Lainy came into my life in Spring 2005 when she wrote to me on myspace asking me about my hair (true story). We met shortly thereafter and since she lived closeby and we shared common interests, we started hanging out. Lainy is one of the first female friends I ever had as an adult. And even though I have nine years on her, I feel like we've both seen each other grow up - or at least evolve - in the 5 years we've known each other.
I was 33 at the time we met, and I'm turning 39 in a few days. Those have probably been the most interesting, fun, difficult, amazing, stressful, memorable and best years of my life. She's been in my life to witness the separation from my husband and selling of my house, through my divorce, my alopecia, my depression, my move to Brooklyn, the devastating loss of my beloved Smokey and the million other things I've been through (good, bad and hilarious) since moving to NYC in late 2005.
She's seen me change in some pretty significant ways too - not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Of all the people in my life right now, she and William at work probably know me better than anyone. And I feel closer to the two of them than anyone else I know.
Since I wanted to share more of Lainy with all of you, I decided to take you on a fun little trip down memory lane. Here are some photos of us over the years. It's "Memory Lane with Lainy", if you will...
Summer 2005 at Lucky Cat, in Brooklyn:
At Otto's, October 2005:
Halloween 2005 at Otto's in Manhattan - Very Naughty Nuns:
Sharing secrets at Otto's, February 2006:
In the photo booth at Otto's (I'm guessing sometime in 2006)
This is a *classic* Sheryl & Lainy photo from September 2006, at Otto's again (this is also two days before I joined Weight Watchers)
At Otto's again, April 2007:
In June 2007 at a Mode Merr show that I modeled in:
April 2008 at Union Pool in Brooklyn:
April 2008 in Manhattan:
(This next photo is us from the waist down that same night. And no, we did not plan this. In fact, it was super embarrassing when we met up on the bus that night!)
April 2008, Lainy's 28th Birthday at Gutter Bar in Brooklyn:
June 2008 with the Greenpoint "Birthday Girl":
August 2008, in Long Island City Queens for Sean's birthday (or "Not really a beach", which is how it will forever be known in my memory. Her: "We're going to Water Taxi Beach. But don't worry, it's not really a beach" It was, indeed, a beach. With sand. And my 4" heels sunk into it with every step - but just look at that view of midtown Manhattan!)
August 2008, with Rishana at the Rumblers Car Show under the BQE in Brooklyn:
November 2008 (I ran into her on the 7 Train one morning on my way to work)
August 2009, Summer Streets in Manhattan (I look huge here!):
September 2009 in Brooklyn:
October 2009, at the Greenpoint 5K:
April 2010, Lainy's 30th Birthday in Manhattan!
April 2010, celebrating at the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal:
June 2010 at Gantry Park in Long Island City, Queens:
June 2010 in Central Park - Lainy graduated! I'm so proud! She's gonna make it after all!
July 2010 - rooftop party in Greenpoint:
August 2010: Here we are just this past weekend on Park Ave @ 72nd Street in Manhattan for NYC Summer Streets:
So now that you've seen a brief history of me & my lil Lainykins, you'll understand that when I got an email alerting me to a Zumba class, I immediately wanted to attend... with HER. I knew it would be a fun experience and that no one else would make me laugh as much as she does. And since she and I declared this the "Summer of Awesome" and have a whole checklist of things to do together, I had a feeling she'd be down for this too - down like a clown! (OK I know that's ridiculous but I made up that phrase and I'm trying to get it to catch on despite William's insistence it has no chance...)
Sure enough, Lainy accepted my request to accompany me. And last night was the big night!
We met outside the studio in Manhattan and I asked the instructor, Kimmy if we could get a photo before class, since I knew I would be blogging about it (Yes, I *am* trying to stick my ass out! Sexy, right?)
(Note: you may know/recognize Kimmy as "Lolita Ford" from Gotham Girls Roller Derby. Kimmy is also a certified personal trainer. In addition to training, she also offers private Zumba classes and Zumba parties. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org)
As for the Zumba class itself, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard of it and only knew it was some sort of a dancey type thing. I am not afraid to admit that I do not know how to dance. In fact, I have no rhythm and am highly uncoordinated when anything involves using upper and lower body simultaneously. Knowing that about myself, I still wanted to do it because it sounded super fun. And besides, what's the worst that could happen?
The class was in a studio with a mirror that ran the entire length of one of the 4 walls. That meant you had no choice but to SEE YOURSELF working out. Now, I think this is pretty typical of gyms/studios, but I am not used to it. I understand the purpose of it, and liked having it there so I could watch and mimic the instructors, but it's so embarrassing to see myself - especially trying to do anything that even remotely resembles dancing. Of course it helps to see what I'm doing wrong and try to fix it, but it sucks to see how spastic and awkward I am.
Since this was my first class, and I had no idea what I was doing, I was a bit of a spazz. But you know what? That doesn't matter. I was doing it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new that I *knew* I wouldn't be great at. And in the end, who cares? No one was judging me. No one was even watching me, because I know I wasn't watching anyone else - other than the instructors. And besides, no one is great at anything the first time they try it and we all have to start somewhere - wherever we are right now. Besides, the fate of the world wasn't resting on my performance. I did the best I could, laughed at myself, and even though I turned to Lainy a few times and shot her quizzical "WTF?!" looks, I was doing it. I was working out. I was using my body in a way I never have before and I was having a great time.
At one point I felt like I was doing a particular step pretty well and whispered to Lainy "I'm totally showing that move to Sour Balls at work tomorrow!" (side note: I forgot the move and didn't show him). And when Lainy nailed a move and excitedly exclaimed that "We might officially be dancers now!", I told her we should audition for Solid Gold.
After nearly an hour of jumping around, shaking and rolling our shoulders and arms, moving our hips, some salsa moves and I have no idea whatever else, it was over. And we felt great!
It turned out that I loved this class. I loved Zumba! I had so much fun, got a workout, and had another totally memorable night with Lainykins. We had such a fantastic time that when we left the class and were talking about it, she looked at me, opened her beautiful blue eyes really wide and said (this is a direct quote, mind you:)
"Could you imagine if the outcome of this is we become amazing dancers?!"Oh.
I only stopped laughing long enough to pull out a paper and pen and jot that down before it escaped my brain. She was so excited and what an adorable thing to say. That's my Lainy.
We may or may not become 'amazing dancers' anytime soon, if ever, and I'm pretty sure we have no shot in hell of getting on Solid Gold since it was canceled shortly after she was born - but I do know we're going back for another class later this month. In addition to that, I think she and I will add dance clubs to our repertoire of social activities. After all, we have to show off our amazing new dance moves! Right, Lainy? ;)