How to catch a BFF

Mel Anderson
S-E Staff Reporter

My column this week comes by the request of my BFF.

She asked me to write about the time earlier this month when my hubby put a leash on a pig, put it in a mini-van and drove it off to get butchered, but thinking about it made me want to write about her because writing about a tall dude in a business suit with a pig on a leash in a mini-van is just so mundane.

I mean, who hasn’t done that on the way to court?

I can’t tell the story of how I met my BFF without talking about how I staked a claim on my adopted dad. I met my adopted dad when I was in my mid-twenties. Before he was my adopted dad, he was my ROTC commander. He probably realized that a cadet who failed land navigation as badly as I did needed a life mentor to make sure I never started out for Walmart and ended up in Botswana, so he took me under wing.

Also, he wasn’t running Special Forces missions anymore, so trying to get me to stop making illogical life choices while adopting my squad of children as his grandkids was his next most dangerous option.

My BFF is his wife. On the day I graduated from ROTC, I invited my soon to be adopted dad and soon to be BFF, out for lunch. She politely declined. I wrote her about a month later to let her know she got me pregnant, because, as she didn’t go to lunch with me, my husband and I had to consider alternative recreational activities which resulted in an unexpected baby number six.

She said that’s not where babies come from and offered me free sex ed classes courtesy of Google. I told her I already knew that the stork brings babies from the cabbage patch when one introvert declines another introvert’s lunch invitation, so I didn’t need the lessons.

That first email was followed by thousands more. When I was in labor with baby number six, I texted her and asked that she tell me a joke because I was bored. That had never happened to her before.
When she lost her great niece to stillbirth, I put my digital arms around her and held her while she cried.

On the face of it, my BFF and I have nothing in common except bra and shoe size. She’s almost twenty years older than I am, never had or wanted children, owned her own blue collar interior painting business and didn’t meet the love of her life until her 40’s. I met the love of my life when I was 18, got married two months later and gave birth to six children in eight years, went white collar and, whereas my BFF gets a year older every year on the same day, I’m perpetually 21.

She taught me to fish and crochet. I taught her how to set the clocks in the house forward to make the kids she doesn’t have think it’s bedtime. She taught me how to make beef jerky. I taught her how to hide junk food in the Raisin Bran box. Clearly, I’m teaching her things that would aid her in a zombie apocalypse, but everyone has their own special talents, so you can’t fault her for trying.

We’ve been besties going on nine years, and, unfortunately for her, in that time she’s gotten more gray by listening to crazy stories about hitchhikers, snow banks and pigs on a leash in a minivan.