Ruth is my cousin and she is two years younger than I am. As a child, I only got to see her occasionally, during my visit to the grandparents we shared, one weekend a month. When that weekend would come, one of the first things I would do is hop on the eggy yellow rotary phone in their kitchen and call Ruth. That wheel of fun fortune couldn't slide back and forth fast enough over those numbers as I dialed. When she got on the phone, I didn't understand much of what she had to say, but we always made sure we were clear on when we were going to get together.
We had a lot of fun.
One day complete good fortune struck while we were hanging out at our grandmother's house. Mamanonie was going to take us to Toys R Us to pick out an outfit for each of our Cabbage Patch Kids. Oh, big day! We hopped into SPOSA (my grandfather got her personalized plates for her 80s Oldsmobile) and headed over to the store. The actual shopping is pretty fuzzy in my memory now. I only recall Ruth's small voice as we waited in line, "Grandma, I don't feel good" Then she passed the fuck out! Just went down cold, executing a perfect drunken sailor backwards fall into my grandmother's arms.
Next thing I know, I've got $20.00 shoved into my hand and my g-ma is dragging Ruth out of the store. She came to in the parking lot.
The story gets even better: Ruth didn't die (it turns out that low blood sugar is a bitch to little kids trying to buy doll clothes) and we got to go to Jack In The Box drive-through on the way home! This was huge. Mamanonie being a big believer in cooking at home, made overpriced fast food stops pretty much unheard of.
New stuff from Toys R Us, Ruth not dying, and fast food. It was a very good day.
We are quite a bit older now, but we still have retained our magic, and she has turned out to be so much more than a younger cousin with a propensity for the low blood sugar faints.
She is funny - we laugh together a lot. She makes fun of the 82 year old woman that lives inside of me, and I mock her body dysmorphia. When we aren't picking on each other, we team up to mock whoever we deem appropriate at the time, and look out - we're good at it!
Some of our fave targets are the special needs peeps in our own family (he's not really a Special, but dwelling on that part lowers the fun factor by a ton so go along with us and suspend disbelief for a while).
She is interesting - we chat up a storm about food, books, and the latest entertainment news. I didn't know about half of the Hollywood deaths last year until Ruth caught me up. This lack of up-to-the-minute breaking entertainment news knowledge on my part horrifies her, so I try to keep more current these days by following not one, but three trashy pop culture blogs. It's the least I can do to keep us fresh and poppin.
Ruth is also our resident event coordinator - she is fab when it comes to making sure we all get to enjoy our family instead of talking about getting together and then running in fifty different directions when it comes to planning (it's like she has JLo from Wedding Planner living in her head).
She is a fabulous friend too. I say that because she has like 700 of them. And not Facebook friends, or voices in her head friends either. She has droves of real people that love her companionship, and they can't all be crazy. She's my friend as well.
The world is a prettier, more creative place with Ruth in it. She is a very talented artist. Without her, we would be missing a vibrant color in not just the art, but the people palette too.
So happy birthday to Ruth! Big loves to you on your special day (don't pay attention to your rents)!!
Author's note: This post is Ruth approved. She offered up the highest compliment upon reading it yesterday. She said she would like it to be used as her obituary. Thanks Ruth. If anyone else would like an obit from me, please direct your requests to the email on the sidebar. Thanks.