From a classified ad to a certified friendship
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
The classified ad in the newspaper made no mention of pina coladas. Or getting caught in the rain. But it did read, “Must love dogs.”
And this is how I met Susan.
After reading my ad seeking a roommate in Glenwood Springs, Susan gave me a call as she was driving to Colorado from Illinois. Like me, Susan was a Midwestern girl who came to the mountains to find some excitement. She had found it as a raft guide the summer before and had gone home to pack up some of her more long-term belongings in Illinois so she could settle for a spin in Colorado. I had a room to rent. She had money for rent.
And from our conversation, we seemed to have an instant connection. Like the rainbow kind on “The Muppets.” Susan and I are dreamers, after all. We are born from the same creative-type cloth – she is a trained art therapist.
I write as therapy.
At the time, Susan and I lived in a small basement apartment that didn’t leave a lot of space for privacy. We both had boyfriends, and were usually busy working, so the square footage wasn’t an issue. Plus we had a huge yard. And boy did we take advantage of it. One summer day, we hosted a party of all parties.
People in Glenwood still talk about it.
This party had all the bells and whistles – a Slip ‘n Slide, Crisco Twister, beach volleyball, a trampoline and beer Olympics. In preparation for slipping and sliding, Susan and I made 40 quarts of green gelatin. This required use of about every square inch of our fridge – even the crisper drawers. That’s probably the last time either of us make 40 quarts of gelatin in one sitting.
Unless we need to when we’re in our 90s.
Susan has not only been there with me in the good times, but through some emotional roller coasters. For example, our girl trip to Vegas that included many crying women and apologies that thankfully soon followed.
There was a lot of estrogen and lack of sleep on that Sin City trip.
In the craziest of times, Susan has always been the calm one. She’s that close friend I can always call for advice, whether it’s about money or romance.
Sometimes we knock out both topics in one phone call.
I’m pretty sure Susan doesn’t have a judgmental bone in her body, unless it’s hidden somewhere in her feet – there are a lot of bones down there.
I know my pinky toe is always judging.
Sure, Susan calls me out when I’m making mistakes. That’s why she’s a true friend. Everyone needs that in their lives to be better people. It’s all in her delivery, though, and that’s what I appreciate about her the most. She has a knack for giving advice, but she’s also OK with asking me what I think about decisions she is making. We are reciprocal in our advice giving, and that makes our bond strong. We’ve both had the “he’s just not that into you” dating experiences. We’ve also had the “he’s just that into you” times in our lives we can’t wait to share with each other.
I can’t imagine how a person couldn’t be into Susan.
Susan will always be in my life, this much I know. I couldn’t live without her dry wit, her ability to take a step back and ask questions before coming to a conclusion, or her amazing naturally curly hair.
My favorite stories often revolve around that fabulous hair.
I’m thankful I placed that classified ad five years ago. I am even more thankful Susan gave me a call and she likes dogs.
And making green gelatin.
April E. Clark is all smiles. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@yahoo. com.
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