Monday, August 5, 2013

"The two of you are like sisters, except a little bit better."

I always hate starting a new post. I just sit here staring at the blank, empty thing, with the cursor blinking villainously at me.  Mind, it's usually all right once I get started. But starting always intimidates me.

Even so, I have a feeling this post is going to end up being wayyy longer than it should.  Because when I really like a subject I tend to go on, and on, and on... especially when I'm writing. It's actually easier to shut myself up when I'm talking out loud.

And I like this subject a LOT. Which subject, you may ask?  Why, Amy's visit, of course. That's pretty much all you've seen talked about on this poor, neglected little blog ever since the 50-day mark in May.

But where to begin?  Which of the thousands of little details to tell you and which to leave out?

Well, since I like to be much more thorough than is entirely good for me, I'll just start on the morning of her arrival. Or rather the night before, because that's when I started being a nervous wreck. Excited too, of course, but anxiety was added to it.  We talked on the phone around my dinnertime and Amy told me she was starting to feel a little scared or something. Maybe that was what started it. :P  But deep down inside, I was still inclined to think that it was going to turn out wonderfully and we would think ourselves very silly for any doubt.

I was right, of course. I always am. Except when I am wrong, which is seldom.  (Ha... I'm not really being conceited, dears; I'm only quoting, or rather paraphrasing, OAN.)

Sitting in the car on the way to the airport, it was odd to think that it was actually the day. The day I'd been counting down to and looking forward to for so long that it had started to seem like something that would never actually really happen. Likewise sitting in the airport. I was reallyreallyreally nervous and excited, yet I felt like I should be falling over in a swoon or something. Instead, I just sat there silently, twisting my hands or whatever, laughing nervously when my mom (who drove to the airport) would make a remark, and glancing constantly at the screen with the clock and information about flights that was behind me. (Amy doesn't know all the intricacies of what happened before she arrived, so she at least should be interested in this. Haha.)

I love airports.  I still love airports, even though the last time I was at ours was a heart-wrenching goodbye. They're just such exciting places. Something interesting is always happening or about to happen when you go there. But anyways, before I get on too much of a rabbit trail...

As soon as there was an excuse to do so (that is, crowds coming along), I went to stand where I would first see Amy. And then I waited about fifteen minutes. I always wish there was some announcement in the airport saying which flight just came in... then I would know whether to actually expect it or not.

But anyways. All at once, I saw them. Not exactly where I was expecting to, but in the general area. I did this intake of breath and said to my mom, who was standing next to me (with both our purses--I made her hold mine so as not to disrupt any hugging that was about to happen, HA) "there they are..."

There was nothing I could do except stand there, because they were behind security, as it were, past these glass doors with "DO NOT ENTER" painted forbiddingly upon them.  So I just waved wildly... they saw me at last, and they started walking calmly in our direction but then she finally started running towards me like she was supposed to.  I'm not sure I actually jumped up and down but you can be sure my agitation did not allow me to remain still.


Then we were suddenly in each other's arms in this wild hug that was so full of oomph it sort of set us both staggering backwards. Well, I guess I was the one going backwards, but we might have sort of spun... yes, I think so. It happened too fast to remember details. But it was amazing. You have no idea how often I've dreamed of that moment--and it was not a disappointment. I actually said so at the time, haha. As we were grinning at each other and wiping tears away. (Yep, we both cried. I actually didn't sob like I thought I would. It was more of a laughing-squealing kind of cry. :D)

We greeted each other's moms and hugged more and said such things as "I can't believe this is real!"  and "you're really heeeeere!!!" and all that. And kept staring at each other. I mean, it's one thing to talk on Skype. It's another to have the person actually right there in front of you, with nothing coming in-between. After that year-and-seven-months of seeing pictures of each other, having the person right there in real life is just... wow. It's not something you can explain.

It wasn't even something I could figure out at the time. I was thinking to myself, does this feel real or doesn't it??  Half if it seemed so very deliciously real, like it was perfectly natural, and the other half was just like... well, it wasn't so much like a dream, as it was like it was so NOT a dream that it seemed impossible. I felt like whoa, can this really be happening to me? I don't know what to say, I don't know what to DO... let's just hug again. (Haha. :D) This is actually you. The real you. All of you. The person who wrote all the emails and letters and the voice I heard on the other end of the phone...

It's kind of like as she ran at me into that hug, reality hit me with the same force. It wasn't imagining anymore, you know? It's just so totally different.

I can't remember what the very first think we said to each other was, unfortunately. Almost the first thing I said was "I don't know what to say!" and I was thinking she might respond with "Then make no sound," but she actually didn't. She just said "I don't know what to say either!" Which in a way made me feel kind of gratified, because it meant she was so wrapped up in the excitement of seeing me that she didn't notice a Les Mis quote cue. That's saying something, that is.

And she didn't know any of that until she read it just now in this post. ;D (But for all I know she was thinking it but didn't want to annoy me by saying it at that moment. Bahahahaha. These things do happen. She responds with Les Mis quotes to random stuff I say all the time in Gmail chat, though. :P)

Sooo anyways. I'm going to condense now. I promise. This is turning into a ramble-y journal, and I do not intend for the entire post to be that way. No, really.

There were so many little things that first day that were just so delightful. Ridiculously silly things. Silly that they should delight us, that is. Like when we went to a restaurant on the way home and were excited that they had Cherry Coke because it was something we both particularly liked. And when we went to wash our hands and I used the paper towel to open the door with afterwards and she said "You do that TOO?"  How we discovered we had the exact same kind of chapstick in our purses, and she pointed it out to her mom, who was just like "Oh... okay... o.O"

How on the way home in the car we'd keep smiling happily at each other and link arms and squeeze each other and I just felt so... perfectly happy and content. That desire I've felt for so long to actually be with my best friend was fulfilled and it seemed so... right.

Okay, I'm getting way too cheesy here. This is not an email, it is a blog post. I'm sorry. You poor girls are probably groaning. I'm stopping. I really am.

Oh, oh, and another thing that was absolutely fantastic was sharing private jokes or making random references to things in real life.  And when our moms were getting acquainted and they were talking about various family background stuff, and Amy and I would just look at each other like "Ha, ha, we know all this already..."

And then the old guy who worked at the at the antique mall where we stopped on the way home. "You girls are having way too much fun," he said in response to our giggling and talking. I thought immediately of this picture--
It's very, very true.  We did a lot of fun things, but we had fun no matter what we were doing, as long as we were together.

Getting home and showing her around was full of loveliness but I promised myself to cut the details--though I did want to mention one thing.  I had a graduation present for her and she had a present for me just because she's nice, and I ended up opening hers first and it was this really cute teacup (in this adorable mini hatbox), but when I saw it I wanted so badly to react, and I couldn't... because, see, a teacup and saucer was the main thing I had for her. So I grinned and thanked her and shoved mine at her as quick as possible to explain the awkwardness of why I wasn't squealing over the gorgeous teacup.

In a normal situation this might embarrass both parties, but we were shriekfully delighted. Hahaha. We laughed for the longest time and were just thrilled because it was so... us to give each other the same present.

We stayed up late and talked that night, which was a little bit horrible considering that Miss Dashwood (hehe) had had to get up so early (and the time zones made it worse), but there was really no other possible way. I doubt we could have got to sleep earlier if we tried. (I, in point of fact, hardly slept at all that night.) And some of the conversations we had that night... ha. I remember a few times one of us would randomly insert "I can't believe we're talking about this, on our first night..."

But I regret none of our late-night conversations one little bit.

The next day (Wednesday) we went to a large library in my state's capitol, then on a picnic and then went to the mall to be our own version of goofy. Which was talked about here. All of that was very enjoyable...

I remember on that particular day thinking about our thought process and how similar it is. We've talked and thought about this many, many times, but it's even different in real life. The fact is, I got rather used to it. Used to one of us being about to say something and the other person says pretty much the same thing. It's not so much that we know what the other person will say, as that it's exactly what we were thinking ourselves, you know?  And just, how we could reference practically anything and not have to explain. I stopped to ponder this and marvel over it afresh.

That night we set up a tent in my backyard to sleep out there, and as it happened my parents decided to get this firepit from Walmart that day, and it got set up just in time for roasting marshmallows when it got dark. That was amazingly fun.

Neither of us approve of real spooky stories, but we each told each other a couple of those that end with something funny. (It was after everyone else had gone inside and we stayed watching the dyyyying emberrrrrs.) Well, Amy was in the middle of hers--all into it, you know, with the hushed tone and the creepy descriptions--when my mom comes outside and startles Amy who yelps and literally jumps in her chair and then we burst out laughing and Mom is like "Shhhh! It's 11:00, people are probably trying to sleep!"

We jumped on the trampoline in the dark, too. And lay on our backs to look at the stars. Or clouds, as the case may be. And were goofy and sang songs and talked and mostly laughed. We did this on several different occasions, not just this night. (The trampoline, I mean. Not laughing. We were always laughing.)

Then we watched some of Emma in the tent on her portable DVD player. (We'd started it the night before.)

On Thursday a dear friend of mine came over and the three of us had a splendid time talking and playing ImaginIff with some random literary characters thrown in and just generally being kindred spirits. We also dared the stares of strangers by walking on a nearby path in our Regency dresses to take pictures.  Then Amy and I went to a water park and had a terrific time.  It had been so hot the past two days and then of course on that day it had to be way cooler.  Figures.  But we had a grand time anyway, especially after I had the brilliant idea to sing loud songs as we went down the slides. We kind of ended up shouting them, but it was all good. Not good for my voice, as I discovered the next day...but fun.

I'm afraid this is way too much fun to do at malls and water parks...

Friday we did a lot of random-ish stuff which was awfully nice. (It included going some places, but this is already so long...) And we watched Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel during breakfast; it seems delightfully frivolous to watch something while you're eating breakfast. Haha. :D

And we talked a lot. And were silly. And played Password with our Mammas during lunch.  We were really looking forward to this, because it is a game where you have to get your partner to guess a word by giving them one-word clues, and this works well between two people who are similar-minded and it's even better if you have inside jokes and so forth.  We didn't get a chance to demonstrate much of this that day, but when we picked it up again on Monday it was better.  I mean, not many people would guess the word "mud" when all the other person had said as a clue was "baaabies."

In the evening everyone else went on a walk and we opted to stay home so we could be by ourselllves. Which makes it sound like we had wicked motives, but really all we wanted to do was sing without anybody else hearing. Hahahaha. So we did some duets and it was most enjoyable. I was much less embarrassed to sing in front of Amy than I thought I would be. ;)

On Saturday we prepared all day for the Old-Fashioned Elegance Tea we hosted in the evening, which was combined sort of with garden party, which was perfectly delightful, but describing that would be something for an entirely separate post so we won't go there.  However, I will mention that Amy and I dressed Edwardian, and I did her hair, and was quite surprised and pleased with the way it turned out. Mine didn't give me grief either, thankfully enough, but I had to suffer through wearing hideous curlers all day to achieve it.

Behold. In this picture you will find the Squares de Lemon popularized in
Amy's post, and The Teacups. They are the two nearest to the camera--on the left
is mine-that-she-gave-me,and on the right is hers-that-I-gave-her.

Sunday I had great fun bringing Amy to the church I've attended all my life, and we had a fun time at home in the afternoon looking at old photo albums and some select home videos and such. We also drew the winners for the giveaway over at The P&P95Forever Club, which if you missed... I pity you.

On Monday, The Moms and us went to the mountains. It was a gorgeous day, too. I was gratified that the weather had listened to my command when I forbade it to be otherwise. ;)  We had a wonderful time hiking and floating on the lake and picnicking... when it was almost time to leave, we quickly made it to the path around the lake by ourselves to act out the haunted wood scene from Anne. We thought we'd kept this mission to ourselves, but as we were rambling our way back singing a random song from Phantom of the Opera with a lot of discussion in the middle, suddenly we hear Amy's mom call out "Anne and Diaaaaaana! It's time to leeeeave!" and we look at each other and burst out laughing.
So much for secrecy.

It's a great pity we didn't get to camp there... like, actually sleep there in the tent. 'Twould have been swelliferous.  Well... next time, m'dear. ;)

Then came Tuesday which was our last whole day and therefore very tragic. We managed to have some splendid time together anyway, though. We visited a delightful little tearoom to which I'd been longing to take Amy ever since I've known her, visited some antique stores nearby and stopped by the library I frequent. At home we did a bunch of last-minute let's-see-what-else-from-our-list-we-can-accomplish things, which included posing for some pictures to put on our blogs. ;)

Then we prepared for a very long night. Never mind sleeping. We can sleep when we're dead. So we settled down in the family room in our matching pajamas with stuff to do hair with and fingernail polish and watched multiple episodes of Road to Avonlea and then started The Love Letter (a half-period-drama made by Hallmark Hall of Fame). I was just about falling asleep some of the time, so we made one trip to the kitchen (and almost died trying to stifle our giggles about practically nothing :P) and one out to the trampoline, which was after 1 am. There's an interesting story there, so if you already haven't, go read Amy's post which I'll be linking to at the end of this.

We finally DID go to bed, but we won't tell you exactly how late it was.

And then... she left the next day. I won't put us all through the drawn-out description of all the tragedy and weepy-ness, but trust me when I say we were feeling very sad and sentimental and clingy, and parting after being so close for eight days was... ahem, difficult.

I really need to wrap this up here. But, remember that quick sneak-peek of some of the stuff on our list of things to do that we put in the announcement post? Well, Some of You (we won't mention any names) were rather skeptical about us even getting those done, soooo I would like to now prove you wrong. ;)

~Have an elegant party where Amy can meet all of Melody’s friends: This was mentioned above. Although, sadly, she couldn't meet all my friends. There was one in particular, an avid P&P95 fan like ourselves, to whom I longed to introduce her, but alas, she was gone. *sniffle* 
~Go picnicking at a park: Yes, done. Wednesday.
~Talk by candlelight at night: We did this on Sunday night. With cups of water as precaution on Amy's part, meanwhile scolding me for my lack of proper concern about fires in my bedroom. Why, I could have burnt us to a crisp in our beds!
~Jump on Melody’s trampoline: Oh, yes. Quite fun it was, too.
~Visit a bookstore and read titles aloud to each other in dramatic voices and poke fun at the silly Jane Austen sequels: Well, we did this in the library, which did just as well. We also went to a used bookstore but there weren't as many silly JA sequels there.
~Poke inside fun books such as the old Sears catalogs and look at old clothes: Yes indeed! We never got to the Fifties, though, which was the best one... sigh.
~Each get our own journal beforehand to write in the whole time, and then at the end we switch them and each have the one the other wrote (awkwardly phrased, but you get the idea): Amy's journal (now mine) is within two feet of me as I speak--er, type.
~Play such delightful games as Beyond Balderdash, Imaginiff, Identify That Soundtrack and Clue: We didn't do the soundtrack bit I don't think... but we listened to soundtracks. And we didn't do Clue, but then we played other games not mentioned there, too. It still counts.
~Act out favorite scenes from period dramas and books: Some of them, yes. "Esteem him? Like him? Use those insipid words again and I shall leave the room this instant!"
~Go English Country Dancing: Unfortunately... no. *long sigh* But this was not our own faults! We would if it had been possible, but my group was not meeting that week no matter how I tried to arrange it. We danced a little by ourselves, though. ;)
~Go to the mall to try on clothes and window-shop and sit on a bench and crrrrrriticise people: Hahaha... yes.
~Camp out in the backyard: Mentioned. :)
~Play The Seaside as a duet on the piano: Well... we tried. And I would have got Amy to get it, too, if only our visit had been longer. But we DID work on it somewhat.

The quote used as the post title was something my mamma said to us on the last day.  It made us both quite pleased and happy. We already knew it, of course, but to have somebody else observe it is delightful.

The main quote I remember from Amy's mamma would be when she was talking about us always giggling together.  "If we can't find them in a store or wherever, we just listen and follow the sound of giggling, and there they are."  (And if the house was burning down over our heads, we would just sit there and giggle. Right, Tween? Hahaha. Okay, sorry everybody, semi-private joke. That is, some friends and sisters of ours might nod in understanding.)

In trying to remember Quotes From Our Visit, I recall Amy saying at one point, when we were looking at books or something, that she didn't want to "waste time reading". And then was almost shocked at herself for being able to call reading a waste of time ever, but in this case it was quite true.
And that is a great deal coming from her. :D

All in all, I think we did make pretty good use of our time. We did not finish everything we would have wanted, but that was simply impossible. We did as much as could be realistically hoped for, though. If you ever want to cram a lot into a comparatively short visit, I recommend these things called scheduling and list-making. :D

The most important thing, of course, was just being together. And it was beautiful.  Right now I'm just wishing she was somehow here again... I knew this would make us susceptible to missing each other tremendously, and I was quite right. But I shall remember it fondly for the rest of my life, and I'm determined to make it happen again. This time I should go see her, I think.

To read Amy's account of the visit, go here. :)

Would you rather hear the story...

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