Shays as a Razor

Since I’m on a storytelling kick lately, I’ll continue with one from 3rd or 4th grade.

My best friend Erin and I were at the Buena Park Mall back in the day. We’d been dropped off by a parental unit and spent the afternoon window shopping and snacking on cookies from Mrs. Fields. As we wandered around, she said something to me that made me shriek with confusion.

“What did you say?!” I asked.

Erin paused for a few seconds then asked cautiously, “What do you think I said?” I think she knew my brain went haywire.

I hesitated answering, since what I “heard” made absolutely no sense in my head.

But then I replied.

“It sounded like you said that lady is using shays as a razor.”

Erin looked at me with an unamused expression on her face.

“No,” she said. “I said that lady over there is using crutches for no reason.”

Sure enough, there was a woman walking around the mall holding a crutch under each arm, but walking freely.

I can’t remember if we laughed hysterically at that moment or if we sparred for a while about what a shay might possibly be…and then, if we even knew what it was, why would it be used as a razor?!

All I know is that from then on when I’d go on family vacations and send postcards, when I was in college and would write letters to her or when I would give her birthday cards, I would more often than not address them to Erin, a.k.a. Shay.

Lame, yes. But good for a lifetime of laughs? Absolutely.

I’ve retold that story numerous times, and while we tend to laugh so hard our stomachs hurt (or maybe that’s just me), I’m often met with blank stares from those who are subjected to such an odd tale.

When I was on crutches for most of January after my knee surgery, I would often find myself snickering at them after waking. I’d see them propped up against my bedroom wall and couldn’t help but laugh at my shays.

In the last few weeks, I think I’ve posted a random, crutch-tastic picture or two on her Facebook wall; one was of a man silhouetted by a brilliant orange sunset, victoriously raising his crutches over his head in triumph.

I don’t post these things because they make any sense. In fact, I post them because they make absolutely none. And I think that’s awesome.

Tonight I am simply thankful for best friends with whom we can share silly moments, nonsensical phrases, ridiculous photos on Facebook and still crack up over them decades later. They may not mean much to people who hear the stories after the fact, but they mean the world to me — and I love that they always will.

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