the left.

Somewhere between 1990 and 1992,
about 5 years or so after Cathy and I met,
Kellie moved to R.I.
(We had a lot of friends come and go
due to the naval base there).

Kellie, Kora, Cathy, Rachel, Stacy
National Zoo, D.C., 1992

Swansea, MA

We became especially close our junior and senior years
of high school and throughout our college years
when we'd get together on breaks.

We had a really nice group of friends.
Often it was me, Cathy, Kellie, Rachel, and Kora.

On my back porch in Swansea, MA
Summer, 1992
Back Row: Rachel, Kora, Amanda
Front Row: Kellie, Cathy


These girls took me to the island to cheer me up.
I was sad that my 1st boyfriend had moved away.
We had SO MUCH FUN that day.

On a ferry to spend a day in Nantucket
Cathy, Kellie, Stacy, Kora
Summer 1992

Cape Cod, MA

We had a lot of friends in this little triangle of
Portsmouth and Middletown, RI (where Cathy and Kellie lived),
Swansea, MA (my hometown),
and Cape Cod, MA (more friends there).

Cape Cod, 1992
Kellie and Stacy

Cathy, Stacy, Carrie

Thanksgiving Break, 1992

I had a free flight, so I used it my Freshman year
to spend Thanksgiving at home.

I spent most of that time gushing over a new boy
I'd met in college.
I liked him a lot and was falling for him hard.
And I was so hoping he liked me, too.

He called me while I was home in MA.
And he kissed me for the first time
soon after I returned to college after this trip.

A little over 4 years later, I became his wife.

Me and Kellie

Cathy, Me, My Mom (I think Cathy was giving her a head massage??)
We're listening to "Unforgettable"

(Mine and Mark's song)

Christmas Break, 1992

During college breaks, several of us would reunite
and have a fun time together.

A favorite group thing to do?
Visit Boston!

Stacy, Melinda, Cathy, Selena

The girl 2nd from the left is my cousin Melinda.
Well, really her mom Lucy and I are cousins.
Lucy is the oldest grandchild.
I am the youngest.

Melinda came from the Azores to live with us for a while.
I both loved and hated it.

Loved it, because I loved spending time with her.
Hated that every boy I knew suddenly wanted to be around us
so they could ogle her and swoon over her accent.


Summer, 1993

I was home for the summer after my first year of college.
It was a rough summer in many ways.
I was working full-time at a government job
with very grumpy people.
I missed Mark like crazy.
And my mother was menopausal.
(I love you, Mom, but you know it's true).

Cathy kept me sane.

In all her loveliness

Cathy and me

Cathy and Me
Joe, Ben, and Chris


One of my favorite things we did that summer
was housesit for my brother and his family.
We stayed in their apartment and lived as roommates.

When my brother returned
(his family stayed in UT a while longer),
we kept hanging out there.



Soon after housesitting, we dressed as clowns
for my niece's birthday party.

I don't think my brother fully appreciates me.

I'm the one with the blue hair
She's the one with red hair

New York

We also road tripped with some friends to New York.

Me and Cathy

Meteor Shower

This is another one of those simple things
that stands out in my mind
as one of the most fun nights I had as a teenager.
I have always had simple tastes and simple pleasures.

I was 19.
And my girlfriends and I got together
and laid down in some farmer's field
in the middle of nowhere
and watched falling stars.
Loads and loads of them.

Then, as per tradition, we went to Friendly's for ice cream.

Sarah, Rachel, Cathy, Stacy, Kellie, Selena

Sarah, Rachel, Cathy, Stacy, Selena, Cigdem
Cigdem was one of my closest high school friends--
she was a Muslim from Turkey

Cathy and me

Turning 21
and some cross-country fun

I returned to college in the fall of 1993
and pretty much stayed there until I left for Portugal.

Right before I turned 21,
I was home for a couple of months.
Again, Cathy and I spent a lot of time together.

At my house

In Boston

In D.C.

We took the train to D.C.

A friend even paid for us to visit the West together.

We visited the "Mall of America" together
in Minneapolis, MN.

Recording our trip in a photo booth

We visited my brother's family that had just moved to UT
and built a pyramid with some of my nieces

Funny Story:

On my 21st birthday, we were in Utah together.
We were at a convenience store that sold liquor.
We didn't drink, of course,
but she dared me to try to buy some.

I protested.
She begged.
She just wanted to see if they'd card me.
I've always looked WAY younger than my age.
I wouldn't do it.
But I was curious, too.

So, when we were getting our (non-alcoholic) items,
I asked the guy at the register,
"Can I ask you something?
If I tried to buy alcohol, would you card me?"

He smirked and said,
"Little Girl, if you tried to buy chocolate,
I'd card you."

Cathy thought that was hilarious.
I was not amused.

We visited California, too.


I have pictures of us in several Eastern states,
Minnesota, Utah, and California.

Doing this post helped me recognize that
we have visited over 10 states together!

(It also helped me realize that
perhaps I should consider contact lenses).

Cathy was there to support me
when I got home from living overseas.
She had gotten married and
had a baby while I was away.

Cathy's husband, baby boy, Cathy, and me
September 1996

She was at our wedding reception in MA.
She was supposed to DJ our wedding,
but it fell through VERY last minute
(as in she whispered it in my ear when she got there),
so we (*sniff*) had no dancing at our wedding.
I love her so much that I didn't even get mad.
Cathy, you can make it up to us by DJing our 25th
wedding anniversary party. :)

Hugo, Thaddeus, Cathy, me, Mark
January 1997

We got together now and then.

At my house in Swansea, MA
Summer 1998
Cathy's younger brother Mike
(who had a huge crush on me all through our teenage years--
I have funny stories about that, too),
me, Thaddeus, and Cathy


But over the years, we simply drifted out of touch.
No big falling out.
Nothing dramatic.
(That's not how we roll).
Just rotten at keeping in touch, I guess.
I lived in the West for a while.
She stayed in the East.

She was there for me at my Dad's wake.
I was so touched that she'd come.
She always loved my Dad.
She calls him Pepé
and my mother, Memé.

This past summer, we met up in Boston.
And it was wonderful!
And we realized just how much we've missed each other.
The answer? A lot.

Cathy and me
with a bunch of "mini-us"es from the old gang
Boston Children's Museum
Summer 2009

So we vowed to not let that happen again.
We vowed to stay in better touch.

See, Cathy is HILARIOUS.
As in, she is, bar none, THE funniest person we know.
And she has super pretty green eyes gorgeously
offset by her lovely Puerto Rican skin.
And she's generous.
And she's kind.
And she's thoughtful.
And she's warm.
And she's WICKED AWESOME with kids.
And she's a bit of a kid herself.
And she's gutsy.
And she's smart.
And she's perceptive.
And she's fun.
And she's easy to talk to.
And she's supportive.
And she's a good friend.

When I'm with her,
I feel younger, a little crazier, a little more impulsive.

She loves to read and reads A LOT.
And we have similar tastes and opinions.
She got her account set up on GoodReads and
her list could've been mine.

We're reading The Great Gatsby this month
for book club. It's her favorite.
Wish she were here.

And she's totally jealous of our trip
to the National Book Festival,
so they're coming with us
starting this year!

Cathy and I LOVE to eat.
Some places come to mind as frequent haunts of ours.
East Side Mario's (for the Italian food).
Friendly's (for the ambience).
Newport Creamery (for the Awful Awfuls).
Border Cafe (for the best Mexican in Boston).
The SCOOPERBOWL (for the ice cream, duh).

The Scooperbowl is a Boston tradition.
Huge tent.
Lots of water.
$5 admission.
And all the ice cream you can eat.
Breyer's, Dreyer's, Dove,
you name it.
Plus you get to meet Ben and Jerry.


So, we've been better about texting and emailing
and even a couple of phone calls
(even though neither of us is big into using the phone).

We've texted now and then to say, "I miss you."
My favorite exchange went something like this:

Me texting her:
Guess who I woke up thinking about this morning!

Her texting me back:
I woke up thinking about blueberry pancakes,
but you were a close second.

Girls' Weekend

Something we started doing this past January,
in our effort to stay in better touch
and to get together more often
(because it's soooooooo very therapeutic) . . .
Girls' Weekends.

And see, that's what I was going to post about
when I started typing this.
But I got sidetracked on my trip down memory lane.

So, the post about Girls' Weekend will be the next one I post.

It's just that I can't write a post about Cathy
without the background.

She's just too special of a friend for that.

I think it's pretty neat that we've been friends
for coming up on 25 years.

All friends are important and wonderful,
but there's something extra special about someone
who has known you since childhood.

And I am super lucky that Cathy is
that kind of friend to me.


the emily said...

I had lots of friends growing up that I was sure would be a best friend for life--mainly my HS best friend Michelle, who I met in kindergarten--but I am lousy at keeping in touch and this post has inspired me to rekindle the friendships.

And STACY! NICE LEGS! Your boyfriend would never have moved away if he'd seen those gams in Nantucket.

Boiled Chicken Dinner said...

CRYING, PEEING, LAUGHING. I LOVE AND ADORE YOU!!! Kiley is standing behind me as I am reading and she keeps asking who is that(as she is pointing to me.) I count my blessings every day that I had and have an AMAZING friend. You kept me in a good place in life...more times than you will ever know, you always astounded me with everything you ever did. We are a good pair and I love the fun we have. I AM TERRIBLE about keeping in touch but think of you DAILY!!! I pray that my children can meet one person like you in their lifetime and they will and have in your children. I wish I could click my heels right now and be in your living room...tell Mark to fire up the pretzel making I am hungry for something salty!! I would also like to know seeing that I was the "spotlight" do I get a prize:)? YOUR FRIENDSHIP IS BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE!!!!

J Fo said...

Wow. That was a fun walk down memory lane! You guys sound like a couple of "wild and carasy guys!" (Do you get the reference?)

Dr. Mark said...

Crying and laughing are okay, but if you want pretzels, no peeing on the floor.

Any time, Cathy.

John said...

How wonderful for both of you! You've probably been related to each other in a variety of ways through numerous past lives, if you believe in such things.

I've been thinking recently about how rare such friendships are, and I recently managed to find my grade school best friend on FB, who I lost touch with in high school. I did manage to hunt him down while in high school, but he rejected me with an angry rant about me being middle class (NOT!) and him not being that. When I told him about it recently in a message on FB, he apologized, not even remembering the incident.

Be ever so grateful for this huge blessing.

Boquinha said...

Wow, thanks, Emily!!

Cathy!! I was so so so looking forward to you reading this post!! Stay tuned for a recap of our recent girls' weekend. A prize? How about another weekend stay at Chez Foley? I MISS YOU!!

I do recognize that line, Jess!! Long live SNL!

LOL, Mark.

John, it's so interesting that you mention that, because I was just contemplating that idea earlier on the day you commented. Congrats on finding your old friend. And thanks for the kind words. :)

Jillo said...

what a great post! You guys were a buch of crazy, wild ladies! With...I may seriously fabulous hair and attire. Ahh, the 90's.
There is nothings so comfortable as an old friend.

Boquinha said...

Yes, the 80s and the 90s! As John Cusack says, fashion is one of the CONS of the otherwise great 80s.

Shawn said...

Wow. You are truly brave to post all those pictures from the 80s and 90 for the whole world to see! But it is fun. A friend of mine just posted a slew of mission pictures on Facebook. I'm amazed at the reaction. It brings back such great memories.