Erica was my first friend when we moved to New Brighton. She introduced me to Brownies, New Kids on the Block and fanning my bangs. We spent so many hours playing with our Magic Nursery Babies, Amanda and Mikey, ouija boards, R.L. Stine and the Babysitters Club. Friday nights we almost always had a sleepover with macaroni and cheese for dinner, Entenmann's donuts for breakfast and hours of T.G.I.F on ABC. We were particularly disturbed one Friday when some guy named Nixon had died and the station had the audacity to interrupt Step By Step.
But not even junk food or consecutive viewings of Troop Beverly Hills could compete with our love of dance. We loved to make up dances to Michael Jackson and Paula Abdul in our basements. One summer, we were preparing a special one night show where we would invite our parents and the cute boys in the neighborhood. We even discussed sets and ticket prices. Wearing flattering lycra costumes was just icing on the cake.
Erica continued to compete in dance while I was immersing myself in the speech team and student council. Eventually, we seemed to drift apart. This past summer, we reconnected at our class reunion. We commiserated over babies, husbands who sometimes work too much and living thousands of miles away from our families. It was so special to see the woman who Erica had become and realize that even decades later, it is easy to see why she was such a good friend. Even as my friendships over time have grown and changed, it is comforting to know that you can come back to an old friend after time or distance have kept you apart.