"You dyed your hair blonde! Are you trying to look like Tamara?" It had been twenty years since we graduated from high school, but to this guy, Tamara was still the standard of perfection.
And, no, I did NOT dye my hair blonde so that I would look like Tamara. Geez.
I don't hold a grudge against Tamara for this comparison. She can't help it that she's been at the pinnacle of nearly all the guys' "ultimate-girlfriend" wish lists since 8th grade, when her long blonde hair reminded everyone of Marcia Brady.
For one thing, Tamara has never let it go to her head - one reason why I still enjoy being around her after forty years of friendship, give or take a few.
I'm sure her blonde hair, blue eyes and dimples had something to do with all the crushes on her, but I know that's not the only reason. Tamara has such a down-to-earth, fun personality - there are different layers, but none are fake. One minute she's quiet, shy...demure; the next minute she's slapping her leg, boisterously laughing at her own joke. She's mischievous...impish...a tomboy that loves playing practical jokes all dressed up in the latest feminine styles and pretty jewelry...
Tamara is laughter...fun...mischief...tenderness...strength...grace...charm...a devoted sister, friend and grandma...slumber parties and wrapping houses...riding ten-speeds through Deepwater...skits to make us laugh...prank phone calls...the Crosby Stomp...double-dating with guys who didn't deserve us...Garner State Park and Port Aransas with Marla...and now...even more slumber parties and birthday celebrations...
She's a rock. When times get tough (and they have for her...very tough), she stands up tall (well, she's only about 5'2", but you know what I mean...) and forges on, doing what needs to be done, kicking butt and taking names, or just being strong for others - whatever is called for, she'll take care of it. You don't want to cross her, that's for sure.
But if she's on your side, you are truly blessed, because she'll be there till the end. I'm one of those lucky blessed ones...even though life has kept us moving in mostly different directions, she's been one of those constants I knew I could count on...one of those friends that, no matter how long it's been since you talked, the time in-between just goes 'poof' and disappears, as if it was just yesterday.
Have a wonderful new year, Tamara...I hope it's the best one yet. You deserve it.
Seems like yesterday...Tamara gagging Teason (don't ask)...Debbie and Tamara, making us laugh...Deepwater girls in Debbie's room...Tamara and me ready for the Sock Hop...Tamara and me (and friends), Senior Kid Day