It was dark outside when Benny arrived at my best friend Joanie's house. I was washing the dinner dishes, as I met Benny for the first time. Joanie and Benny had to study and Joanie's brother Jason kept following them around until Joanie started fighting with him to leave them alone. As I threw the dish towel over my shoulder I raced into Joanie's bedroom scolding her for yelling at her brother, and telling them both how to behave. That was the moment when Benny looking at me in surprised asked "Who ARE you?" (and WE have been friends ever since!) I am just a few years old then Joanie and Benny, since I was staying over at Joanie's house all the time, I gave back by cleaning everything. I liked Joanie's younger brother Jason as if he was my brother too. So whenever they fought, I would jump in telling them how to get along. I would always pointed out each others good qualities, hoping we could all just hang out. That night as Benny found out who I was, she thought there was something odd about me. The fact I was cleaning Joanie's house, washing the dishes and reacting to Joanie and Jason's fighting like a mother was strong proof. I was not only odd but also clueless. Joanie was explaining who I was to Benny but then she quickly grabbed a note pad and pen. Benny began to laugh hysterically as Joanie wrote down "Things Debby Needs to Know." Joanie was always keeping a list, she loved writing things down in a row or else she would forget the next day. Our friendship had moments like this;
Joanie: "What was yesterday?"
Joanie: "Oh yeah, what did I do? Did I go with you to the mall?"
Me smirking: "Nope you had a dentist appointment then went to your Grandma's for dinner."
Joanie: "Oh yeah, she's funny."
Me nodding still reading my magazine on her bedroom floor; "Tonight your Dad wants to make sloppy joes." I reminded her.
Joanie: "What is going on tonight? I feel like something is going on."
Me: "We told Benny we would meet up with her at Moxie Java at 8pm."
Joanie: "We did?"
Me: "Yeah on Sunday night, we all made plans."
Joanie: "I don't remember that? what were we doing?"
Me not even hesitating: "We were having Chinese food at the Golden Palace with her after church and she said she wanted to talk about school with ya more this week, I said lets all meet in front of the fireplace at the coffee shop, then you said there was a cute boy working there and you didn't want to go if he was going to be there, then I said who cares and got upset remember? You DID agree to go after all. Benny and I gave you a hard time. and honestly I haven't seen a cute boy working there yet....So we will be find just going there in our PJ pants."
Joanie laughing: "I don't remember any of this!"
Me: "I know you have a horrible memory."
Joanie: "I need to take you with me to college so you could recite my life back to me."
Me: "I know! I should! You really worry me sometimes."
Joanie giggling: "Do I have a boyfriend?"
Me: "THAT would be something I hope you could remember!"
Joanie was screaming into the phone when I came out of the bathroom. "I SAID...IS BENNNNNNY THERE!" I jerked back in alarm and tried to quiet her down. She screamed this 3 times and I waved her down with my hand. "Oh good grief! Joanie is that necessary?" She hung up "I don't know where Benny is, maybe she is already there." I stared at Joanie in confusion, "Did you need to scream in the phone?" Joanie rolled her eyes "Benny's Grandma can't hear at all. So I had to shout." I shrugged as we went out the door. "Whose driving?" I asked as Joanie shook her head at my old 1979 big long classic chevy car. "We will take MY car this time, why look like rednecks if ya don't have to?" I laughed in agreement but protested "MY car is a classic! I was BORN the year the car was made! So we are meant for each other!" Joanie's little navy blue saturn got us around much easier. Once we settled down in front of the roasting fire place of the coffee shop. Benny didn't waste any time asking "Where is the list? Have you been learning about the list Deb?" I giggled with my orange mocha up to my lips. The moment Joanie made my list, "Things Debby needs to know." Benny has talked about nothing else, she kept saying "Don't write THAT! who doesn't know THAT?" Joanie would reply calmly as she wrote "Debby doesn't know, honestly she was raise in a bubble.....YOU have NO IDEA!" I would nodded saying nothing while I shrugged. This list would become a classic memory in and of itself. The fact I was 20 years old at that time in my life, the situations I was finding myself in were not getting any easier to avoid.
"Things Debby needs know"
dicks and pricks
sex in general
Now the list was much longer, this is all I could remember of it right now. My girl Benny had never met someone as naive, and ignorant at the age of 20 like me! I was often so uncomfortable by all the sexual talk even if it was "G" rated. While most people joked about sex, I began to act out in my self-righteousness like these things didn't bother me when really they did. It became embarrassing for Joanie if I didn't know what she was saying, even her and Sara would often warn me not to tell anyone what they were joking about. I would get on my soap box about how if it has to be a secret, then it was wrong!
So Joanie decided the list would help me realize how important it is not to tell anyone about these things. The braking point came when the whole group of young adults sat in a diner after bible study one night making fun a guy named Dick at church. I felt bad for the nice man, I got really mad being the only one not laughing. They all went on about the other names you would not want to called. I felt like it was my job to stand up for Dick, he was often made fun of and now I was done with it. At my booming voice I said they should all be ashamed to make fun of someone's name like Dick, who was a nice man, he has a sweet wife and a good christian life. How dare they keep making fun of him! I stormed out having said Dick's name a dozen time without realizing each time the group ducked down with embarrassment. Later Joanie said I shouldn't have stormed out like that, she had to get a ride home. I was amazed by how even christian guys joke about dicks, I guess I thought we were called to a superior sense of humor. Benny loved all these moments though, she said it was so good for her soul how zealous I was!
Benny and I sat comfortably in the booth, sharing a pitcher of our favorite beer "Alaskan Amber". Our girl nights were always fun sitting there catching up. Benny smiled saying "Just think 10 years ago you didn't know ANYTHING!" I sat there thinking that I just love being 30, I wanted to freeze this age of such calm happiness. I rolled my eyes at how hopeless I was back then. "SEE not very many friends I have now Know anything about that time in my life. It's good to remember how I have grown." Benny nodded saying "You were always hilarious! Good for my soul!" We laughed and clinked our beer mugs together.