Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Bethie, my best friend's mom, doesn't check my blog, so I'm okay letting you in on a little secret - her friend, Korbie, is putting together a memory book for Bethie for her birthday on Jan. 13 (which also happens to be my and Ben's anniversary). She's turning...let's see...58? Is that right, Pooh? I think she turned 50 the day I got married.

Anyways, Korbie asked me to contribute some memories of Bethie and some pics of her, and I felt like throwing them on here, since this functions not only as a blog, but also as my journal. I hope you don't mind. Okay. Blogger is being a brat right now about the pictures, so I'll try them later. But here is what I wrote about my dear friend Bethie:

My Second Mom

I love the Bethie-meister. I have oodles and gobs of memories with her, all positive.
I am best friends with Bethie’s daughter, Heather (I call her Pooh), and from the get-go, Bethie treated me as part of their family. Heather’s house became the hangout house, because Bethie was so welcoming and warm to everyone.
Bethie is so encouraging and so positive. I did this stupid tap dancing performance in the ninth grade to “This is the House that Jack Built,” and Bethie still talks about how funny she thought that was. I actually really thought it was dumb – something I threw together at the last minute. I made her this silly Christmas decoration once, and she proudly hangs it on her doorknob every December, even though I really don’t think it turned out very good. She is like a proud mama, displaying her kids’ artwork. Even though I'm not her kid, she always treats me like I am, and I love it.
Bethie and Pooh always asked me to go on family trips with them. One time, I went on a weekend camping trip with the Bruces. They had a winnebago-like camper that we stayed in. Bethie taught me about a billion new card games that weekend, half of them which I couldn’t understand. She is so smart at stuff like that. She had the hardest time waking up in the morning – I remember waking up to hear Jim muttering, over and over again, like a robot, “Bethie. Bethie. Bethie…” trying to wake her up. Why he didn’t shake her or open the shades or something is still beyond me! She probably could have slept all day! When she finally emerged, carrying Oscar, her dachshund, her blonde hair stuck straight up.
Bethie is an extremely strong woman. She has gone through things that no one should have to go through, and she has handled these horrible events with real grace. She has such tender emotions, but she always puts up a brave front. She just does what she has to do to live day-to-day.
Bethie is a very proper woman – a true lady. I’ve never heard her swear or fart or burp. Pooh is the best belcher around, much to Bethie’s dismay. She always gave Pooh a stern look when Pooh let one loose. Bethie was nice to keep me around, because I know that sometimes Pooh’s and my topics of conversation weren’t the most proper. Not that I'm crass or anything. But Bethie is very, very proper. Like, she would never say the word "crap." However, she shocked me so much one time when she was trying to describe to me the way different boobs are shaped. She actually got out a napkin and diagrammed the different way boobs are shaped. I couldn’t believe it! I wanted to say, “Who are you, and what did you do with Bethie?”
I don’t know any other mother who would hang out with her daughter and friend on Halloween, but that’s just what we did one year, when I was 22, I think. She had these old flapper costumes from Sweet Adelines, and I wore one of those. Pooh found some old Renaissance dress. And I can’t remember what Bethie and her friend wore. But the four of us went out on the town one Halloween. We really wanted to go out dancing, and we didn't want to go to a dance club with people in their 20s, because that would have been weird for Bethie and her friend. So we went to a couple of bars. We stuck out like sore thumbs, because we didn't drink, we weren’t interested in any of the men, and we weren’t interested in dirty dancing. It was a really weird night. I think we ended up going home really early.
Bethie, like any good second mom, puts up with my kookiness. She has the most fun little clavanova in the whole world – it has about a million different drum beats and songs that you can turn on, and it was my favorite thing to play with when I went to her house. She graciously let me play. And sing badly. I like to sing songs badly – for some reason, I think it’s funny. And since she is the singing woman, I’m sure she inwardly cringed. But she let me have my fun.
Bethie and Pooh often invited me to barbershop performances, both that they performed in and ones that they just attended. This barbershop world is a whole culture unto itself! We would go to afterparties, and people just walked around, singing together. It was like a movie musical. I used to laugh when I watched musicals, saying to myself, “People don’t just randomly break into song like that.” Oh, they do. At barbershop parties. Bethie is an incredible performer. She has a gorgeous voice. It’s as clear as a bell. She is also a talented chorus director, spending most of her summers tutoring choruses in proper barbershop technique.
Bethie let me live with her for a few weeks before I got married – my apartment lease had run out, but I obviously couldn’t live with my husband until I got married, so she let me crash at her place. She was a fantastic hostess. It was so dang nice of her. I had a really good time at her place. As long as I kept her cats out of my room! The cutest cats ever, but boy, am I ever allergic to them.
I really love to watch Bethie interact with her grandkids. She spends a lot of good, quality time with them. They go to her house for sleepovers regularly. I love that. And though she isn’t wealthy, she is always buying them toys. She is soooo generous. I never had a grandma with whom I was very close, so I love to watch Bethie and take mental notes of the kind of granny I want to be someday. And she’s probably the prettiest granny ever!
When I lived in Salt Lake, we hung out at Bethie’s at least once a week, usually eating tacos, since that is Cazzie’s favorite food. I really miss those times.
When dear Jimmy passed away, I obviously talked to Pooh on the phone quite a bit, and one time, right after Pooh and I hung up, Bethie called me on Pooh’s phone and said, “I just needed to hear your voice.” That meant so much to me, that she maybe thinks as dearly of me as I do of her.
Bethie, I just love you to pieces. I hope you have a fantastic birthday. I’m so sorry for the pain that you are undoubtedly still feeling; I wish I could take it away. But I know that you will get through this with characteristic aplomb. Love you, Beth.
Love, Kar

1 comment:

Nat said...

Bethie does rock, as does Pooh.

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