Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one!" -- C.S. Lewis
Tara and I met in organic chemistry lab when we were sophomores in college. We went to a competitive college and were in a competitive major, and if you're not familiar with organic chemistry, we additionally had a four-hour LAB per week (nevermind the prep for it) and it was graded on a curve -- again, competitive. (At our school, labs were separate classes from lectures. Separate registrations, separate teachers, separate grades.) To make matters worse, orgo lab was micro-scale, and a fair part of our grade was how much product we could correctly make and present! My sophomore year, I had more LAB hours (orgo wasn't the only class with a required lab) than my roommate had total CLASS hours. It was crazy.
In any event, Tara and I had the same lab section and our assigned stations had our backs to each other at adjacent benches. (Orgo lab was torturous in many ways. When I went to turn in my lab report one week, it literally took me fifteen minutes and probably some tears to figure out that the TA was telling me I needed a STAPLE. It was brutal.) During one particularly heinous lab (the very first lab of the semester, to boot) we had to isolate the analgesic from common pain killers -- Advil, Tylenol, Bayer Aspirin, etc. Sounds fun, eh? Keep in mind that (a) no one would talk to you, (b) even fewer people wanted to help you, and (c) most people didn't speak English, anyway -- including the TA.
What felt like 99 hours into our 4-hour lab, Tara turned to me and asked, "Um, is yours pink?" No. I had to isolate aspirin, and it most certainly was not pink. I actually managed to do ok on this lab, so far ... and then I managed to knock over my little metal tray, and so there we were: with pink aspirin and mostly missing aspirin, wondering what on earth we were going to do to pass this class that had only just started.
Fast forward a whole bunch of years, and we've been in each others' weddings, and planned each others' showers, been to concerts and St. Patrick's Day parties and on wild road trips and missed more flights than we can count because we've been having too much fun, and done all the gazillion things best friends do, including keep each other grounded and happy on even the worst of days.
I love my friend Tara and only get to see her about twice a year. We used to get to each others' places more often, but law school and work and kids and LIFE have made it more and more difficult, and now we mostly see each other at Christmas and summertime. I miss her terribly.
But we still joke about the organic chemistry lab and the pink aspirin. Yes, that was definitely our "What? You too!" moment.
Big Cheesy Grin to you, Tara!!!
Oh, and yes -- we both eventually passed orgo just fine!
|My now-very-old isolated analgesic. Yep, I saved it all these years. I keep it with my stray buttons in my sewing kit, and it makes me smile every time I look at it.|