Monday, June 21, 2010
To Mishelle, With Regrets
Many Etsians and non-Etsians alike are fans of the hugely popular Regretsy web site. The website’s creator, April Winchell, has just published a book titled “Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF”. The title of the book gives context to both the website and the book – both hilarious. April recently made a visit to Powell’s City of Books in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. I attended her book signing with a long-time friend and fellow Etsian, Christy (Hippie Chick Boutique). Up until that day, I hadn't seen Christy in ten years. It was Christy who really introduced me to Etsy, and she brought me into her amazing Etsy team. As we stood there in line, waiting for our chance to meet April, I couldn’t help but smile at how the two of us came to stand there together…….
I don’t remember how I met Christy, but the year was 1994 and I was in seventh grade. Christy was in eigth grade, so she was instantly cool to me. Her house sat just off the grounds of our middle school, so I'd often walk home with her and hang out at her house to watch "Beavis and Butthead" and listen to music. Christy and I were both fans of the band Green Day, and at one point even called each other by the names of the band members (she was Mike, I was Tre). Even when Christy graduated from our middle school and started attendng the high school a year before I did, we stuck together.
We remained best friends up through mid-high school. It felt like Christy lived at my house. Before either of us drove, my mom would take us to school and we'd walk home together. I remember playing the "penis game" during these long walks home - the game where you take turns yelling "penis" back and forth to see who was gutsy enough to yell it the loudest. According to her, I always won. When I wanted to take skiing lessons, my mom took both Christy and I up to the mountain. When I wanted to sneak out of the house on my 16th birthday to drink beers with boys, it was Christy who came along (although my parents only punished me when I got caught).
Sometime late in my sophomore year, our friendship began to fall apart. I can't put my finger on one specific incident that broke us apart, but we began to make friends in very different social groups and naturally went seperate ways. By the time I was a junior, we weren't speaking. There was one instance that year where we TP'd each other's houses with our respective group of friends out of anger, but it was all silly kid stuff. One summer afternoon following my junior year, the day before Christy turned 18, she knocked on my door. I hadn't spoken to her in that entire school year. She told me that she was moving to California, and wanted to say goodbye. That was the last time I saw her. I went on to graduate high school, moved to Portland, graduated from college, and moved to Arizona. I would think of Christy, wonder if she was still in California and hoped she was happy.
When the MySpace revolution began some years later, I noticed Christy had a profile, but I was too nervous to reach out to her. Not long before I got married in 2006, I received a friend request from her. We picked up right back where we left off! She was back living in Oregon, I was getting married in Oregon, and I immediately invited her to attend. We had planned on reuniting that day, but emergency circumstances came up and she had to cancel the day of my wedding. Thankfully, we remained in touch after that, through marriages, moves, and the birth of her two children.
When Christy started selling on Etsy, I was so excited and proud of her. I hadn't considered selling myself until we moved back to Oregon from Arizona (Christy has since settled in the Las Vegas area with her husband and kids). I asked her for help, and she generously offered to bring me into her Etsy Team, the Etsy DListers. Being a member of that team has helped me tremendously, and I can't thank her enough! After being friends for so long, this common Etsy bond added a new layer to our friendship.
Several months ago, Christy announced that she was planning to visit Oregon. She had heard of the "Regretsy" signing, which happened to be scheduled during her trip. She asked if I wanted to go with her, and of course I said yes. This past Saturday, the two of us reunited for the first time in ten years. It felt like we'd just seen each other yesterday! She got to meet my husband and our bunny (he let her come right up to him and pet him, which he doesn't do with anybody! its like he knew she was his mommy's old friend), and my husband got to hear old stories about me from somebody other than myself.
Although we couldn't hang out for long, we did get to do something special, which was to meet April Winchell. She signed my book "To Mishelle, With Regrets, April Winchell" - ha! For us, April is a celebrity and meeting her was fantastic. I was ecstatic to see that April put the photo her crew took of us posting with her on her website! Little did April know the history that was behind that photo.
This time it won't be another ten years before Christy and I see each other again - we both agreed to that!