Sunday, April 22, 2007

French Fry Friends....

This weekend I was SUPPOSED to be in Seattle. Tyler and I had decided to take a trip there to confirm whether or not Seattle Grace Hospital (from our favorite TV drama series Grey’s Anatomy) exists.

Just kidding, it was to go visit my dear friend, Ms. Shinae. However, upon discovering a while ago that I was pregnant and realizing that a strong possibility of the big fat barfs may strike at any time, I had no choice but to cancel the night before we were scheduled to leave. The fatigue freight train arrived for pickup and I’m afraid I had no choice but to board and say adios to my little weekend getaway with my best friend.
I proceeded to sulk and feel sorry for myself for the first three or so minutes after announcing to Shinae via telephone that the trip was nixed. The sulking didn’t last long as my darling baby girl toddled into the room and snuggled with me. Okay, maybe a trip to Seattle isn’t THAT important. “This is worth it, this is worth it, this is worth it,” I tell myself. Luckily with Lily here, this time around I have physical evidence that a case of the barfs and excessive fatigue are indeed worth it.

Tyler and I went to see a movie the next night. I had been laying in bed all day long and was suffering from mild cabin fever. After the movie, we stopped at Dairy Queen for a pregnant woman’s daily vitamin supplement, ice cream. I DID choose to exercise self restraint, and after ordering a hot fudge sundae I decided to opt for the SMALL fry with ranch dressing, instead of the LARGE.
While driving and eating, I mentioned a story about Shinae and I, rather out of the blue. Tyler said, “What made you think of that?”
I replied, “My French fries and ranch dressing.” I dipped another crusty, warm and flaky fry into the creamy ranch concoction, trying suddenly to hold back tears.
You see, Shinae is my french fries and ranch dressing friend. Seldom do I crawl through a drive-thru and order this delightful combination that I don’t think of, and often miss her.

Shinae and I met in high school, and it is safe to say we have been best friends since around 15 years old. We even have the yearbook entries of a pure, substantial and undeniable friendship foundation to prove it :

“Oh my gosh, I like totally LUUUV U, girlfriend!
You and (fill in the blank) are SUUUUCH a cute couple!
So much cuter than ____ and _____.
We are totally BFF 4 EVER. Call me, k? Luv ya!!”

Our friendship grew strong as the years of high school went by. On late weekend nights, we frequently would stop at any local drive thru and order our tried and true fave, french fries and ranch dressing. Being completely and sadly OBSESSED with our physical appearances as well made for an even deeper bond, seeing that we were both being “bad” together. We agreed that you simply had to have a balanced diet: if you’re going to have something sweet like a McFlurry you MUST balance it with salty fries and ranch dressing.

It was on these late late nights, over fries and ranch dressing that we got to know the real Rachel and the real Shinae. Luckily, we actually LIKED the real each others and these late nights continued, and still continue to this day. Shinae is my ultra posh, cool as a cucumber buddy with amazing hair and cool bangle jewelry. She reminds me of when I need to wear tighter jeans, and when I am overreacting to the latest silly issue. I would like to think that I excel in reminding her when to give this/that guy a chance, or how to bake. We are very different, but we are from the same tribe. Together, we think we are simply brilliant. As long as Shinae thinks that what I say or do is fine, then I think I must be right- everything is okay because my french fry and ranch dressing friend told me so.

During my wedding, right before I was to descend down to the beautiful beach to marry the love of my life, Shinae had left me a card. In it, she wrote something that has always meant so much to me. She said, “You have shown you can do it all, and do it well.” Although nothing could really be further from the truth, hearing those words from my friend before I was about to be married before many, many rather skeptical people that questioned the fact that Ty and I were so young and still college students, meant that I must be doing the right thing. After all, my french fries and ranch dressing friend told me so.

Together, we have been through high school, cheerleading, frequent groundation periods (sentenced normally to me from my parents), boyfriends, road trips, college applications, college acceptances, Utah, California, graduation, leaving home, BYU, Chapman University, London, France, Scotland, Australia, Korea, a marriage, a baby, Prague, Italy, Germany, houses, apartments, new friends, college graduation (Shinae’s- yay Shinae!), and now Seattle. And while we weren’t necessarily experiencing all of the above WITH each other physically, it was always through spirit and via telephone/email/or whatever means necessary. Hopefully- it always will be that way. We have laughed, cried, talked, yelled, gossiped, and eaten french fries through every step of our wonderful lives' journeys.

Recently, it has been difficult to make time to visit each other. With a husband, baby and new baby on the way, it is obviously hard to hop a plane and visit Shinae with her new job, city, and ever exciting little life events- and same vice versa. Seattle is the next stop for our Rachel/Shinae life adventure journey…and Shinae dear, I will make it there.

And yes, we will enjoy French fries and ranch dressing once again, and talk and solve all of the world’s problems until 3 am.

To all of you girls out there in the cyber and real world- I wish for you all a french fries and ranch dressing sort of friend like my Shinae. Actually, make that a double double cheeseburger, animal style, with a strawberry milkshake and extra LARGE french fries with ranch dressing kind of friend.


Mom said...

Every Mom wishes for her daughter a tried and true that will keep her firmly planted where she needs to be - our Shinae is that kind of friend...Thanks Shinae for being REAL...We love and miss you - And I did like "Maid in Manhattan"
Rae's MOM & Shinae & Co. lecturer

jacob said...

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH how cute. I love Shinae and Rachel. You guys make a good team. Also I love your new blog site.