In Which I return from a brief Actual Writing Hiatus, wherein I successfully rebooted the ending to Ze Book and therefore paved the way for success in Ze Sequel. I've also been playing a lot of Pokemon X, which is my reward for productive writing as I await feedback. I've also signed up for NaNoWriMo (my username is Jadeling Hawkins--look me up!) and I plan on using the balls-to-the-walls method of that unhallowed national event to get a solid foot up on Ze Sequel.
With all of those updates out of the way, let's get to the meat of today's post: First Wife.
I've mentioned First Wife many, many times on this blog, along with her counterpart, Wifey, and the newest addition to our jolly little commune, Wifums. But today is First Wife's birthday--she is a Halloween Baby, baby! So she gets a much belated, much deserved silly little post dedicated to her.
First Wife has been my friend since middle school, and my best friend for years. I first encountered this lady through the elementary school news reel, because some jackass almost ruined everything by running her and another student (another sweet lady who now has beautiful babies) over with their car. We were twelve. Seriously--jackasses who run twelve-year-olds over should probably just be thrown into a pit full of hungry, angry, rabies-riddled ferrets.
So we knew each other back then, and I thought she was a delightful fireball, but we weren't over at each other's houses all day every day, because that is firstly a physical improbability and secondly just not the level of friendship we had back then.
Highschool happened, and it was a little rough on me. I was pretty sure nobody liked me--I was an awkward shadow. I was quietly miserable most of the time, because sometimes life kicks you in the ladyballs and just keeps doing it until you're crumpled up and just don't feel much of anything anymore.
But there was this absolute FIREball of a cheerful goth lady who was always so nice to me. We talked about anime (we raged together about the cop-out nothing 'ending' of Witch Hunter Robin. I drew a proper ending for her. She taped the comic to her water bottle and saved it until just a few years ago, when I think it was accidentally washed off) and music, and we shared horrible, corny jokes together in homeroom. She was fierce, funny, bold, ferociously loyal, and one time she waved her hand over my outfit, pronounced it 'adorable,' and left me beaming for the rest of the day.
FIREball cheerful goth lady started hanging out with this tall, adorkable Mexican guy, who was the founder of the anime club. More on that later.
FIREball cheerful goth lady crammed all of her brains onto a paper and graduated early, and after highschool, I kicked around for a while doing...not much. I Dayjobbed. I helped out with my younger siblings. I was still pretty sure nobody liked me. I was still pretty awkward.
Then I went to college, which was really fun, really exciting, really expensive. When I came back into town, I struggled to find employment. I took my sad-face that nobody liked around from one potential employment to the other, until, after a full day of fruitless paperwork, I slumped into this one grocery store I'd never actually set foot in. I purchased some ranier cherries for lunch, because their color made me happier and I couldn't afford anything else. As I was slumping past the bakery, I saw a familiar face.
"Hey!" she cried.
"Hey!" I cried back.
FIREball no-longer-goth lady was all a-bubble, and we caught up for a few minutes as she was bored at work and I had literally nothing else going on. What are you doing? Job hunting. We're hiring! Surreously?
I applied to the bakery. I was interviewed to work in the meat department. She demanded that I be hired to the bakery. I was.
Then we were coworkers. I'd disappear every few months to go back to school in Idaho, but she was always my favorite to work with. She'd play the soundtrack from Hellsing in the back, we'd talk some more about anime, I'd draw her pictures, we'd talk about our favorite monsters. I was a devout Mormon. She was a devout hippy. We disagreed about a LOT--marriage, politics, whether or not having babies was a good idea, what God felt like. We disagreed on many things, but we never fought. We'd have a passionate discussion. Then we'd move on to reminiscing about Rainbow Brite and comic books before they got ridiculous.
We developed a kind of friendship like I'd never had before. I'd had friends with common interests--very dear friends. I'd had friends who believed different things than I did--very good friends. But I'd never experienced a time in my life when the brightest part of my day was spent in the company of my perfect foil.
One day, the tall, adorkable Mexican guy she was still dating after seven years casually mentioned that she was always in a good mood after working with me. It was the first time in many, many years that I really believed that someone liked--not just tolerated--me.
One day, years later, the FIREBALL lady became a FIREBALL Mama! She and the tall, adorkable Mexican (spoiler alert: we call him 'Captain' now) named me the Godmama of the Riverbug that was born. So, FIREBALL lady was now my Godbabymama. Which became my official title for her for a year or so.
One of the most beautiful, eye-opening things that has ever been said to me came from this FIREBALL woman. I was rambling some excuse for an ill behavior I hadn't ever actually exhibited, but was scared I would. I had done this several times before. She finally told me, "Babe, you keep warning me about the monsters, but I just don't think they're in there."
A few people have (hilariously) expressed discomfort with my referring to my best friend as my 'wife.' The best explanation I have come up with for what separates a 'wife' from a 'friend' or even a 'best friend' is that a 'wife' causes you to love yourself, even (especially) when you don't want to.
Some things have changed. We still work at the bakery. I've written two books. First Wife has moved twice. I've moved several times. We're actually neighbors now. I no longer Mormon, and First Wife has two beautiful baby girls (who look suspiciously like tall, adorkable Mexicans).
If not for First Wife, I would not exist--at least not as I am now. I would still be a slumping, sad-faced sack who lacked the drive to actually carry out any of the mad plots in my head. And I'm not the only one--I'm not exaggerating when I call her a FIREBALL. The woman is MY muse, but she is also the muse of...pretty much everyone she's ever met. She lights the fires that others are too afraid or shy or embarrassed to light on their own.
So, thank you, First Wife, for pulling me out of the shadows. I hope your quarter-centurion is the best year thus far, and the least of those to come.
ALL OF THE NICKNAMES ASSOCIATED WITH FIRST WIFE:
Watson (to my Sherlock) ((the Captain is the Mary in this formula)) (((the babies are Gladstone)))
Mi Mael (from Ze Book--means 'My King')
The Good Ship (real name) ((see also: Cap'n Sexican of the Good Ship (real name)))
Vincent Van Goh (to my Edgar Allen Poe)
Kelia McGuire (not really, but she did heavily inspire the character...okay, she IS the character from Ze Book)