My best friend is six years older than me; our birthdays are exactly a week apart, making us both Scorpios. People often mistake us for sisters — they always have and it amuses me that they still do. A couple of years ago, I bought her Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg’s "Twin Sons of Different Mothers" — because it’s one of my favorite CDs of all-time, but also because we were still "Twin Daughters of Different Mothers." Funny thing is, she actually does have a sister named Vicky, and often, when the three of us were together, we would still be mistaken for sisters.
We met when one of her brothers hired me to work in their family-owned business — she was the one female in the production area of said business and they kind of wanted another female so she’d have a work pal. Something like that. Being a girl wasn’t a requirement, but it didn’t hurt, though they hesitated a little bit because of our difference in age. She was already married, trying to start a family. At 19 and 25, six years can still be huge.
We hit it off, though, more than anyone could have ever imagined, and our difference in age was probably perfect — she, a bit more worldly and wise and a lot more confident, and me, putty in her hands. One night, we went out for a drink after work. It turned out to be a major turning point in my life, really. I don’t remember a lot of details, in fact I think it was a blur right from the start, but somehow a message was conveyed. It sounds strange, but I got — found, was given — self-confidence that night.
A very small, but significant part of it — one that I think of every single day — had to do with my wardrobe: earth tones. "Lose the earth tones." Every splash of color in my still, mostly earth-toned wardrobe, reminds me of my wonderful best friend. The self-confidence and self-doubt wax and wane, it’s sometimes a struggle to be strong and confident — I guess the periods of self-doubt help keep the self-confidence from turning to arrogance, though.