Broken-hearted (okay, I was bitter) over a breakup with a college boyfriend, I announced to my best friend Caroline, that what I needed was to see puffins at the Asheboro zoo. It was the sort of random request that made me feel better just by virtue of how silly it seemed. Miniature arctic birds . . . that would do the trick…that would fix my20 year old malaise. And, as any best friend would, she made it happen. Our day together, looking for the puffin exhibit, was its own type of therapy. Each step, punctuated with laughter (many times until tears) caught up in the silliness of the day. We stopped on the gift shop on the way out, and there they were, two stuffed puffins … one a little bigger than the other sitting right on the shelf. We had to take them home. This example, and a million others, are small insights in to the everyday ridiculousness of our friendship.
One time we volunteered for Elon’s “Safe Rides” program which meant we drove around campus picking up students who were too intoxicated to drive home. In typical Teresa and Caroline style we wore trucker hats and gave eachother code names like “Big Dog” and “Dirty Skittle” (yeah…for the record, Caroline was dirty skittle, and I’ll let you guess why…). With Caroline working the radio and me at the wheel we made quite the duo. I think the passengers especially appreciated the Celine Dion CD we were listening to.
After a grueling, research-heavy semester we spent an afternoon burning all of our research articles for our Senior-year Human Services classes . . . and making a video about it. And although I risk getting in trouble for it later, you just had to see this picture.
Many evenings we just stood on our office chairs and sang karaoke at the top of our lungs. Then we probably took a nap or ate a chicken wrap from the Commons.
We knew we’d never be scientists . . . or researchers . . .
We knew we’d always find time for laughter . . .
We knew that we loved those damn chicken wraps (and naps!) . . .
But as Senior year drew to a close there was still so much we didn’t know …
Would we be happy in our jobs?
Would we get jobs?
Where would we live?
Would we ever find our soul mates?
How hard would it be to stay friends once she moved out of state?!
And those post-college years have gone so quickly. She is putting that Human Services degree to great use (and a Masters in Social Work) as a Social Worker at the local VA Hospital. I’m working as a photographer. We both married wonderful men. And just weeks ago everything came full circle when she moved back to North Carolina from Maryland. Life is more serious now, no random trips to find Puffins or burning research papers behind a firehouse but we still find time for laughter and time for friendship.
And so this post is just a celebration of that . . . of a friendship that has grown over the years. Of two college girls becoming ol’ married women. I just didn’t think I could show you what a beautiful bride Caroline is on the outside, without telling you all the memories I carry with me of the beautiful person she is on the inside. If I have captured only a fraction of who I see when I think of Caroline, then I’m sure you’ll be in love with her too. Enjoy.
PS – In case you missed it, this one won third place in the Wedding Photographic Society image competition.