Priscilla was there for many of my firsts; my first clove cigarette, first night club, first time a boy hit on me in a bar. You know, all the important young adult milestones. I met her in my senior year of high school but we didn’t really hit it off until after graduation, when we found ourselves in the same interpretive dance class at community college. Something about leaping around a classroom pretending to be veal separated from our mother in a “piece” about animal cruelty was bonding, I guess. While many of our high school friends left California for college, we spent a year at Pasadena City College getting some of the important prerequisites, like dance and weight lifting, out of the way. That year produced some of my best stories, most of which my parents will never hear.
Some years later, I got married and moved to New York and Priscilla moved to Central America to support our troops at an American embassy. As often happens with friendships, distance creates, well… distance. But life brought us back to Pasadena at the same time. My husband died after a long fight with cancer, Priscilla’s relationship ended, and we both missed home and our families. So single, fabulous and in our 30s, we picked right back up where we left off. Again, stories my parents will never hear.
Earlier this year we grew tired of the scene in Pasadena. I read an article recently that said Pasadena was ranked the snobbiest city in the country. By whom I don’t know but it sounds about right. I’m not against snobbery as a general rule, but this kind of elitism revolves around the name of your child’s school and your husband’s advertised breakthrough at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Priscilla and I can’t relate to 99% of the women there so we decided it was time for an adventure. At the age of 40, neither of us needed a roommate but together we were stronger. We couldn’t afford to compete with the housewives in Beverly Hills, the Persians on Sunset or the gays in Silverlake, so we settled on downtown Los Angeles. We moved into a tiny city apartment and set ourselves up to start living large as only single gals with disposable income in a big city can. We were ready for our “Sex in the City” experience. One of us took that literally.
It was a Tuesday night. I was lying in bed watching a T.V. show called Playing House. It’s about a corporate career woman whose best friend is having a baby on her own, so she moves home and they raise the baby together. They are both a hot mess and I think it’s the funniest thing I have ever seen. I was watching it when Priscilla started drunk texting me from an underground club. It went exactly like this:
Me: The communists at U-Verse can’t install cable until Sat.
P: Spectacular! Just realized I have booze at home n shud not spend money here.
Me: I just spent the last hour trying to find our mailbox. I’m going to kill myself now. Did you know that Matt Bomer is gay? Totally disillusioned.
P: Gays are the s$#@. Everyones gorgeous. Hey now, u r rock star get the show on… only shooting starts break the mold.
Me: It’s a school night. You need to come home. I’m going to sleep now. Don’t get lost.
P: Are you home? Can you record Jimmy Kimmel?
Me: Playing House just premiered. That’s the show w/ 2 best friends n a baby.
P: Whare r u?
Me: In bed, where you should be.
P; Awww man, and here I was ready to go home…for sure not driving home.
Me: Uh huh, we are activating the find your friend thing on Facebook because I can’t spend every night wondering which jail you are in.
P: I feel horrible. So sorry. Will can take me home. Cab.
Me: OK. Be safe and get home.
P: I will Entertaining some boston guy who is pretty blitz but like me. What inst with you finance peeps n gettmg drunk. OK, going back down to the underground alley club.
Me: Playing House is my new favorite show. Try to get knocked up while you are out.
P: LOL! Not even close.
The next day when I got home from work, Priscilla announced that she was pregnant. Her actual words were, “You’re wish is my command.” (Sidebar: incase I sound sanctimonious here, if Priscilla had a website she could print many cases where our roles are reversed. This was just a particularly good night for me. Why do text messages stored in your phone go back soooo far?)
I jumped up and down in excitement and screamed about how I’m having a baby. How this affected Priscilla didn’t occur to me until later. When I calmed down, we drove over to her parent’s house to break the news. We knew our 40, fabulous, single and let’s face it, lonely, lives would never be the same.