We met over 15 years ago in Italian class...ask us if we can speak any of it today...
Irene was what you'd call a lost soul. When I found her, she was worshipping at the temple of Michael Bolton. The rocker in me could not sit back and watch her go down that path; I held an intervention with a little something I like to call: Heavy Metal. It was all downhill from there!!
Who'd a thunk she'd be married, pregnant, cooking for her man and *shoch shock, horror horror* NESTING!!! It's all a best friend can do to not cry in her pillow every night...
Her brutal honesty can be borderline mean, yet, strangely intoxicating...I have to have me some! And her alcohol-induced adventures, both with me and on her own, would sell out at the box office: her passed out in my closet at the Montauk cabin we used to rent; her beating up a homeless guy after partying too much at Culture Club; her hugging the toilet after a smidgeon too much Vodka at her company party; her skipping classes to get drunk...and set the cafeteria on fire...you know, the usual stuff.
But she's more than just my HS drinking buddy.
She's the one who uprooted herself and came upstate to help me with K. when my ex had to move to Long Island for a job. And took off from work to care for K. when I had to be hospitalized. She's been on the other end of the phone calming me down throughout my disasterous marriage, and kept me from running away and deserting my kid(s) oh-so-many times.
She's always there to bring the logic into the mix when all I want is to be a spoiled little brat, and she can problem solve like nobody's business. And best of all she will ALWAYS be two months older than me!
Classic Irene Moments:
• During the height of the Long Island Lolita hoopla, she dated a man 30 years her senior
• Senior year...she broke up with a dude in a Christmas card
• Rumor has it that another guy she dated tried to hang himself with his belt
• Arguing with some random dude on the bus after that Dave Matthews concert in Jersey
• I heard through the grapevine that she almost beat a girl to death with a phone...or was it a lamp...
• Watching her expression when she walked into her room and saw this:
• She's a cancer survivor, and it's made her so full of determination and drive
• She can spot a designer original on sale from across the street on a foggy day while blindfolded in the trunk of a car
• She don't take no shit
• She puts up with my crazy ass...even went to see Ani DiFranco with me TWICE...once in Poughkeepsie...when she LOATHES Ani Difranco...
Why she will make a good mommy to little Olivia:
• She knows that education matters
• She's not afraid to whoop that azz
• She knows better than to leave the baby with me for too long (Raquel: No Olivia, drop it like it's HOT...but don't tell mommy where you learned it...and this? This is Tequila. Can you say, te-qui-la? Good girl! Now CHUG IT!!!)
What I will never forget about her:
Irene created this whole "other life" in her head, in which, I believe, she was dating or married to John Malkovitch before finally settling with Jim Carey, with whom she had three sets of twins (in vitro, I bet...you know how those Hwood people are!); last I heard she had retired from acting and was the president of the United States...yes, I said United States...of America...
Her independent streak is enviable, and even though she's slowly but surely turning into a suburban soccer mom, whenever I have a tough as nails decision to make, I think: What would Irene do?
Usually the answer is- Go Shopping...no wonder we're so broke!!!
But there's nobody on this planet I'd rather be in debt with, and when we finally mobilize our Girl Army and take over this world, we will squash you all like the insignificant little bugs that you are.
That's right. Run and hide, bitches! Run...and...hide...
*smooches...only for Irene on her 32nd birthday...TWO WHOLE MONTHS before me*
just a little less alone