Both of us were kind of dorky and a little bit nerdy. I leaned more closely to the dorky side. She leaned more closely to the nerdy side. She might disagree, but I promise it's the truth. We both had pretty huge glasses throughout our elementary school years, which probably helped enhance our dorky nerdy side. Somehow, Lauren managed to escape braces and really bad perms. I was not so fortunate.
We felt that we were far too creative to play board games like other kids. (To be honest, that's what Lauren thought, but I had too much fun being creative to argue.) Instead, we spent a huge bulk of our down time together on two activities.
1. Making yarn bugs.
2. Playing mailbox.
Lauren's Mom had this yarn stash that we were given access to one day. We discovered that we could cut small pieces and tie them in colorful multi-legged knots or rub little pieces between our fingers to make fuzz balls. These were our bugs. We took our yarn bugs very seriously. Our bugs lived in special jars. Hours were spent creating a million variations and trading them. This phase went on longer than you could imagine.
Playing mailbox was our other favorite indoor activity. Our mailboxes were emptied Band-aid tins. (Remember when Band-aids came in little tins instead of cardboard boxes?) Using any supplies we could find, we would create mini-catalogs to send each other. We offered inches of yarn or embroidery floss, placing tiny samples and color choices next to rows of check boxes. We offered original artwork, or stickers created from cut-up magazines. Boxes would get checked, catalogs were sent back, and orders were received. We spent countless afternoons playing, and it never seemed to get old. Actually, I not-so-secretly wouldn't mind another afternoon of playing mailbox.
An activity that occupied much of our time outside our homes, was dance lessons. Lauren took just about every dance class available. I was only enrolled in tap and ballet classes. For a few years, we took semi-private tap lessons together. It was so much fun. All of our steps were written down in little notebooks, and we would practice in her basement. One year, our theme for the final dance recital was the Irish Jig. We each had a big sequined shamrock that sat on top of our heads and a cute white tutu-ed costume trimmed in green and more shamrocks. A photo of us in those costumes has become quite legendary in our families. We even recreated the pose for another photo more than twenty years later.
Today is Lauren's birthday. To celebrate, I just had to make her a card that pays tribute to that special dance we did and our many years of friendship. Judging from my glitter job, I was also channeling my inner 8-year-old. :)