May 3, 2014 11:03:54 PM
I love women. As far back as I can remember, I have always adored them.
It began with little girls in kindergarten when I found comfort on the seesaw or monkey bars with my friends who were donning pigtails and plaid dresses with their giggles. The middle school years were no different. I sat on the grassy hillside with all my girlfriends -- Chrissy, Sonya, Kimberly, Roweena -- spraying bangs with hairspray and watching the boys play football. I was that guy, the one right smack dab in the middle of all the girls all the time.
My very best friend from as early as I can muster up a memory has always been Tracey Annette. She taught me to dangle from Mawmaw Belle's Sycamore tree by my knees with no hands and was there for every milestone growing up -- my first wine cooler, the parachute pants phase, prom, skipping class, high school graduation, midnight pizza rolls, and even frosting caps. My apologies for some of that!
We grew up, grew older, but never grew apart. In fact, I suspect we are closer now than ever before. Friendships are so much like flowers in a garden. Some are annuals, but if you are lucky the best ones are like old-fashioned roses that return year after year. Tracey Annette and I found each other as curious children who lived on the same country road, but what we found in each other's hearts has never been by chance. It's destiny.
Rarely in life does any other soul "get you" like a best friend, a bosom buddy, and when it happens, well, it's a gift. We had sleepovers surrounded by as many stuffed animals as my twin bed would hold. Our favorites were the Smurfs. A few years ago, I tore into a box Tracey mailed me and found vintage plush Smurfette and Papa Smurf toys from our days of playing together on Dykes Chapel Road. Those are the things I consider a blessing.
Days sometimes pass without a single word exchanged between us, but with a "smiley face" text message or throwback Thursday picture on Facebook, we are reminded that ours is a timeless language all our own. On a random Sunday, we might ring each other and talk for hours about nothing. Last year, on the morning I said goodbye to my mama, the first voice I needed to hear was hers, and likewise when her Mawmaw Belle passed onto Heaven the year before, I was that voice she longed for.
Sorry, guys, but it's the women I adore, women like Mrs. Watts, that teacher who never gave up on me; my friends Hope, Lyn, and Lucy; icons like Madonna, and, of course, my other half, the Ethel to my Lucy, Tracey Annette.
Happy birthday, dear.
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.