Thursday, May 30, 2002

My Life As Written By Others part 2

Before I write about Bonnie and Laurel, please note that family is as important as friends when it comes to writing a life. I already embarrassed the hell out of my sister with one of these, back on her birthday. That, theoretically, is a "life as written by others" chapter, but it stands alone. I've not yet gotten to writing on my parents, grandparents etc. But I will. So before you go thinkin' only my friends from highschool and college matter, stand yourself corrected and give me time.

In college, one can be burdened with roommates. Other times, you are blessed with them. I have a couple of each type. The best of the bunch (I've had Bonnie, Mary, Laurel, Diane, Suzie and Helen as the names sharing my door) are by far Bonnie and Laurel.

I met both of them in 1984, Bonnie was assigned as my roommate, and Laurel lived in the dorm next door but quickly became my best friend and I would room with her at other times. Between the two of them, I was kept sane, had tons of fun, and we all got along well. We lived together in 1985-86 and had a great time. They've been a blessing in my life, in times of trouble and laughter. Sniff. Weep. Tito, hand me a tissue. Here is to Bonnie and Laurel.

Bonnie and her little sister Erin, circa 1985
Steve, my then boyfriend, Bonnie and I seem to think that shredded documents make nice hats.

Bonnie is the oldest of four, was my roommate for freshman and sophomore year, junior year she lived with Melissa, and we somehow ended back up together in a sweet suite in Wilson Hall for her senior year, my second junior year, before I went off to Oregon.

Bonnie says of the document shredding hair picture "No wonder I couldn't get a date in college! Jeeesh, look at the outfit!"

We referred to our room freshman year as "the Swamp," just like on M*A*S*H, and she was BJ, I was Hawkeye, and crazy Mary was definitely Frank Burns.

She was given a hamster by a guy named Glenn, who I believe at the time was madly in love with her, even though I was starting to develop a painful crush on him. The hamster's name was "Boof" and we kept it hidden in our room, but people (including our R.A. Cheryl) knew about it and would come play with it.

We were narked upon by a weaselly sniveling midget named Maureen and Boof had to find a new home. She went to Bonnie's parents' house, and lived her days in happiness and love, with Bon's brother and two sisters.

In addition to all the fun we had wearing shredded paper and making fun of Mary and her teeth, her bangs and her shopping habits, and hamster smuggling, we shared with Laurel the joys of living right next to the trash storage (it was under our bedroom and stank to hell in the warm weather). Dubbed "the sin bin" due to the fact that people would sit on it and make out (which STILL to this day grosses me out) the trash container became the site of many a late night yelling match between ourselves and Kathy and Mike, who would sit and declare their undying love. They are since divorced.

The lovely and distinguished Bonnie, dahling.... yes dahling. Love the sophistimicated eybrow raising, and slightly parted lips here. Dahling...
The flippant and ridiculous Bonnie (I laughed my ass of f when I found this picture! she is so damn cute! I think we were modeling stuffed animals for Vogue magazine (see her bed, under her left arm? That was the impetus...)

Bonnie always was, and always will be the hippest chick I know. Even with a stuffed animal on her head. She's the bomb. Her brother in law noted that at her wedding in his best man toast saying something along the lines of, "she's hip, she's gorgeous, she's smart... what's she doing with my brother?"

She may not have had a lot of dates in college (which really doesn't make any sense. I mean hell, a fat chicka like me got two pretty decent boyfriends in the 6 years I spent there, and she didn't get one full time one the whole time? What the hell???) she did score a wicked cool husband and baby and has a sweet and fun life.

Why? Because she's a class act. With a wicked sense of humor. Combined, she's unstoppable. Simply put.

Dig her Nike leather sneakers here in the picture to the right. She and Mark are doing this weird pose thing that we used to always do with hands on hips and elbows pushed foreword. I think Paul invented it. There was a funny voice you had to do with it too.

I have a million pictures of Bonnie. A lot more than I do of Laurie. Not sure how that works out... There is a roll of film that I lost before I ever got it developed that I wish to hell I had... we spent a weekend down at my Grandmother's house in Falmouth, and took a winter driving tour of the Cape Cod National Seashore. I distinctly remember taking a picture of her by a beautiful lighthouse, standing by a sign that urged her not to stand there because she would plummet to imminent death. It was funny at the time... but it's a mental memory instead of a Kodak Moment for me.

And last but not least, she was the creator and proud owner of "The Chicken Of Death," which I kept with me for several years, pictured here riding my moped with Tim N.

Nicknames: Bubba, Bubbles, Bonnie Fitzgerbil
Songs Associated: "Bad Sneakers," Steely Dan
Mostly Appreciated for: Putting up with me when Steve dumped me and I stayed in bed for five days mopey and sad; pulling me out of that bed and making me live; being my maid of honor and one hot babe at my wedding, especially when I nailed her in the face with the bouquet...; yelling at people on the Sin Bin; inviting us to her parents' house for one of the best weekends ever (seen below); keeping me included in her life during and after college even though I'm a social dud and nowhere near as hip and cool as the people she knows in the city; naming "The Way Out Inn."

At Casa Bonnie in perhaps 1985?
back row: Mark, Paul, Bonnie, Steve
couch: Laurel, Pappa Fitz, Erin, Mamma Fits, Me

Laurel in the companion picture that goes with mine up top. I took hers, she took mine. Summer 1985.
Laurel in the woods. You can't see it but she has a small child strapped on her back from her nanny days... 1985

Laurel and I were in a gym class together Fall Semester, Freshman year, 1984. That's where we met. She lived in the dorm next to mine, and many of the people she was getting to know freshman year would become some of my better friends in the Pre-Doug Years.

She was all about business -- a tough girl full of the kind of energy living "20 miles north the mason dixon line" brings. We had to do a battery of pushups, situps and pull ups, and we were paired together by the gym teacher. We, mostly Laurel, kicked ass at everything we needed to do, so much so that Jerome named us "Animal Women," and when people would see us coming, they'd call out "Hey Annnneeeeemaaaaaallllllll!"

Laurel was the proud owner of the "molest me" shirt, a white linen blouse that was irresistible to men. I borrowed it on many occasions while dating Steve. She also owned some of the coolest cars -- the two most notable are the Pelton Mobile, named after a co-worker of hers who was a complete toad, and Augie, a car similar to Doug's Chevy Monza, which I learned to drive on. Augie was a lovely powder blue, and one day while we were driving up Rte 22 in Beverly a wasp flew in the car. Both of us were terrified of wasps/stinging things, so she just about treed the car up in someone's yard as both of us bailed from the vehicle. She barely got it into park and we spilled out into this guy's yard. He came out and we were screaming like ninnies.

He killed the wasp. I do believe.

Nice Jacket Laurel... I wonder what ever became of that thing, purchased 2nd hand in Manchester for 2 bucks. I love this picture.

I was supposed to be her bridesmaid in her wedding, and was having my dress made for me when she was home, having graduated a year early. Like I said, she was all about business. She called me distraught to let me know the wedding was off, that her fiancee had changed his mind.

A couple years later, she eloped with another guy, Christopher, and pissed me off to no end. But I got over it, and she's still one of the coolest and most inspiring people I know. She has two kids, her oldest was born the day Doug and I got married, so she wasn't able to be in the wedding party, or even be there. Sarah will be 11 on Saturday.

As I mentioned, I have a lot more pictures of Bonnie than of Laurel from back in the day. The simple truth is that Laurel was always behind the camera, and took some amazingly beautiful pictures. She was a wonderful photographer, and I have the evidence to show for it.

I will always think of her when I drive down Grover Street (our favorite street!) in Beverly. Especially with the windows down. In the late spring. When the lilacs are out.

Nicknames: Laurie, Animal Woman, Hoatzie, 'zapple.
Songs Associated: "You can close your eyes" James Taylor; anything by Yes that you can go "fwanna fwanna fwanna na NA NA" along with
Mostly Appreciated for: Constantly consoling me when Steve and I would break up; telling Steve that he needed to break up with me for good instead of just constantly allowing me to weasel my way back into relationship with him (at the time, I was pissed, but with hindsight... whew! Thank you, Laurel!); giving me the second worst hair cut of my life; how she played 6- and 12-string guitar; being left handed; the molest-me shirt and other items in her wardrobe which were at my disposal at anytime; having the same size feet as me; her ongoing smarts, beauty and strength; dedication to God and Jesus which humbles me.

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