You know the only thing worse than doing eighteen loads of laundry? It's folding eighteen loads of laundry. And so, faced with the prospect of spending the rest of the summer in auto-pilot-robotic-folding mode, I am avoiding it at all costs. Instead, I'm perusing the pictures we took last week (we did manage to break out the big camera on a couple of occasions after all) and wishing I could be transported back in time, making laundry instead of folding it.
One series of photos that keeps me cracking up is this, of me and my best bud, partner in crime, kind-hearted doppelgänger, Banks (not her real name) aka Konie (not her real name) aka Ok (pronounced awk, also not her real name). Her real name is....practically unpronounceable, much like my own, one of a zillion billion things we have in common such as our love of shoes and salty foods and our ability to produce freakishly adorable children (don't ask us how we do it! It just KEEPS HAPPENING.)
We can't help but have fun whenever we're together, mostly because we never run out of things to say...most especially when we're trying to take pictures:
Banks and I have known each other since the ninth grade in high school, when she and I, the only South Asians in our entire town (not true, but it felt that way because there were so few of us) kept getting mistaken for sisters by our teachers. In ninth grade geography, our teacher insisted that Banks take a day off to celebrate Eid with my family. Never mind that she was Hindu. Or that she didn't even have the same last name as me.
Let's just say...we went with it. Heh heh heh.
We're older now, all grown up with kids of our own to confuse with one another (it's true - our eldest daughters look remarkably similar...again, no idea why history is repeating itself but we're going with it because it would be really boring of us not to).
The big flower clips were unplanned - but not unexpected - because Banks and I are basically
THE SAME PERSON.
And we still can't take a decent picture together to save our lives. Watch as I unhinge my lower jaw to devour her baby. Of course Banks is always poised and proper - I've always been the far more troubling sibling.
Oh hello there, cute little baby. You look awfully tasty...
Come a little closer, dear - Reen Mashi (not my real name OBVIOUSLY) won't hurt you...
NOM NOM NOM NOM
It wasn't my fault. She just looked so...delectable. And she practically stuck her whole hand into my mouth - I had no choice but to take a little nibble. What's a missing finger between family members anyway?
Perhaps the best thing about our friendship is that it has aged well. Neither time, nor distance, nor circumstance has diminished our relatioship. If anything it's given us a renewed perspective on all the memories we've made. We've had a tremendous life journey together, filled with adventures and heartbreak, all the stuff that movies-of-the-week are made of...and yet, our friendship has remained simple. It's utterly devoid of pretense, and at the same time it is filled to the brim with constant, unexpected happiness. And surprise. And lots and LOTS of laundry.
We took one last shot together and noticed with fading grins...
...Inara and Nissa in their beautiful birthday dresses...
...absolutely DRENCHED in mud.
For the love of a good friend, for the familiarity that comes with years of indelible memories entwined, for the ability to accept all that life throws our way, and to carry on supporting one another as I know our children will, together...
...for all of this (minus the laundry),
I remain always and eternally grateful.
(You'll notice that Banks' daughter remained mud-free. It seems as though my devilish little imps were the ones who inherited the troubling genes - I have NO IDEA where they got it from.)