Thursday, January 27, 2011

Q: The Birthday Post

You've perhaps seen blog posts by proud mommies on the occasion of their children's birthdays, enumerating and extolling their virtuous qualities.

I am not a mommy, proud or otherwise, but yesterday marked the date of the birthday of a dear friend of mine, Qwendy, and I thought I'd sing her praises in a post dedicated just to her. Also? I'm the cheapest kind of friend -- this is her birthday present from me! Lucky her!

First, let me tell you how that name came to be. We live in a world of acronyms. She's forever mocking me for the multi-initialed department name I work in, because it makes for a lengthy, unintelligable-unless-you-have-the-decoder-ring phone greeting when I answer the phone. One day she asked me what I liked at a certain Mexican fast food restaurant, and I said I liked the BRC burrito. Because it's not enough that I use acronyms all day long, apparently it's crept into my personal life as well. In Wendy's mind, it couldn't just be a "BRC" (beans, rice, cheese) burrito -- it had to have even more initials, especially some Qs. The more Qs the better. So she just started adding it to her name. One day she was on the phone with the bank, and the customer service representative asked her how to spell her name. "Oh, you know, the usual way: Q, W, E, N, D, Y." The woman paused, obviously flustered. Wendy said, "Don't worry, the Q is silent. And invisible. Invisible and silent." And thus Qwendy was born.

Wendy is one of my longest friends. I have known her for almost as long as she's been married. She was my visiting teacher when Cim and I moved to southern California. She was willing to do whatever we asked, including a run to Taco Bell for us when circumstances dictated.

The bestest thing about Wendy is her ability to live in a made-up world. I was describing her to one of my sisters once, and when I said that Wendy lives in a fictional world, my sister, the psycho-therapist, grew very concerned and said, "Does she know it's not real?"

Wendy's fictional world includes some of the following bigger-than-life realities:

* I don't just work for a major entertainment company ... in Wendy's world, I work side-by-side with the handsome, famous and very rich CEO.

* Said handsome, famous and very rich CEO, in Wendy's world, is named Bob iPod. It's gotten to the point that when people at work make reference to him by his real name, I'm not sure who they're talking about. Many times I have almost used his Wendy-fictional name when referring to him.

* My position at this entertainment company is such that when Wendy and her family are visiting a certain amusement park, they frequently throw my name around hoping for the "good" perks. Her children are always asking her what Auntie Laura is going to do for them at the Park today...

* When I started taking golf lessons, I was no mere beginner golfer, no not I. I was actually in training for the LPGA tour.

*...the list continues.

Her world is a rich one. I'm finally learning, after 15 years, to roll with the fictional punches and add my own story lines to today's novel. Instead of balking when she asks my opinion about her painting the podium in the primary room pink, I take it up a notch and suggest red, yellow and blue polka-dots instead.

She keeps me on my toes, makes me laugh, and always has sage advice and council (providing you can pull her out of Wendy-land long enough for her to be serious). She is an excellent mother, and I have learned a lot from her as I watch her parent her two beautiful children.

Happy birthday, Wendy-with-the-silent-and-invisible-Q. I look forward to many more years of laughter and fun with you as a friend.


  1. Happy Birthday, Qwendy!! Even though I've never met you, I feel like you're my friend, too. I hope you had a fun day.

  2. This made my day! Best birthday letter ever.