The game was “Heads Up,” and it was Cindy’s turn to hold up the cell phone to her forehead. The rest of us started shouting out clues at once, but Jennifer’s voice was the loudest.
“It’s what Jackie has!” she said, as she grabbed her head and shook it like a Bobblehead.
Me? I thought. Well, yeah, I guess…
“She’s got a…headache?” Cindy asked, her eyebrows scrunched in confusion. “Oooh, a big head!” “She’s a pervert!” “She’s got a crazy mind!” She shouted those words and others with certainty. Finally, wide-eyed, she understood:
At the end of the round I couldn’t help but ask: “What the hell? Way to completely diss me, Ceej. I have a big head? I’m a perv?! I admit to having a dirty mind, but sheeeesh!”
The five of us couldn’t contain our laughter, at Cindy’s lack of a filter and her truthful words. ‘Cause let’s face it, I am all of the above. I scream-laughed so hard I had to double over from the pain in my gut and I had a fleeting, very fleeting urge to cry. Because in all honesty the last time I can remember laughing so wholeheartedly was about a year ago. In the moment I could not believe my sheer happiness.
All night we laughed, talking about our 10+ years-long friendships, the past and the present. We laughed at Sandra apparently hanging out with a certain ghetto-fabulous girl in high school (we always knew you were hood, Dri), the ketchup Jennifer burned me with (I still don’t get it – who does that?!), Cindy’s M.D. certification (“she asked me to check her fungal toe!”), me always being such a crybaby (“her hand was shaking as she ate the chili!”), and Steph/Sam’s victory over her nail-biting habit (“remember the bags?!” As if she would ever forget).
At one point I said, “Ugh, I can’t believe we’ve been friends for eleven years. I’m tired of you hos!” But I lie, I LIE! They know how much of a struggle the past year was for me, and not once did their friendship waver. Our friendships aren’t just based on laughter and debauchery. When I would go missing into the depths of the pity parties I would throw myself, they would seek me out. When I needed advice or someone to listen, they were there. It was never a matter of “what’s wrong with you,” but always “everything is going to be okay, Jax!” And it is!
I have always dreaded the end-of-the-year holidays, but my friends have helped me through them in a huge way, whether they know it or not. I haven’t had much time to lament the fact that I did not get the job which would have really launched my career as an educator, or that another year has gone by without finding someone amazing to love, or that I am still trying to figure out what to do with my life. I’ve been too busy laughing and reminiscing and eating and drinking and dancing. I haven’t had time to think about those don’t love me because I have a group of friends that really, really and mysteriously, love me and my big, perverted, headachy, crazy, and dirty-minded self.
Valdi, Ceej, Drita, and Stephalina Ballerina, ya fuckin’ freaks, nothing I am saying is new to you guys, it is just to thank you all for being so stellar. I would be lost without ya’ll! The next fifty years will be just as amazing and funny! Let’s keep tearing shit up!
“Definition of friendship: we get through things together!” – Jennifer Vasquez