Why give in when you were born to stand out?

Published 8:51 pm Friday, October 21, 2016

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” –Dr. Seuss.

One can say my best friend Chastity Hope and I have fallen together into what Dr. Seuss refers to as “mutual weirdness.” After all these years of friendship, ours is one that only love can bind. We met when we were just teenagers and became instant buddies. I drove a fast car. She rode shotgun.

The eighties were our favorite years when she was obsessed over Liz Claiborne perfume, Guess jeans and Tretorn sneakers in every color. For me it was Swatch watches in a multitude of bright colors with Swatch guards and anything by Calvin Klein. Mama was more generous than she should have been with her credit cards.

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If you looked up the word “cool” in the dictionary, way before there was anything called Google, you would have found a photo of Hope and me complete with gelled hair and flipped-up collars. She was on my arm at my senior prom. I was her lab partner in Biology I in college. Through it all we have never stopped laughing.

Ours is that rare kind of laughter that starts with a giggle, then an uncontrollable chuckle, ending in outright belly laughs sometimes complete with tears. These moments have sustained us from the age of 14 until now when I am, well, slightly more than 39. There have also been hard times as she held me while I said goodbye to my mama, and I loved her through the birth and growth of three children.

We were both born and reared in Mississippi where she still lives with her amazing children—Mary-Ashten, Zayne and Memorie, and even though I spend much of my time in Colorado, we never go longer than a day or two without the exchange of some laughing or smiling emojis. Last week she flew to our mountain valley for a week of BFF (best friends forever) time. We did what we do best, acted like silly school kids dressing up in vintage hats from the local thrift stores, eating dessert first and giggling for no reason and every reason.

Dr. Seuss said it best: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” My BFF and I live by these words, writing our own rules of engagement as we go.

David Creel is a Mississippi native. You may reach him at beautifulwithdavid@gmail.com.