I have a friend named Rachel Auch. Rachel and I were literally inseperable for about two years during our teens. I would say that from 15 to 17 years old, you never saw one without the other. Even on school nights, she stayed over and we’d be up all night on instant messenger or talking about boys we thought were hot. We were together so much we even knew the difference in our moms’ tone of voice when they’d say our names. I knew if her mom was talking to me or her when she’d holler from the next room, “Rachel, stop talking so loud.” I’ll let you guess which Rachel she was talking to then. I’ll give you a clue: it was me. Rachel was, and is, one of the funniest people I’ve ever been around. It was constant, non stop laughter with her. I remember one time when I was 15 and she was 16, she wanted to come to my house but her mom said she couldn’t come until all the dishes were done. Well, the only problem with that was that her family had had a HUGE party the night before and if you don’t know the Auchs, you will never fully understand just how big that family is. I swear, there’s 14,000 of them. So, Rachel was supposed to do all those dishes before she could come to my house and we knew it would be well in to the next week before they were all done because she didn’t have a dishwasher. They had to be washed by hand. I was standing there in the kitchen looking at all the dishes when I suddenly got a bright idea. I told Rachel to grab me as many trash bags as she could find. She looked at me puzzled and I told her not to ask any questions, just bring me the bags. When she returned, I said, “Put the dishes in these trash bags, we’re taking them to my house BECAUSE I HAVE A DISHWASHER.” And we did just that. We loaded every last dish in those dang trash bags and transfered them to my house, ran them through the dishwasher, and then took them back. Looking back, I realize it took ten times longer and a heck of a lot more effort to take them to my house than it would’ve to just wash them at her’s. But whatever. It makes us laugh when we think about it.
One time, Rachel and I were laying on the couch in my basement, talking about boys or twirling our hair or whatever teenage girls do when they’re 15 and 16, when my doorbell rang. Not even thinking twice, we ran upstairs, opened the door, and were greeted by a tall, dark, handsome Jehovah’s Witness. Normally, I would’ve politely given him a “thanks, but no thanks,” but this guy was too good to be true. Rach and I both stood there, pretending to care about whatever the heck he was saying just so we could stare, and about half way through his lecture, I looked at Rachel, she looked at me, and I knew we were thinking the same thing. So, completely interupting his reasoning as to why we should join his church, I looked at him and said, “Uh, you wanna come inside? I’ll make you a sandwhich.” And then we busted up laughing because who asks a total stranger to come inside for a sandwhich?? We do, that’s who!! He apparently was a little put off because he didn’t even finish telling us about his church and declined our offer to come in (and my mom had just bought the good lunch meat, too…the turkey pastrami! His loss!) and he got in his car and was on his merry way. Without even hesitating, Rachel grabbed her car keys and told me to get in the car–we were going to follow this guy around the neighborhood until he realized just what he was missing out on! I’d like to pause for a second and say a prayer: Dear God, please don’t let my children be like me. Amen.
On another occassion, when I was 15 and she was 16, Rachel let me drive her car from my house to hers and I didn’t even have my learner’s permit yet. The closest I’d ever been to driving a car was taking my dad’s riding lawn mower for a spin around the neighborhood so I was a little touchy with the pedals. I remember slamming the brakes so hard I nearly gave us both whiplash and then we just sat at the stop sign laughing our butts off. I’m here to report that we did make it to her house in one piece, though. How we didn’t get pulled over and sent straight to the slammer, I’ll never know. Luck must’ve been on our side and the cops must have been busy somewhere else because if they’d seen the way I was driving, gas-brakes-gas-brakes, we would’ve been toast.
Rachel and my mom threw me a surprise 16th birthday party. I’ll never forget that day because as I said before, you never saw one without the other, but on this particular day, Rachel just suddenly had plans and couldn’t be with me. I was so mad at her because how dare she not spend every second with me on my birthday. Can we say brat!!! Little did I know that Rachel was putting the final touches on my party, putting all the decorations out and picking up the cake, etc. She made my sixteenth really special. Thanks, Rach. Sorry I was brat.
I moved to Dallas for a couple years after school and Rachel and I didn’t stay in touch as much as I wish we would’ve. But we both knew that life happens and no matter what, we’d always be friends. I came home for the birth of her first child, Jamir, and I know that she’ll be there if that day ever comes for me. Friends like her are hard to come by. She lives a few hours away now and has the cutest little guys on Earth and a man that loves her the way that she deserves to be loved. It’s really neat to see her with her own little family. And then I get scared for her because if her boys act anything like we did, dear God, she’s in for some trouble. HA.
I love ya, Rach. Thanks for all the memories. Thanks for making me laugh till I cried. And call me soon because I haven’t heard you say “tootsie wootsie pop” in a really long time. HAHAHA.