Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Angelina Fettuccine

Days after I had moved into the house I was to grow up in, and six months after turning four years old, a mischeivious, white-haired little girl knocked on our front door and asked me to come out and play. She was four as well and I came to find out she lived just across the street. Her name was Angie and we were best friends all through our childhoods. One day my mother in a fit of silliness called her "Angelina Fettuccine" and the name stuck.
Those years we were inseparable. She was the closest to a sister I ever had and we could fight like sisters too! We would get in petty arguments and each of us would go to our respective front steps and stare across the street at the other until one of us relented.
As a pre-teen, she defiantly stopped going to church (I was never made to go) so Sunday mornings we'd sneak into her dad's record collection and play oldies. It was on one of those morning that we founded our own Church of Elvis. We'd blast that once-scandalous music and dance like we were possessed. This started a long tradition of collecting cheesy Elvis memorabilia (there's no lack of that around!) and every birthday or Christmas we could expect a wrapped imitation velvet painting or a sno-globe with the King's likeness on it.
Angie was my polar opposite and therefore my total complement as well. Blond-haired, blue-eyed and brazen. She was always the athletic one, and excelled at basketball. This suited her well as she grew to be six feet tall. I, on the other hand am brunette with brown eyes. Shy, awkward, and, well, not six feet tall.
After high school, Angie went to college in Wisconsin where 12 years of Catholic schooling completely backfired. She blew off school, started smoking, drinking, hanging out with scary people and ended up moving back home after her freshman year. In my usual style, I was intimitated about going away to school, so I went to the University of Minnesota and lived at home my first year. I thrived at college (not really having anything to rebel against) and made good friends with whom I would share an apartment the next few years (an entirely different post...). When she moved back across the street, I moved into an apartment and things were never the same. I think she secretly resented my academic success and we had a hard time maintaining contact. We talked on and off after extended breaks. Since our parents were still neighbors I always knew what was going on with her.
When I moved to Florida, Angie made an appearance at my going away party. We cried and promised to do better about keeping in touch. All was forgiven and she was going to visit often. We exchanged a couple of letters, nothing though for two years now.
I heard from my grandparents (who also live in my old neighborhood) that Angie was going to get married to her long distance boyfriend and move with him to New Mexico. Up until that point, we seemed like opposites, leading different lives and wanting different things. I think the fact that she decided to move far away and explore the country with the man she loves proved that we are more alike than we ever thought possible.
I was upset not to have been invited to her wedding. To see my best friend get married I would have flown to the ends of the Earth. I heard after the fact that it was small, intimate and in Las Vegas. I like to think she did it in classic Angelina Fettuccine style with an Elvis impersonator and that while in one of our houses of worship, she thought of me.


Scott said...

Wow, that was kind of sad. I mourn the loss of so many friends, some that I grew up with, went to various schools with etc. Life keeps moving and old friends become distant memories.

jenbeauty said...

Wow...this post touched me. Reminds me of my good friend Tina. It also reminds me of my daughter and her friend that lives right across the street.

It amazes me so that so many people, from so many different places, can have the same experiences.

Hi I am Jen and found you through Scott!

dancingo4 said...

You are so amazingly articulate with your feelings and personal observations. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm glad you are at a good place within yourself about all of this. It is hard to realize the changes in life that you have no control over and the impact the results eventually create. I think we can all look at this and have that twinge in our stomachs when you think about friends from our past who have slowly disappeared. We can just be glad we had the friendship at the time and look back fondly at the good times. And to realize that you wouldn't be the person you've grown to be with out that important friendship in your past.
I'm so thankful to have you as a friend.

magnetbabe said...

Having lived all over the place, you are probably way better at coping with losing friends than I. It doesn't mean you ever get used to it...

I too am amazed at the similar experiences I read about. Seems that everybody has an Angie. I hope your daughter and her friend stay close for many years. Thanks for visiting and stop back anytime!

Stop it! You're making me want to cry and there's no crying in physics! Really, thanks. We met at a crucial time in our lives that allowed us to grow together rather than apart. I am eternally grateful for that.

gram said...

I remember you and Angie being great friends. She would occassionally come over with you to visit us and although she never really spoke to us much, we knew she was your best friend at the time. It is always sad when you lose contact with a friend, however it was inevitable that the two of you would lose contact due to the difference in your goals. I also hope she is doing well and I sure know you are!! Love You, Gram

mom said...

oh tal, this blog made me laugh and cry at the same time, i started remebering things like you and angie doing "elvis worship" in your room and starting your shelf on fire lighting candles. and the year of the great halloween blizzard and you and angie trick or treating knowing that it was your last year and coming home with 3 feet of snow on your costumes, and how about when you and angie went missing and deb and dad and bill and i looked all over for you only to find out you were having watermelon slices and cookies with mrs(?) down the block? joan wood has "run away" from me 3 times since we've become friends, always when she leaves her partner and i have tracked her down all 3 times. track down angelina fettucine, it will be worth it. sometimes it's easier to keep in contact via e-mail, less commitment. that's what joan and i do, and although it isn't perfect it's been worth it

lefty_grrrl said...

I'm sorry I missed this post when you first wrote it. I bet she'd be touched by this homage to her. Methinks you should get her email address...

Also, I love the King. If you ever want a velvet Elvis, I'd be happy to ship one to you... They should fit in a PO Box or a mailbox, right?