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Em - the Cancer who had cancer.

Phone conversation a few weeks ago.

Em:  Just read your blog post about Supermodel. Very nice. I like how you acknowledged you've had friends for much longer.

Me:  I tried to be sensitive to that.

Em:  When are you going to write about me? We have lots of good stories.

Me:  I wrote about you.

Em:  I know, but something funny.

Me:  I will. Sometimes what we think is funny doesn't translate well to a blog post. But I will. Maybe I'll write about the time we got our under-age consumption tickets.

Em:  Just don't make me sound stupid. You always make me the dumb one.

MeNaive. There's a difference between stupid and naive. Like the time I thought I had an enlarged prostate. I'm an intelligent person, I was just naive about anatomy.

Em:  I don't know. I know how you are.

Me:  You were always a little more naive in college, it's endearing. We have to have a shtick. Trust me. I won't make you look stupid.


Northern Arizona University - Flagstaff, Arizona - January 1986

Em and I met when she was a freshman, and I was a sophomore. We lived in Cowden Hall, a cruel name for a dormitory that unfortunately for years had a reputation of housing the heavy and socially inept. Girls like Em and me helped change all of that; I think we made the "den" proud.

Em and Chrisy - NAU 1986-ish Em and Chrisy - NAU 1986-ish 

Em and Chrisy hiking - Sedona 1986-ish Em and Chrisy, a little drinky - NAU 1986-ish 

We loved The Boogie Boys - Fly Girl. We changed the lyrics to "Fun Girl," and sang it loudly whenever it played. We were fun, not too fun, just the right amount of fun.

The Halloween Party

We were invited to a large Halloween party at a popular co-ed dorm. Because even though we lived in Cowden, we were fun girls. I talked Em into renting costumes. We waited too long to go to the rental shop, so there weren't many choices within our price range. I spotted two bumblebee costumes. She wasn't wild about the bees. It was a hard sell, but I told Em we'd look cute and a little more feminine with red lipstick and red bows on our antenna. She agreed.

Em and Chrisy - Bumblebees 

Em and Chrisy bumblebees - showing our stingers 

I drove a yellow VW Super Beetle that was almost too small for Em, me, and the bee costumes. I could hardly drive and shift, and Em complained the whole way to the party about how ridiculous we looked and how she hoped no one we knew saw us crammed in my car.

We got to the party and were mortified to see all the sexy costumes. Sexy devils, sexy cave-girls, sexy princesses, sexy mimes, sexy rabbits. We were not sexy.

Em glared and said, "I told you." 

It was hard to dance. Our costumes made crinkle noises like a diaper, and when a guy asked one of us to slow dance, he couldn't get his body close enough. All of our cool dance moves for fast songs were lost in the costumes. We didn't look cool or sexy.

Em and I had words a few times that night. Walking to the bathroom, I overheard a group chatting, Did you see those bees? I think they were fighting. / Yeah, but I saw them hugging like they were making-up. It was kinda cute. Not sexy.

The Bug

My car was essentially Em's car, too. One weekend she wanted to drive home to Scottsdale to see her parents. I chose to stay in Flagstaff, so she took the car. When she left Friday morning, she mentioned she wasn't feeling well.

I got a call from Em on Saturday night.

Em:  I threw up in your car.

Me:  Oh, no! How did you do that? Who throws up in a car while they're driving? God, Em.

Em:  I'm sorry. I pulled into my parents' driveway, and I couldn't get the door open fast enough. My mom's been cleaning it.

Me:  You threw up on the door? There's all those nooks and crannies. This is awful. Please make sure she gets the smell out. I can't believe it.

Em:  Sorry.

Em and the Bug 

She returned to Flagstaff on Sunday, her virus was gone, and the car was clean and didn't smell like vomit. I love Em's mom. 


We had a little trouble every now and then. A little academic, a little financial, a little mild-lawbreaking, but we were having fun!

Here we are waiting for an appointment about a little trouble. The sign on the wall says something about shoplifting. For the record, this appointment had nothing to do with shoplifting or breaking the law. Our dorkiness charm got us out of the bind.

Em and Chrisy - a little trouble

REAL Trouble

Em and I got arrested for underage consumption of alcohol. I was 20, and Em was 19. We had been at a bar where a fraternity was hosting a party. We both got in with the same fake ID—a Hispanic girl named Lupe. It was easy; because we both looked so Hispanic.

At midnight we decided to go to a different bar for after-hours dancing. No ID required. I drove us across town and flew into the parking lot of our new hotspot, almost hitting a police officer. I parked and pretended nothing happened. Em said, Oh shit, as the officer approached.

I passed several sobriety tests—I don't know how—and was given a ticket for underage consumption. Em got out of the car and confessed to having had "one drink." Riiight. She was given the same ticket. When she answered all the questions for the officer, she lied about her weight, and I corrected her. We had an argument about our heights and weights in front of the disbelieving cop. "That's enough, girls," he said.

We chose not to tell our parents and deal with the trouble on our own. Our court date was set, and we were hopeful and confident that things would work out in our favor. We'd learned a very valuable lesson and planned to tell the judge just that. I even wore my glasses so I would look smarter. [That's my Bug behind us.]

Em and Chrisy - before court 

I was called before the judge first. I looked at Em, gave her the nod, and whispered, "Don't worry, just follow my lead."

Things did not go well, the judge was tough. I cried, I explained, I apologized, and I was fined $480. The judge dismissed me, and I looked over at Em as I exited the courtroom and as her name was being called. She looked at me like, Thanks, idiot.

Em received the same fine. Now we'd both have to tell our parents.

Here we are after court.

Em and Chrisy - after court

20 Years Later...

Em lives in Arizona with her husband and son. We don't get to see each other as often as we'd like, but we talk on the phone frequently. We afford each other full "range of motion" and provide a much needed soft landing for one another in this world of prickly surfaces.

In a prior post, I shared that Em was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July 2007. She remains cancer-free, and I remain indescribably thankful and relieved.

I better call Em to make sure she doesn't think I made her look stupid.

Reader Comments (25)

a) I dreamed of owning a yellow vw beetle. DREAMED.

b) I hate the sexy halloween costumes (although have fallen prey myself - I was a sexy ghost buster once)...

c) If you wore those exact outfits right now in Australia you'd be rockin' the fashion scene something fierce, no joke.

d) I think Em sounds adorable. and you both are hotties.
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeidre
I think I've said this before but I want a do-over so I can say it like it's the first time - this was my very favorite post ever! It made me laugh and cry (real tears) and I loved every second of it. Em, she didn't make you look stupid - she made you look like the friend every woman needs. Supermodels legs are adorable but you, Em, are A-DOR-ABLE (all caps and pauses between syllables).
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCorbie
An epic friendship story - I love it! It included a little bit of everything: Sex (or non-sexiness) drugs (if you call alcohol a drug) and rock & roll (couldn't dance at the party due to ungainly costumes or at the after hours club do to police intervention).
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate Coveny Hood
Thanks Chris! So many memories... my roomie also had a yellow bug named "baby" ( I remember thinking, "nobody in NY names their car"!!) We had so many adventures. One night she drove Baby through the physical science building just to prove it would fit through the doors! And one Halloween, we were actually a clothesline... really bad idea, and definitely NOT sexy. She's 6"shorter than me (laundry slid), and we had to stay permanently about 8 feet apart! LOL!Em, definitely NOT stupid!
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpam
I love friendship stories and these were great! The halloween one made me laugh and the real trouble story and pictures were hilarious and touching.

None of my oldest and closest friends read my blog (or any blog for that matter, they prefer the phone and e-mail, go figure!) so it wouldn't do much good for me to write such a lovely post looking back.

The pictures are priceless!
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnastasia
Great post, I love hearing stories like this. I love your yellow bug!! Cute! And I would have been totally mad about the bee costume, too, Em. Sexy witches and bunnies are the only way to go.

And, those glasses, wow. ;-)
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. D
Aghh!!! Have you seen that VodkaMom is quitting???
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. D
What a great friendship! Those are some great memories. I'm so glad that glasses have shrunk in size. Love the bug.
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Deidre - I can see you driving a yellow VW Beetle. I can also see you dancing to The Boogie Boys "Fly Girl". Em's great and thanks for calling us "hotties"!

Corbie - The thought of you having "real tears" made me produce a few. Thank you for such a kind comment - Em is definitely worthy of your A-DOR-ABLE compliment. :-)

Kate Coveny Hood - Actually, the police officer suggested we go dancing, in case we were feeling the effects of our "light" drinking. We danced that night!

Pam - Your memories are wonderful! I can't believe your friend drove her bug through the science building. I just told Chris about your clothesline costume story - we might have to borrow that sometime. We usually stand at least 8 feet apart at parties! Now I'm waiting for your pictures to appear on Facebook...

Anastasia - Em's one of about three friends who actually read my blog on a regular basis. My family doesn't read it, and my "old" friends rarely comment. It's okay. You could write a post about your friendship for YOU, and for the rest of us...

Mrs. D. - Those glasses were cool in the day. The frames were pink plastic. They did look more like goggles though... I didn't know VM was leaving. I just left her a comment. Thanks for the heads-up.

Jennifer - I'm glad glasses have shrunk too, although some of the new styles are too small for me. I miss my bug... but, not as much as I miss Em. :-)
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris
You have always been so lovely. Not changed much at all really.

And I think handsome Middle Boy looks a LOT like you, non?

Yes, I teared up at this too. Such a blessing to have old friends you are still close with even tho you may not see each other very often.

I bet you mean a lot to her too.
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJannie Funster
Great story and great pictures. How wonderful to have a lifelong friend.
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthe floydster
That was fun.

Friends are the bestest . . .
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertysdaddy

Tooooo cute! I would've totally hit on you in my straight days, Pum'kin. Course, in 1986 I was 2.

Wow there are SO many things wrong with that last paragraph! LOL!

Love it! You and Em are FAB.
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthedemigod
What an epic! What a friendship! What dorky clothes and glasses! I love it!
April 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLady Fi
I wish I had an EM. Loved this story of your friendship!

Jannie - Toddler Child and I do look alike - neat of you to notice! Em is a blessing.

Anne - Thank you!

Tysdaddy - You should have been in bed, not reading blogs. Didn't you have a 4:00 AM wake-up call? Many thanks!

Demigod - And YOU are FAB! You had straight days? Do tell... Em would love you as much as I do. xxx

Lady Fi - Ha! They were dorky clothes and glasses, weren't they. Thanks!

Connie - You may not have an EM, but you have Bobbi... Lucky you.
April 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris
I cried and laughed hysterically at remembering all the fun we had. It truly seems like yesterday. I miss you dearly & love you like my sister. I am so blessed to have shared so much with you. All of your friends comments are so sweet. Thanks for not making me look too naive. I especially love my yellow hawaian shirt matching your yellow bug. :-) Vegas here we come!
April 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEM
I love the story about the bee costumes and I have friends like em and they are the loves of my life and my support system. I honestly don't know what I would do without them and I'm so glad to hear she is cancer free
April 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjessica Bern
Thank God for the cancer-free status now. Tell Em I said, "No more cancer!" It's an order. A nurse's order at that.

Same applies to you.

And it's so cool you have a friend who remembers you when...
April 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDa Goddess
Glad she is doing ok. Love the stories and the photos
April 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterthe mama bird diaries
These are great pictures and great stories. The glasses and clothes took me back, too.
April 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranna see
I think you did Em proud, Chris. What a lovely tribute to your friendship. Just Wonderful. I can't help myself... I'm just going to have to follow your blog now!

Thanks so much for visiting Casa Hice and leaving such a nice comment. I am honored when someone takes the time to introduce themselves. And if I'm lucky, I get a new friend out of the deal.

Love your blog. Can't wait to dive in.
April 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlixandra Hice
Oh my god Chris this was one of my favorite posts to read EVER. I love old stories of old friends. The best kind of friends. Those costumes were freaking hysterical. Your description of the other costumes there literally had me in tears I was laughing so hard. Thank you for making me laugh till my belly aches. Love laughing like that!!!
May 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchristy
Love love love this post!!! Do you remember teaching me to drive a stick in your bug? We were driving toward the Dome with me sitting on your lap. I'm surprised you don't have whiplash still. I'm proud to say every car I've owned since then has been a stick. I have a loaner car now that's automatic & I'm not sure what to do with my left foot so I have to tuck it under me.I'm going to look in my pics, I'm positive I have one of those bumblebee costume pics! I also have another one with the whole group. How I wish my scanner was working!! I miss your face.
November 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNikki
You had way more fun in college than I did. : ) I mostly watched the parties and fun from a distance. Two of my friends dressed up as vegetables for Halloween (they missed the sexy memo too!). One was a pumpkin, one was a tomato. Comedy ensued when the pumpkin got drunk, crammed herself into the dorm phone booth, and drunk-dialed an old boyfriend. Then she was too wedged in and too, um, compromised, to get out of the phone booth. The equally drunk tomato was shouting advice into the "soundproof" glass telephone booth. Oh lord...

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