Happy Birthday to Non-Bridesmaid Karla!April 2, 2008
(Karla circa Dec. 1998 — in college on our way to Orlando or some other adventure I dragged her on.)
We just wanted to give a quick “Happy Birthday” shout out to my one and only official non-bridesmaid, Karla! You may be wondering what a non-bridesmaid is; it’s a bridesmaid that kindly refused the invitation to be in the wedding. (This was not a shock and it was not rude; it’s an understanding between us.)
Karla and I have been friends for years, and acquaintances before that. You see, we went to high school together, but weren’t what you would call “friends” (you might recall that Emily and I weren’t fast friends either, but it seems that if we didn’t start off being friends, we sure ended up that way) – sure we knew some of the same people and even rode to school together at times, but we just weren’t really in the same social circles. I don’t even recall us having a single class together for more than a few days.
Put it this way, Karla was on the debate team and could twirl her pen or pencil with one hand – repeatedly! Who can do that? And debate at the same time?!?! She was also very good at math and thought I was weird with my Technicolor hair, constant Converse, music, movies, and books I liked, Amnesty International, and the various outfits I chose to wear.
I’m not sure what she really thought, but she just told me she thought I was some weird vegetarian…
Oh yeah, back then, Karla rarely ate a vegetable – strictly carnivore, but that’s since changed. She recently came up to NYC to visit and we shared a Caesar salad of all things! However, I can’t leave out that we were at Lombardi’s and the pizza was covered in meat.
Anyway, we ended up in the same dorm our first year of college – right down the hall from each other and just ended up being friends. There was no alternative. We didn’t really love the frat parties our respective roommates, Amy and Carrie, loved to attend…and I thought it was fun to “culture” Karla. Got her to watch movies she never would have (Basquiat, The Basketball Diaries, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and anything German – since that was my apparent concentration in Film Studies through school), listen to music she never would have – and still probably doesn’t (Tori, Bjork, Bikini Kill, the Pixies, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Ani, Less Than Jake, etc.), and go to events she normally wouldn’t have (certain art shows, ice skating in Orlando just because we were bored and had a car, a gay bar on New Year’s Eve 1998 turning into 1999, etc.)
In turn, she taught me a few country songs that I’ll never forget like Every Little Thing (not the Beatles song), which is actually a cool one – there’s a stalker. We saw all the Star Wars re-releases and new movies together and waited in line at an ungodly hour (5 AM) for tickets for Episode I (yeah, we admit it, we’re dorks). She supported me as I was tattooed.
She may or may not have loved these things I exposed her to, but at least she has a broader spectrum now and doesn’t only listen to country music, watch General Hospital, twirl her pen. She can at least tolerate “normal” things.
I tried to change her political views, but I failed. But I still love her just the way she is.
We ended up living together for the next 2 or 3 years, right through graduation of university and have stayed close ever since. It’s hard when you live so far apart (NYC & Atlanta) but we seem to do alright. And it’s good that way, because honestly, sometimes Karla is the voice of reason that comes in and says, “Melissa, what the hell are you thinking??” I stop and think about it, and generally do it anyway, though!
But God love her, she tries! Anyway, Karla my dear little Bosheropolous, here is my Ode to Karla (highly unoriginal, but it’s early yet – she’ll get a real one in the mail sometime soon):
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Karla,
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday! We love you lots!
M, J, and S
P.S. Karla!!! Click that song title link!!!
P.P.S. Do you have any of that Sumo wrestler of rice pudding left?