Different as night and day, Mary Margaret and I still laugh about the way we met. I enter my UT dorm room, having been randomly assigned my roommate for the year. She got a post card on the matter. Mine got lost in the mail, so I had no idea what I was in for. I turned the corner to spot the tiniest little girl with the largest mane of reddish blonde hair I’d ever seen. Alongside and helping her stood her Southern Belle mother hanging the gosh awfulest lot of preppy clothes, all monogrammed with her signature MMM, most piped in pink or green.
(“Dear Lord” I thought. “What have you signed me on for?”)
Of course she was going through sorority rush. I, on the other hand, was holding down 3 part time jobs and racing to get through school so as to get to work as quickly as possible. I had career on the brain. She, M.R.S. on the brain. (Before it was all said and done, she concluded a civil engineering degree was easier. Today she designs bridges for a living, and is married to a great guy, proving you can have it all, if you manage it right.)
More than reminiscing on the past, however, when we get together it’s seldom spent recalling our glory days (for we think we are living them now). Instead, we jump immediately to the here and now, Why? Because life has taught us that time is precious and carpe diem is a motto to strive for. We’re good at jumping straight to the important stuff, and are very skilled at cramming a whole lot of catch up into a fairly short window of time.
MM is a breast cancer survivor. On top of this, she survived a near fatal car crash in her 30s when a tractor-trailer crossed over the interstate median hitting her straight on. She was by her mother’s side as she battled cancer, and just last year she held her brother’s hand as he too, made his transition. She’s tough as nails, and sweet as honey…In short, the epitome of a “steel magnolia” ~a Southern Belle through and through.