So, today I spent more than the allotted amount of time catching up with my best friend in the whole world, Audra. Afterwards, I read all the blogs I follow, plus some new ones, and I ran across the word “stonking”. I love it. I’m using it for the very first time in my life to describe Audra. You’re are a stonking good best friend, Audra!
One thing I can say about our relationship…it’s the longest, and frankly, the most relaxed, funny, graceful
relationship I’ve ever had. By graceful, I mean that she knows every one of my faults, and she loves me unconditionally. Relationships with husbands and children aren’t the same as a person who honestly doesn’t have to love you, but does anyways. Those relationships can be harder as well as easier. But when you strike the perfect blend with another person, you should prize that connection. They’re hard to find. In all my years, I’ve only had one.
I met Aud at the Christian school I spoke about before. We were twelve. And the second we met, I immediately felt like she and I had known each other forever. We instantly became BFF’s. I hate the phrase, but it is appropriate.
I have about 4 million “Audra” stories, but since they don’t exactly belong to just me, I have to get her permission before I broadcast some of our antics. It is one thing to embarrass myself, but I want her blessing before I embarrass her. See what a good friend I am?? But I’m going to share this one ’cause we were righteously victorious in our pursuit to rid ourselves of the competition….
When Don and I were first starting off our relationship, Aud and her then boyfriend, Landy graciously allowed my family to move in with them until we could get on our own two feet. Aud helped me get a job where she worked, and for a time, both her boyfriend Landy and Don stayed at home and took care of my kids.
Believe it or not, this period where the seven of us, plus whatever relatives of theirs that would occasionally also take up residence there, houses some of my very favorite memories ever. I’m going to call this story “ The Time Audra and I Ran Off Mary Because Our Boyfriends Tasted Her Breast Milk in Their Coffee”.
Audra and I worked for a really large payroll company. One day, Don told me that this friend of ours from Temple, Texas had become homeless, with her newborn baby, and was asking for our help. Don may try to hide it, but he really has a generous heart. And because I’ve been a single mom before, I asked Aud if she minded if we helped her out. And because Audra also has a generous, stonking heart, she immediately agreed to help. So, off to Temple Don and I went to scoop up the homeless Mary (name has been changed) and her newborn baby and bring them back to San Antonio.
It took Audra and I about 30 seconds after we got her back to the tiny two-bedroom apartment we were living in at the time, to figure out that this had been a big mistake. For one thing, Mary looked pretty fantastic for just having a baby. The second thing was that both of our boyfriends were pretty attractive themselves. And thirdly, and probably most important to the story, none of them worked, while Aud and I were working about 9 – 10 hours a day on average. This is too much time for these people to hang around alone. The second night Mary was there, Don woke me up and had me take care of the baby so Mary could get some sleep…and I had to work the next day. I did it, but I it really annoyed me. ( And Don paid dearly for that little mistake… )
I was really trying to control my base feelings about all of this. I don’t normally have to deal with big jealousy emotions, but then again, this was a unique situation. And Mary wasn’t making things any easier on me either. She walked around in halter tops and Daisy Duke shorts. No sleep, the guys’ constant attention on her, and her dress code really created conditions for the Perfect Storm. But what really caused everything to blow up was the time when we’d run out of cream at the apartment, and the guys used her pumped breast milk for her baby to fix up their coffee. And no one saw this as a problem but me and Audra! Now, we had been growing uneasy each time a new complication like short shorts, or night feedings had presented themselves. But we were too grossed out by the milk thing to allow any of it to go on any further. Gag reflexes trumped the jealousy, hands down. Who could have foreseen?
I remember standing outside with Audra at work while she smoked a cigarette. We didn’t even need to discuss the problem. We just looked at each other and knew…Mary had to go. Being decent people, we weren’t going to throw her in the street, but she did have to go. But first, we had to present our arguments to Landy and Don. I don’t remember how Landy and Aud’s conversation went, nor really how we actually told Mary she had to go. I just remember wondering how such good intentions had gotten so twisted up.
Don knows that I will generally be won over in an argument if he can convince me that it is what God would do…And he gave a valiant effort in that respect on behalf of the lovely Mary, but alas! it failed. I don’t think God was ever behind this move to help Mary. Motives were good, but they weren’t well-thought out. Instead, we ended up making Mary’s life a little harder, because she had to pack up again two weeks later and get taken right back to Temple, Texas, to be handed to another friend of hers. A single friend. Probably the friend she should have started out with in the first place, because after that, she wasn’t considered a friend to us anymore. In fact, we’ve never heard from her again.
The lesson I take from this story is that no matter how much I want to help someone, I need to check out what God wants first. All we did was introduce temptation to two unemployed guys, and two unemployed, good-looking guys as a temptation to a lonely new mother. What is the saying? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. How true.
Remember, Audra? What were we thinking?!
NOTE: Audra reminded me that one of the deciding factors of Mary having to go was that Aud had prepared this delicious pot of pinto beans, and while we were at work, Mary decided she didn’t like them, and threw them out!! Seriously!! Sorry, Aud. I can’t believe I forgot that detail….