"So many fiastos. Not a fiasco- it's more like a party disaster." - Benita Bates
in the past four years, I have been lucky enough to meet 5 of my soul mates.
We are kindred spirits, we just are.
Actually, I probably shouldn't count because I have more than that.
Camilla Dye (now Wells), Megan Smith, Benita Bates, Bethany McCullough, and of course Shauna Lewis.
Since I moved to San Diego, I've had an awful lot of time to reflect on our past experiences together-- trips we've taken, jokes we've made, dance moves that for sure would get us kicked out of the stake dance.
(I also just realized I've been using a lot of these "--", not too many of ! or . Weird.)
They all deserve their own post. And maybe they will come. Maybe on their birthdays.
But then I found some forgotten about pictures, and the opportunity is just too good to pass up.
Benita is one of my favorite people for a number of reasons:
She loves country music more than I do. We can watch movies we've seen before and she acts like she doesn't know the ending. We enjoy sneaking treats into our bellies so that Megan doesn't know. We justify shopping on good days, bad days, and regular days. She is a college graduate. She is the only person I know that can get burnt in the shade, and she listens to me when I tell her it's time to reapply the sunscreen. She sings really loud in the car and doesn't know any of the words, but is quite good at ad-libbing. When dancing: when all else fails just start backing it up. Sometimes she talks with an accent, not on purpose. She is always down to eat chips and salsa with me. Anytime, anyplace. But mostly on Sunday afternoons.
And she is really one of the most thoughtful and genuine people I know.
Now to the good stuff.
Megan and I always say that Benita is nothing but a one hundred percent guaranteed good time, all the time. No one makes us laugh as hard. Intentionally, and accidentally.
One time when cutting the tomatoes, she cut off two of the rounded edges (not the top and bottom. and mind you, tomatoes are round) and pushed them to the edge of the cutting board. Megan watched as she did this a few more times, pushing perfectly good tomato away from her.
Megan: What are you doing?
Benita: Cutting off the ends.
Megan: There are no ends. It is a circle.
Benita: Yes there are. They are right there. (pointing to the "discarded" pieces.)
Or our favorite Wal-Mart joke:
Benita came home with a bag of grapes she had purchased for some minimal price she was very excited about, and told Megan and I that she believed they were on sale because they were "on their way out", and we'd better hurry and get some.
"Where do you think most pirates are from?" "Somalia."
"Do you think Gary Coleman had home teachers?"
She can't watch movies in 3D because the glasses make her ears "tired".
We should probably build those muscles back up little bear- incorporate some strength training in our workout routines.
But the best (and worst) part of Benita is when she is sick.
Last year, she had to be taken to the ER for eating a bag of Fun-Yuns.
She's not allowed to eat those anymore, but sometimes she still does and tries to hide the evidence.
This year, we were at the Gateway when it all started.
We were standing in line at Anthropologie, and had been shopping for a few hours.
Benita's right arm sticks straight out towards me, and says "I can't feel my arm."
Me: What are you doing with your arm?
Benita: I can't feel it.
Me: Well why are you sticking it out like that?
Benita: I just can't feel it, it's numb.
Me: Are you okay? (I finally felt it appropriate to ask this question. I am not a monster.)
Benita: I don't know. It's going numb. And I'm kind of blacking out.
(At this point I am of course very concerned, but in the back of my head I am thinking about the ER trip for the funyuns)
Me: Okay, well let's go grab something to eat and we'll go okay?
Benita: mmmhmmm. bumymouthsoinnumb.
(but my mouth is going numb)
Me: why are you talking like that?
(I can't feel my lips.)
By this time, we are rapidly losing Benita. First her arm, then her eyesight, and now her ability to speak. I am watching her deteriorate before my very eyes.
Me: Do you want to go grab something at Rumbi's? I think you may just need to eat.
(I can't see.)
Me: Okay, well let's go over to Rumbi's and maybe you'll feel better after you eat something?
Benita: Oay. Iinkisamigraine.
(Okay I think it's a migraine.)
(Megan, where are you when I need you?)
We began walking to Rumbi's, shopping bags and Benita in hand, and she turns to me and says:
(I'm talking like a handicap.)
Me: You look like a handicap.
She makes jokes, even when she thinks she's on her death bed.
We walk into Rumbi's, begin to order, and Benita throws herself on the chair directly behind us while mumbling "Iinimoinaowup."
(I think I'm going to throw up.)
Rumbi's man: Is she okay?
Me: She's okay. I think she just needs to eat something.
After ordering, we walk over to the table to wait for our food, and Benita buries her head into her arms on top of the table.
Things are not looking good.
Me: Benita are you okay?
Me: Do you want diet coke?
I walked back up to the counter, and explained that my friend was not feeling well, and asked for a piece of pita bread for her to eat while we're waiting for our food.
I brought it back to Benita, who sat up and started to nibble at it.
90 seconds later:
Benita: "I really like this. I didn't think it would work, but I feel better already."
Me: It's miracle pita.
She was able to stop talking like a handicap, but continued to have episodes of numbness throughout dinner.
We made it back to the car, where she promptly feel asleep, mouth open in the front seat, which I was nice enough to document.
I came home and reenacted the entire thing for Megan. I'm pretty sure we laughed for the next hour, just because we love this girl so much and Megan understood pretty clearly the picture I was painting her in the play by play.
On Gchat the next day:
Benita to Megan: I'm about 90% sure I had a stroke last night.
Oh I love this girl.