Sunday, December 21, 2008

Day 21: Jeffa

On Day 21, I would like to thank Jeffa, my best friend throughout high school and a good friend still.

Jeffa and I met in 1981, I believe, when we were in the 8th grade. In 9th grade, we were in journalism together and we argued almost every day. She drove me crazy and later, when we reflected on it, she said she always knew we would be good frieds. I just thought she was insane.

We became close starting in high school when we were sophomores. We were both on the school newspaper together, the only sophomores. We started writing notes to each other and hanging out together and even wandered into the drama department together to do our story on "A Circle Of Hope" (See Day 6: Carol Coburn for more info on that).

Over the years, we fought, laughed and cried together. Jeffa was my biggest supporter - she encouraged me to continue writing and to follow my heart. We shared a love of the beach, bubbles, reading, theatre, movies, music. She and I bawled together when we saw "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan" the first time.

And we both watched "West Side Story" together in 9th grade and fell in love with the movie. I think maybe that was the beginning of my turn around with her. Duane was there and he just thought we were insane, blubbering idiots. Obviously, he didn't get the appeal.

I have a three inch binder full of the notes we wrote to each other in high school - the letters that kept us sane. For some reason, I saw them as our masterpiece and insisted that we keep them. I call it "The Note Notebook or Inspirated People Sit Under Tables and Dance on the Beach at Midnight" (it's all an inside joke...I know the word is "inspired").

We had many funny moments, like the time I went to visit her and she was grounded. This one night, I decided to go knock on her window after a party and hilarity ensued (I may tell the story later).

Our most ingenius plot was the Davenappers. We had decided we wanted to go to the beach but my car was not working well at the time (must have been senior or junior year)...We tried to think of people who might be game to join us on a day trip to the beach and somehow we ended up picking David H. We decided that instead of just asking him outright, we would make it a game and we came up with the idea of Davenapping him. We wrote a ransom note and said that we had a hostage and made a date and time to meet him. Rather than just capitulating, he wrote notes back to we continued...even to the point of telling him we would shave the hostage's head (there was no hostage). Jeffa had RED hair, so cutting some of her locks would not do and I was unwilling to cut any of my hair, so her mom gamely cut off a chunk of hair and we popped it into an envelope and sent it off. Apparently, this news roared through the drama department and by the time I was in Miss Coburn's office with Roby's wool coat around me, smelling like Opium (the cologne), people were walking around with bits of Jeffa's mother's hair. One of them came to me and compared the hair to mine, "It could be yours...but...nah! That's impossible. You're not THAT weird." Luckily, I didn't have to lie. It WASN'T my hair...
That weekend, when David finally found out it was us, he gamely drove us to the coast in terrible November weather and we spent an eventful evening eating at Rob's Family Restaurant in Seaside before driving home in the rain. David introduced us to "Purple Rain" which we both fell in love with.

Jeffa and I shared almost a secret language at the time - we had such intimate register - we could finish each other's thoughts. We were inseperable for many years. Finally, I graduated from high school and had started into my relationship with Roby. They were not fond of each other - but they got along ok for my sake.

On Jeffa's 16th birthday, I kidnapped her. I went to her house and picked her up and blindfolded her, then drove to get Roby without her knowing it. In the back, we had a cake, balloons, presents, streamers, the whole shebang. Unfortunately, my car broke down on the freeway heading to Washington Park Ampitheatre. The car would run, but not more than 30 miles per hour. We pulled over and a car stopped to help us. I'm surprised he didn't call the police when he saw the blindfolded girl in the front seat. He seemed to understand not to say anything about the guy in the back seat and just went back to his car. Foiled, we went to Hazeldale Elementary School and had a picnic on the grass.

We also had the Paper Caper Balloon Caper...Roby worked at Beaverton Town Square at the Kobo's Company (gourmet coffee before Starbucks). We would go meet him for his dinner break or pick him up after work. One night, we both knew that Roby was feeling down, but we were broke. We noticed that the paper store called "The Paper Caper" had 3 balloons taped outside their door. They closed at 9pm (so did Kobos), so we would hover until the women went into the back room and RUN and grab the balloons, jump back into the car and speed off. We would give him the balloons or set them free (it was before we knew how bad that was for the ocean. It became a matter of pride to see how stealthy we could be to grab the balloons and we got bolder and bolder... Ironically, when I started working at Kobos a few years later, I asked one of the women about the balloons...I felt guilty for stealing. Turns out, on the nights that people didn't grab them, they just cut them loose anyway. All that sweat for NOTHING!

There are lots of stories I could tell about our friendship - but the most important thing is that she is a special woman and I wouldn't be who I am without her. She is now a married woman with twin boys who keep her very busy. We still love books and movies - Harry Potter is a love of ours. I only get to see her once or twice a year, but the love I have for her burns all year round. She is one of my best friends and an unsung hero in my life. We had lots of bumpy times and ultimately, we went our separate ways for a few years, but she has always been there for me.

Jeffa - You are an amazing person. I am so glad that we are still friends. I hope you know how much I cherish you and all the memories I have of our time together. You played such a major part in helping me find myself. Thank you for all the love and laughter and tears. I love you.

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