so if my cousin little pete is the closest thing i've got to a sibling... my best friend 'nit' must be an honorary cousin... and in my book that's pretty damn special.
nit and i have known each other since we were two... our friendship began when we crashed tricycles one day on the footpaths of wantirna (nit was a very pale kid... i used to think she was an albino... who was allergic to everything and lived about 2-minutes down the road in a house with an in-ground pool).
nit was also an only kid and a tomboy... so we immediately bonded over scabby knees, dirt bombs and beating the boys at everything...
while nit and i hit it off immediately... our parents didn't. i think her mum (a cultured and dutifully polite person) tried to make friends with my mum but changed her mind when a semi-naked, cigarette smoking, suburban 'blondie' answered the door with an aggressive HELLO (that translates to: 'who the fuck are you and what the fuck do you want?') after 10 or so minutes because she couldn't hear the knocking because the music was up so loud.
our dads would say hello if they bumped into each other walking the dogs... but that's about it.
nit and i spent nearly every day together when we were little. we both went to the same primary school and i'd always head over to her place after school.
(FYI... i spent a lot of time at other kids' houses. even before i'd started primary school i'd leave my house early in the morning and come back when it got dark... mum didn't like having me inside and i didn't like being inside... so when i got sick of the backyard i'd just go to a friend's house until 'it was time to go'... then i'd go to another friend's house and hang around until 'it was time to go'... and so on)
anyways, nit was a very busy child whose parents gave her a lot of extra-curricular activities... she either had piano lessons, elite tennis practice, swimming training, language classes... or some other thing that prodigious kids with 'encouraging' parents had to do. and while we were equally good at everything at school... nit's folks didn't really approve of her hanging out with the nomadic bogan kid from down the road with THAT mother.
one morning on the christmas holidays (before we were to commence grade 2) i went round to nit's house to play. her mum answered the door and said that anita couldn't play today because she was busy. disappointed, i said bye and left... but not before peeking over the gate to see if i could wave at nit. and i did see her... i saw her playing inside with the ridiculously tall, boringly well-mannered and well-spoken red head from school, louise harris.
feeling rejected, i went back home and sat in my cubby, staring at the latest new kids on the block poster torn from the back page of tv week... and that's when i did something that would almost wreck our friendship forever. i got out a clean piece of foolscap paper and a sharpened grey-lead... and in my best cursive script... wrote a hate letter to anita using the worst profanities and expletives that a nomadic, bogan, 7-year-old tomboy could come up with. i finished my letter... folded it in four... walked back to nit's house and put it in the letterbox.
later that afternoon nit's mum came over and belted at our front door. when mum eventually answered i could hear nit's mum yelling (but in a refined voice)... accusing mum of helping me write a despicable letter that had made her daughter very upset. mum said she didn't know anything about it (which was true)... so nit's mum kept waving the crumpled piece of paper under mum's nose pointing at f-words and c-words and other words that she reckoned a 7-year-old couldn't have come up with on their own.
when nit's mum eventually left mum came outside to chat. while she wouldn't encourage me to write obscene hate letters, she was aware that nit's mum had been interfering with our friendship and had a fair idea of why i'd reacted the way i did. i think she probably wished i'd addressed the letter to nit's mum and not to nit though...
from then on our mums were at war and as a result nit and i hated each other. we turned into fierce rivals at school... competing to be the BEST at cross-countries, poison ball, maths tests, bike-ed, spelling bees... you name it. nit hung out with louise harris... and i made friends with 'reidy' (the kid with the growing problem who stole kids' play lunches) and 'jenkins' (the only boy who could do the flip around the bar on the monkey bars).
this fight lasted for nearly 2 years... and it was really hard to maintain the hate when we had so much in common and shared the same basketball court at lunchtimes.
eventually we gave up competing and admitted that both our mums were mental. i apologised for being a psycho bogan and nit apologised for letting her mum pick her friends and for giving me the cold shoulder.
we've been friends ever since... and we will be forever.
FYI... both our parents still live in the same houses in the eastern suburbs. our mums still hate each other... even though they are polite when they bump into each other at the supermarket... and our dads still say hi if they see each other in the street... even though the dogs died a long time ago.
nit, i think this sums it up: