It is very fitting that Lionel Richie was on the TODAY show this morning announcing his residency in Vegas–on my friend Rhonda’s birthday since it was at her house on the floor of her mom’s bedroom I first heard this on a turntable.
Truly a life-changing album
We became friends in middle school — passing many notes, flirting with many boys, and learning many dance moves. We both made cheerleader in 8th grade at Jefferson Middle School.
That’s J-E-F with an F!
F-E-R with an S!
S-O-N with a J-e-F-f-E-r-S-O-N!
…in case you were wondering.
**that’s her, the brunette on the bottom, and me right behind her with my Dorothy Hamill-if-she-was-a-vampire ‘do**
Rhonda was such a fun friend because she was sassy, confident, beautiful and didn’t care about manners as much as my mom would have liked. “Pass the rocks, Carole” earned her a scowl, much to my delight, when she ate dinner at our house on one occasion. She was referring to Mom’s homemade bread instead of the biscuits in a can she was used to at her house. In the angst that is middle school mother/daughter relations, Rhonda made me look SO GOOD.
Deep down my parents loved Rhonda–I think she helped them lighten up a bit.
You know who else loved Rhonda? The boys in my neighborhood. Well, one boy in particular. We had some great times hopping from house to house, swimming in the lake and “exploring nature.”
On into high-school we did not continue cheering together but opted instead to do many other exciting things with our time. The cheerleading judges were a large part of this decision, but we reluctantly agreed with them and still managed to have a large time. We went to dances and got our licenses and broadened our horizons and friendships.
Time has flown, there have been husbands and children, careers and moves. Although I can’t remember the last time I saw my pal Rhonda in real life, I follow the excitement of her major league baseball playing son, her new job and her adorable baby girl on Facebook. Rhonda is a fierce and adventurous spirit. I am forever grateful that she came into my life at a time I would have otherwise been even more awkward, self-conscious, and cautious than I got to be with her around. She is the one who, looking back, was the one who taught me not to take everything so seriously.
“Go for it once in a while!”
“Come on, let’s just try!”
“Gimme some more-a them rocks, Carole.”
Courageous. Funny. Gorgeous. Irreverent. Kind. Energetic. Vivacious. RHONDA.
Thanks for being born, girlfriend!
You go, with your bad blue-eyed self.