The unfinished story of Lisa and ChristinaAt our first practice, I didn't recognize the short little plain-looking girl wearing a Disney T-shirt with her hair all slicked back in a pony tail. I was told her name was Christina and she'd filled the most recent alto position on our church worship team. I was brought on the team as her alternate. Then I heard her sing, and I understood why. There was nothing plain or little about her voice. She was jazz meets gospel, a classic tone and vibrato gelled with contemporary R&B style. And come Sunday morning, she cleaned up very nice! A pretty blouse replaced her Minnie-mouse tee. Unleashed from its pony tail, was a perfectly manicured, shiny, thick, brunette mane permitted to float around her shoulders framing her adorable, freshly powdered face. She was cute as a button. Then she'd proceed blow the roof off the church building with her ginormous voice.
After a few months of singing together, I asked her to mentor me, which meant driving forty minutes to her house on Thursday nights to practice the songs on the list for Sunday. While I gleaned from her vocal ability, she started asking my advice on clothing and style. For a few months there, we were like, trading skills almost. Then one random night, she made a phone call that changed the dynamic between us. She was having a rough day and chose me, of all people, to talk to. Caught off guard, I listened and offered her what crumbs of encouragement I had. After we hung up it dawned on me that Christina actually trusted me and that made us officially official, we were friends.
Some months later, Christina got pregnant. Once baby arrived, her little family of five needed a bigger house and they asked me to help them find one in my corner of suburbia. Now I was her friend and Realtor. Coincidentally, the house across the street from mine was for sale. They scooped it up and, voila, we became neighbors, our lives now intertwined by song, friendship, business and proximity. Once our husbands became friends, our convenient union was golden. She also had cable television. We started hanging out regularly and bonded over T.V. shows like, Hoarders and Sister Wives. As it turned out, we learned we had a lot in common...faith, kids, singing, writing, desserts, we even started going to the gym together.
However, Christina and I couldn't have been wired more differently. She is all about romantic comedies and happy endings, while I'm zombie guts and war movies. She's fiction, I'm biographies. She's structure and schedules, I'm scattered and random. Her home decor is mod-classic and I'm shab-ecletic (pretty good for made-up words, eh?) She filters life through an emotional colander and wipes her heart on her sleeve while most of my emotions get internalized and processed through my journal. I walk around as if life is pretty black or white while Christina likes to paint me a much more colorful picture of it. But she can count on me to minimize what I think she tends to over analyze and it always makes for interesting
I think you really have to know Christina to appreciate the full scale of her southern charm. Her jolly sarcasm might confuse some people but I get that she means no ill-will. And, unless you've spent a few hours with her and her husband, Dan, one might wrongly assume she wears the pants in her family. Christina is a big talker but the truth is, her hubs usually gets his way, mainly because his PMS is way worse than hers. Regardless, it's obvious to me that he adores her. You can see it in his eyes every time she summons him to bring her a diet coke or when he tries to make me go home early, goin' on about "taking a shower" and "going to bed" because he's "so tired." Yeah, he is a little selfish with her time, in my opinion, but all in all, I think I have been good for their relationship. We both love her and I'm teaching Dan how to share, and how can that be bad?
I describe Christina and I as "accidental friends" because I think neither of us would have initially picked each other out of a room to hang out or ever guessed we'd someday be so close. They say in life we choose our friends, and I think that is a true story most of the time. But in our case, I think our friendship or 'something bigger' chose us. Christina is not a fair-weather friend, she is one of my best friends and I suspect, I sense, we are destined to do some great things together over our lifetime. Accidental for-life friendships don't come along very often but the lucky people will recognize it and I hope everyone is blessed to have an accident like Christina in their lives.