Thursday, February 19, 2015

She's "That" Friend...

You know the friend, the one you have to warn your other friends about before they meet her. The friend your husband is convinced will get you arrested, even though you only went out for coffee with her. The friend that became your friend when you realized she disliked someone you disliked. We all have "that" friend.

Whoops! Classic Chantel, accidentally went
in the men's restroom!
I caught her making faces
when we were supposed to be
taking an adorable picture!

Chantel is my "that" friend. I have a best friend. I have friends I've known longer than Chantel. But I have no friend like her. If I were Catholic, Chantel would be my priest. She knows more about me than anyone. She probably knows too much. What's keeping her from sharing the juicy details? I know plenty about her too. It's not a black mail kind of friendship, no no. It's a "I trust you completely" friendship and please don't judge me friendship. Sure, I'm sure she's judged me. I know I've judged her. We're both human. The moment I did judge, I was quickly reminded I wasn't perfect and there is no room for judgement in our friendship. Besides, we are usually having too much fun together to judge one another. Well, when we were together. Unfortunately we live in separate states now. It's probably a good thing, for the most part. The rest of the time it's not good because Chantel has always helped me maintain a certain amount of sanity.

I met Chantel when I moved to Texas in 2005. We both worked for Liberty Mutual. When I first got to the office I was going to work in, I was miserable. It was a boring job, no social interaction when you are stuck filing all day. The people were nice but seemed really uptight. I mean reaaaaalllly uptight. Everyone seemed to go to the same church, so they all hung out outside of work too. I was an outsider. I wanted to scream and cuss sometimes just to wake everyone up. It was so quiet all the time! One day a co-worker was fairly rude to me. I was almost on the verge of tears and kind of let it slip that I thought she was being mean. Chantel shocked me when she said what I really wanted to say. That was it, we were friends.
I finally got my girls all together.

Our friendship seemed to get stronger by the day. We sort of turned into the class clowns of the office. When we were giggling together or full on laugh snorting, we got looks from co-workers. The look that says, "What are you two up to now?" I even got to know her family. Her mom cooked for me and always lent me her ear when I was visiting. (Her mom made my bridal shower cake and other awesome homemade gifts!)

Work trip by plane turned into a road trip.

About a year after I joined that office, Chantel went on to another department. Eventually I followed her there. She put in a good word for me and I came to the best group of people I have ever worked with. EVER.

We worked hard but we laughed so much, there were days I couldn't tell you what I did that day in regards to actual work. I know work was done, because our office was the best in the country. It just was. There was a chemistry I can't explain. We all just had a great time coming to work. Chantel was the chaos in the middle of it frequently. If there was a story to tell from a happy hour or over the weekend, chances are, Chantel was a main character. I don't mean to paint that as a bad thing, it wasn't. You could just count on her to be in the headlines.

Thelma and Louise, the bags that is.

Eventually it had to change. Of course it couldn't last forever. Even though Chantel and I had to be split up (work restructure, not because we got out of control) and work in separate offices, we didn't stop having our torrid office romance. Romance being secret runs to Starbucks or Pei Wei lunches.

The bull did something we were not expecting.

Shortly after the work environment shifted, my life did too. My husband got a job that would take us to his home state, Minnesota. It was a good move for us but hard for me to say good-bye to the first place that felt like home since leaving California when I was fifteen. John moved to Minnesota with Rylee and I stayed behind to pack and keep working. It's what we needed to do financially.

We cheered our hearts out when the Rangers made it to the World Series.
The thing about Chantel isn't just that you can count on her for a priceless happy hour memory. The thing about Chantel is, you can count on her. Chantel helped me get through being apart from my husband and daughter for eight months. She let me borrow her car when mine broke down. She drove me to my house when she needed her car but I still needed to get home. She spent the night just to hang out and I spent the night at her place, just so I didn't have to be alone. On those nights, it felt like we were getting away with something. It was like having slumber party on a school night. Chantel listened and hugged me when I was missing my family. She was the first person I would call when I had something fun to do. (We got to go the Cowboys home opener for free!) We went to baseball games together. We went to the lake with friends. We went shopping. We ate, we drank, and we laughed. Oh did we laugh.

Cowboys home opener!
When it came time for me to actually leave, Chantel, with the help of several other wonderful girlfriends, through me a surprise going away party. Besides being the most surprised I had ever been in my life, I had one of the best nights of my life. The love I felt that night still makes me choke up when I think about it. Really.
Chantel paid for my Texas tattoo that we designed together.

Now we've come to a big moment in Chantel's life. Chantel asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. Her wedding plans have changed and the date was moved up and it will be a smaller affair with just family. In no way am I hurt by this. I know this is how it has to be. I'd love to be there for her big day but I know it's just how life goes. I want to be there for her like she's been there for me. She has spoiled me on my birthdays, she was there when I wanted to celebrate living in one place for more than two years, she has loved on my babies, she cried with me when my brother passed away. I may not be able to physically be there to see her walk down the aisle but it's okay.

Last time in the office together. LMP fo' life!
Chantel is a friend you can call "that" friend and she understands what it means. She wears the title like a badge of honor. She's "that" friend I can count on to love me no matter what. I love her so much because she is "that" friend.