Dawn and I met about 20 years ago (whoa!), in 9th grade. I was pretty quiet and Dawn was more outgoing and definitely had more friends at that point (and probably still does!). Our maiden names were close alphabetically, so we always ended up in the same 5th period class, which was 1.5 hours long. As I remember it, Dawn would randomly turn around and tell me things out of the blue – outrageous plans for her future, or other things she wanted to do. It would always crack me up. It kind of seemed like confession. I don’t even know if I ever said anything back. I’m not much of a rule breaker, so I probably didn’t even talk during class at that point!
Our friendship stayed at that random-fact-phase for several years, until 11th grade, when we had yet another 5th period class together (this time was Chemistry, neither of our areas of strength) and also were in the same SAT prep course. We each hated that prep course, and hated that it was after school. The mall was much more fun. So one day we decided that we were going to skip the prep course and head to the mall. A few other girls who were mutual friends of ours went, and then they had to go home by a specific time. Dawn and I decided that we weren’t ready to go home at that point and so we drove back to our little suburb, dropped off our mutual friends, and then headed back to the mall (which was about 1 hour round trip). Well, wouldn’t you know, my ’88 Cavalier broke down. And we both had to pee.
There’s something about being in a broken down car in a pretty crappy area, needing to call your parents to ask for help (after lying about skipping the prep course – which was about the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done to date… I’m pretty lame) and attempting to not pee your pants that really fosters a bond.
I honestly don’t remember much about how long we were there, who came to pick us up, when or where we ended up finally getting to use the bathroom or anything else, but I do know that it led to a life-long friendship. I’m not sure that Dawn and I ever hung out with those mutual friends again, or if we ever attended another prep course, but Dawn and I have stuck together ever since and had a fabulous time together! I ended up with a new Cavalier and put 18k miles on it in the first year – pretty much just driving to the mall and back! Now we’re moms (when did we grow up???) and are figuring out how that life is supposed to go.