Wenderina thought she was SO COOL at 13 (not) and was amazed that Chelle was interested in being her friend.
The Catholic school crisis averted, together Chelle and Wenderina navigated the dangerous waters of public high school, experiencing embarrassing moments, minor flirtations, a few devastating crushes, sweet sixteen birthdays, some camping trips and vacations, Young Life (what we think of as a pre-internet social network), Pat Benatar!!!, Journey!!!!, proms, first loves, and - oh yeah - a few classes here or there.
Not the least of their friendship was Wenderina's admiration in Chelle's ability to look like Gene Simmons - complete with natural widow's peak and earily long lizard-like tongue.
Wenderina and Chelle spent many hours rocking to Pat Benatar, Journey, REO Speedwagon, and other great 80's bands. They agreed there was nothing better than "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" sung at top volume into hairbrush/microphones.
"Who ARE these people???", they both proclaim..."Why don't we remember them???"
A few years ago, Chelle and her hubby were in New York City for a short vacation and Wenderina took the train in to spend the day hanging out. It was a chance for them to re-connect and amazingly, they picked up right where they left off - no awkward silences, no difficult moments - just easygoing hanging out buddies all over again.
But still...the connection was fragile and didn't really penetrate the miles.
Wenderina personally has trouble remembering many of the details of high school. Chelle does a good job filling in the blanks, with a few gaps herself. But all in all, what matters most, is they both remember that they couldn't have survived it without the other.
Love you Chelle - through thick (a.k.a. thunder) thighs and thin, through loves and losses, through home life and work strife, and everything in between.