Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Enough About Me, Part III

Our third installment (and every day these get longer - I think I'm getting sort of wound up - I may have to go back and add to the others: :-)

5) Tracey - My first memory of Tracey is walking by her dorm room and seeing her sitting on her bed, crying, talking to her (now ex-) boyfriend on the phone and trying to make sense of college algebra. It was a pitiful sight. But we were fast friends. Tracey was also in my sorority pledge class, and now that I say that for the third time I'm starting to realize that as far as sorority experiences go, I sort of hit the jackpot.

Tracey is the girl you want with you when you need free things, like the last of the chicken at Popeye's or the last of the donuts at Shipley's. She could talk her way into the Oval Office - I believe that with everything in me. If you happen to find a tape of the 1992 Liberty Bowl, you will see Tracey and me on the sidelines, not because we were serving in any official university capacity, but because she convinced the security guard that we were the cheerleading coaches. See what I mean? She has this all-American look about her that guys love - but because she's so unaware of herself, women love her, too. For those reasons, she is always - and I do mean ALWAYS - the life of the party. You give T. a band and and just one other person to keep her company, and she will SHUT 'ER DOWN. EVERY TIME. Our girl has some moves. ;-) Tracey was a cheerleader at State, and besides the fun of seeing her on the sidelines or on television, there was an added bonus in that she taught us all the cheers. I can't tell you how many nights you would find two or three of us practicing "Go State," "Bulldog Blitz," etc., and T. and I always ended our sessions with a double stunt. I was the base, of course. Tracey is also - and I mean this with nothing but sincere admiration - the world's most enthusiastic bad singer. She's a TAD tone deaf, but that doesn't stop her from rousing renditions of "Time and Tide" (which I am proud to have on video), "I Am A Promise" (she worked on that rendition for four years), and a medley of Chi O rush songs.

But there's so much more to her than the fact that she is utterly entertaining...she is one of the most tender-hearted people I know. If she sees you with even the teensiest frown on your face, she will walk up to you, put her arm around your neck, pat you on the head, and say, "What's wrong, baby?" Right after she had her first child, I called to check on her, and she said, "Hey - seriously - you have to do this baby thing. He or she will be the love of your life." She probably doesn't even remember saying it - but I so remember hearing it - and T., you weren't kidding. Not one little bit. She now has three of those young'uns (who are as gorgeous as their mama and their daddy), and while I know she has to be exhausted about 95% of the time, I know her babies adore her. I sure do.

I can't wait to tell her children about...all the times their mama and I went riding around, "spying" on certain people who needed to be spied upon. I have actually held their mama's foot in my interlaced fingers and boosted her up so that she could see into a window. Oh yes I have. And I have peeled away from the scene, to boot. When her kids get much, much older, I will tell them about the time we did donuts behind the Sigma Chi house and drew a small crowd, but I will not tell them that until long after their college days (I'd hate for that particular practice to be continued by the next generation).

6) Elise - I think it's telling that the first big memory that I have of Elise is when I wandered up to the dorm room that she shared with T. (for the record, all the same pledge class info applies to E., too) and she was FOLDING CLOTHES. Those of you who know E. know that the only thing that would've been more appropriate is if she had been wiping down her kitchen counters, because the girl? She can CLEAN. I always love it when she comes to my house because when she picks up framed pictures, she always wipes any dust off of the glass, and she always makes the bed JUST LIKE I LIKE IT.

Elise is the den mama. When we were in college, she was the person with Band-Aids, safety pins, and she was an expert in stain removal. She has a laugh that I could identify out of a line-up of 100 people, and we have always cracked each other up. She's one of the most honest, up-front, and outspoken people I have ever known. If you don't want to know, don't ask her - because she will flat-out tell you what she thinks. But with E., you lay it all out on the table, get everything in the open, work it out, and move on. I LOVE that. I could not talk to Elise for two years, call her out of the blue, and when she heard my voice, she would say, "So anyway, you remember so-and-so? I was at lunch with her sister the other day, and their cousin, who grew up in Indianola, went to Ole Miss for a couple of years but then graduated from State, well...." You know the whole six degrees of separation theory? With Elise it's more like four. And if you're operating within the confines of the state of Mississippi, you can take it down to two. If I could trade skin tones with anyone, it would be her...she has this gorgeous olive toned complexion, and she can tan like nobody's business. She always puts herself down when she discusses her looks, but she is one hot mama - she just has no idea.

E. and her hubby started dating our freshman year, and while I like to think that David and I don't have any secrets, we've got NOTHING on these two...they are hysterical. T. and I have often said that if E. and P-dub don't make it, there's no hope for the rest of us - because they are as committed and devoted to each other as anyone I've ever known. Elise was the first one of our "crew" to get married, and she was my first friend to have a child. I remember talking to her the night P. was born - and I cried. It caught me so off guard - hit me out of nowhere - but there was something so right about the person who had mothered all of us finally having a baby of her own. She has three boys now, and I mean to tell you that she has poured her heart and soul into them. If I'm ever trapped on an island, E. is one of the people I would want with me...because she would make mugs out of coconut shells, create a sassy outfit for herself out of palm fronds and assorted foliage, devise a recipe for a fruity beverage, catch and cook a slew of fish for us to eat while we watched the sunset and simultaneously constructed a radio out of plans she sketched out with a stick on the sand. When tough times come, she's someone you want - and need - in your corner.

I can't wait to tell her children about...a certain incident behind McKee Dorm involving my 1984 Buick Regal, Elise behind the wheel, a large cloud of smoke from the tailpipe, and a resulting inability to put the car in reverse. And that's all I'll say about that.


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