I have a younger sister, ZB, who was my BEST friend as I grew up and still is. We are now separated by many hundreds of miles, living in two different states, but we are still close in our hearts.
She is 4 years younger, but when we were in our teens, everyone thought we were twins. We didn't think we looked alike, she had brown hair, mine was brunette, but we both have brown eyes. But our voices were similar, we wore each others clothes, and we had similar mannerisms that come from hanging out together all our lives. We had private jokes and so much history, that we could just look at each other and know what the other was thinking, and break out laughing. We laughed a LOT. She has the BEST sense of humor, and kept me entertained from the time we began playing with Barbie dolls.
We even thought like twins. For example: We would be driving along, and something would trigger a memory, and we would burst out in song. Same song, second verse, harmony. It was crazy, and it happened all the time.
No, it isn't like a musical where we express ourselves in song, it would be more like if we would see a sign, like Olympic Beer, and we would start singing, "Oly-oly-o,(dum, dum) Oly-oly-o,(dum, dum) Oly-oly-o, (dum, dum) Oly-oly-o (dum, dum),(I forgot this part). . . .That makes the difference, It's the water. . . and a lot more. . ." For those of you too young to know what this is, that was the jingle for Olympia Beer. Which no longer exists since it was bought by Pabst Beer Company. But I digress. . .
Anyway, suffice to say, we were always best friends.
I was home from college for the summer, working full time, and I was buying a car. She began to talk about going on a big trip together in my new car. We had dreamed about doing this for a long time.
It was planned for June. We had been saving our money since last summer and were pretty sure we would have enough to have a wonderful trip. But I had met and fallen love with a really cute guy, and when Cute Student Guy (my future husband) proposed, it looked like the big trip would just fade into a dream. I had a wedding to plan, and really wasn't interested in that big trip anymore. I wanted to plan a honeymoon instead.
But Zeepter was not to be deterred. She persisted. She pestered, she begged, she cajoled, she even tried accusing me of reneging on our plan. I guess I was. What can I say?
But finally I succumbed to her nagging, and promised we WOULD take that big trip after all.
We notified our employers of our vacation plans, and needless to say, her employer decided he couldn't give her a month off, and let her go. Mine promised to schedule me in when I got back. This didn't deter Zeepter. It was All Systems Go. ETD: Mid June.
We had gotten many tips from the folks, plus a Coleman's Camp Stove. We planned on cooking at road-side rest stops. I had fashioned some black curtains for my car, that when strung up and viewed from the outside couldn't be seen. We planned on sleeping IN the car. I know, now in our old age, that doesn't sound like so much fun, but back then it was all about saving money.
Just before I left, I got the engagement ring from my sweetheart, so it flashed in my eyes every time the sun hit it just right. ::sigh:: how romantic
Back in the day, there was no such thing as cell phones. In fact to call Long Distance was prohibitive. Credit cards owned by young people was UNHEARD of. No such thing as a debit card. . . so we carried cash. Yikes!
We set up an elaborate method of letting the folks know where we were at all times. Mind you I was 23 and she was 19, but our parents were worried out of their minds about us being safe. It was before the day of the likes of Ted Bundy, but they were still worried. Eating and sleeping at road-side Rest stops, carrying cash, no cell phone. As a parent I would be crazy-out-of-my-mind worried about my kids getting mugged, raped and killed, with NO way to call for help when they got into trouble.
Zeepter and I were invincible and had NO worries, but to appease the parents, we set up a code. Every night, we would call the operator on a pay phone and ask for a person-to-person to (my mom) call from (my name) in (current city we were in). Mom would turn it down but she would know we were safe. It was before caller ID, so if she needed to talk to us, she would accept and then get the number of the phone booth and call us back.
Complicated, I know, but we thought it was pretty good for that time.
So armed with our belongings, shampoo, toothbrush, my wool quilt from my grandma, pillows and our nifty brand new set of Hot Rollers for our hair, we were off on our big adventure.