Monday, September 30, 2013

What Happens In Vegas...

Love is like a friendship caught on fire.
In the beginning, very pretty, often hot and fierce, 
but still only light and flickering.
As love grows older, our hearts mature, 
and our love becomes as coals, 
deep-burning and unquenchable. 
~ Bruce Lee

Barbara and I where 15-years-old when we met in the spring of 1979, in the girls' locker room of Romeoville High School.  It was the first after-school practice of the R.H.S. pom-pon squad.  She and I were the only sophomores who made the squad for the upcoming year.   Barbara has held a major role in nearly every memorable episode throughout my life since.  She is my sister and I love her beyond words.  

Some lifelong friends tell of rough 'n tumble relationships; arguments, tension, resentments - - none of which was us.   Our differences are as plentiful as are our similarities, and what makes our quirky mutual admiration society bloom so well; our relationship has always been based on admiration and respect. 

I met Barbara's husband, Tom, (aka Wolfy, read Tighty Whities) for the first time at O'Hare Airport, in 1991.  They'd been dating a short time, mostly long-distance, when Barbara and I were heading out for a 3-day escapade in Vegas, disguised as a Jazzercise convention with a mission to see Wayne Newton, flying Elvis' and the tackiness of Liberace.  It was nice to put a face with the name I'd been hearing so much about - she was smitten.  Little did I know, so was he.   

Love...in the beginning, very pretty, often hot and fierce... Wolfy called Barbara and sent fax notes to her at our hotel.   It was sweet and quite evident what was cooking between these two was real, it wasn't some fleeting thing.  Then the hurricanes I was over-served at the Hard Rock restaurant took their toll on me.   It was that night, the one time in our entire relationship that Barbara and I got into it.  It was all my fault.   I was happy for the romance she was experiencing, but I was more jealous, envious, and insecure than I was happy.  I reacted - - overreacted, to Wolfy's romantic gestures toward my friend.  She had something I didn't and really wanted, plus I was fearful our friendship was being threatened by this distraction of a boy.  Thankfully, in an overly dramatic and emotional dispute in the ladies room of some bar, with her help, I got over myself.  Damn hurricanes.  We never spoke of it again.  What happens in Vegas...

On a Friday evening, in the fall of 1993, my phone rang.  Wolfy proposed, Barbara said yes, they called to share the news and Barbara asked me to be her maid-of-honor.    They are married 19 years today. 

Over the years Wolfy and I have grown close.  It's fun being his co-conspirator on things related to Barbara.  In 2003, when we were together in Puerto Vallarta (read He Said, She Said) for Alex and Andrea's wedding, I was proudly christened Wolfy's mistress.   Something Boomer always cracked up over, and was never intimiated by.    Wolfy was instrumental in supporting me to arrange Boomer's Chicago memorial - - he was also M.C. 

Boomer and Wolfy enjoyed talking sports together and often male-bonded over Cub's home games, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, or Northwestern football games, and outdoor grilling.  

Wolfy & Boomer, 2001
My admiration and respect for my sister-friend Babara has only grown since she became a party of two.  Barbara and Wolfy were made for each other.  There is no dispute that their harmonic bond is unquenchable.  My relationship with Boomer didn't take flight for another 3 years after they married, but in watching and regularly being in their presence, Babara and Tom inspired and taught me how I wanted my own relationship and marriage to be.  They are friends, lovers, partners, companions, playmates, husband and wife.  The real deal.  The whole package.  They honor and encourage each others' autonomy.  He neutralizes her, she keeps him on his toes.   I like to think Boomer and I shared alot of those same qualities.  

Today I quietly celebrate and honor the deep-burning, unquenchable love of my friends Barbara and Tom.  A little envy has resurfaced today after all these years.  I didn't see that coming.  There are no hurricanes involved either.  Funny how the celebration of someone close to you triggers a slip in your heartache - - the loss that Boomer and I didn't get to 19.  I do aspire that someday I'll have another shot.  After all I have amazing role models that got really good skills. 

Happy Anniversary my friend and my paramour.   I love you both.   

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