My best friend is named Courtney Kramer. Regardless of the fact that she's now married and is not Kramer anymore, she's still Kramer. We didn't really become friends until about 6th or 7th grade. She invited me over to her house and we ate the most fantastic frozen pizza I've ever had to this day. It was stuffed crust and perfectly done. If there's one thing Courtney knows, its delicious treats. Since then, we pretty much never found anyone as good as each other. I have said more than once, and I know my sisters think its ridiculous, that Courtney may well be my soul-mate. The sisters are convinced that your soul-mate is your husband, and that's that. I don't think this is the case. While
I do believe that Zac is who I'm meant to be with, I don't believe that there is just ONE person. I believe I could have a great marriage with another man, if my life had taken another course. If you read my blog about my journey to Zac, I think it's pretty clear that God always intended for us to be together. But at the same time, I think that a soulmates love is unconditional, and I believe marriages are conditional. To say that mine is not, would be a lie. I expect Zac to be faithful, and if he ever faultered, that would be the condition that would end what we have, or at least severely damage it. I know that sounds harsh and may make it seem as if I don't value our relationship, but on the contrary, it makes it more valuable to me. To know that Zac and I both are equals, our expectations for each other are the same, that some days we have to work at it, but we never lose that dedication to our imperfect other, makes me feel more connected to him. Make no mistake, I'm very dedicated to my husband, and I love him an incredible amount. He will always be first in my life, before Courtney, before my family, but, for this reason, I believe that Courtney may win the title as "soulmate." She has proven to me time and time again that there's nothing I can do that will make her love me less. Even when I thought for sure what I was going to tell her may cause an irreparable riff, it never has. I recently told her my deepest darkest secret and she just hugged me, and then we drank too much wine together.
After that tangent, back to Courtney. She is ridiculous, spunky, emotional and quite funny. Growing up Courtney spent a lot of time at my house. This had a lot to do with the fact that it was always warm and we always had food. Also, I have a very functional family, which I can't say for Courtkins. She grew up with her closest family 4 hours away (they do speak, and it's getting better, but still not close), she has no contact with her Dad's parents, and her mom can be a little Mommie Dearest (the Joan Crawford movie....remember NO MORE WIRE HANGERS, anyway, love the person, not always their actions). So Courtney came over a lot, generally headed straight for the fridge and came back with a Coke and any manner of Little Debbie treats snagged from Dad's stash. Believe me, Dad always knew when Courtney was over.
We had an annual Gore-a-thon where we stayed up late and watched bad horror movies. We drove around not noticing how nearly dilapidated our vehicles were because we had decorated them with fringe pinned to the ceiling. We went to Catholic Charities and the Senior Citizen's Center in search of pre-owned t-shirts that may or may not have pit stains. We made stupid home movies (complete with Courtney peeing her pants laughing) and tried unsuccessfully to eat an entire cake. We always had a good time, even if it meant making our own fun. For years this went on.....
We went through many stages together, short hair, bad thrift store clothes, drinking and smoking pot (which I will never live down). I always imagined we would go to college together, but we were split up by fate. Court started at EIU and started a new chapter in her life as a born-again Christian. I really didn't expect that it would stick, which sounds awful, but Courtney's family was in no way religious. Ever. And, they were in no way supportive of her choice. I still remember some of the awful things they said, and it takes a lot for me not to set them straight, but that's not my place. Courtney's got it under control. She's persistent and patient and her faith gets stronger each year. It's something that makes me very proud. Not only did she make the hard choices, she stuck with her convictions even in the face of opposition which is what I think defines a Christian. It has never been about the title for Courtney. It's always been about where your heart truly is.
Courtney met and married a great Christian boy and together I watch them grow up and figure out what marriage is about and how love endures. I got to give the speech at their wedding, and everything I said then is still true a few years later. I feel fortunate to have a best friend like Courtney. We are not always the most consistent about visiting or calling, but that seems to be improving with closer proximity. It's just nice to know that I've got a person to call to ask "is it unreasonable that I just yelled at Zac for not paying attention because he dried my brand new Victorias Secret cotton bras?" and for her to say "yeah, it is, he doesn't know about bras."