Goddess mug shot The Goddess Speaks

Laurie Okawa Moore

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Friend’s departure is
like losing a twin sister

Aside from a new change of clothes or spare change found between the couch cushions, change does not thrill me. At middle age I have become thoroughly entrenched in my comfort zone. So when big changes come, I get a little cranky.

Recently, my co-worker and very good buddy Gina announced she had found a new job. A job that will take her away from our office and make her a part of someone else's office. A job that will no longer allow her to go on commando shopping raids with me during lunch hour. A job that will no longer allow us to work out at the Punahou Spa when we're not shopping during lunch hour. A job that will make my own job much harder, because she and I have worked on many projects together during the last 12 years.

Although I am happy that she found a job that speaks to her passion for education and kids AND is at her alma mater, Kamehameha Schools, AND puts her close to her son who attends that school, I am selfishly sad for me. And yes, for now it is all about me.

There are those rare people in life whom you like from the very beginning. Gina is that kind of person. Gina and I have seen each other through major life stages: divorce, remarriage, childbirth and the weight gain that comes with all three. We were counting carbs before it was cool. We have shared day-care horror stories, commiserated over temperamental daughters, marveled at the similarities of our ex-husbands, celebrated sales at Old Navy and Macy's, and become a part of each other's lives.

Over the years, it sometimes seemed like we were twins separated at birth, even though she is the tall Portuguese/ Hawaiian and I am the short Japanese/chop suey. One of our friends compared our situation to that movie "Twins" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. (Guess who got to be Arnold.)

We both drive the same type of SUV, which prompted one co-worker to dub us "the Isuzu sisters." We have shown up at work wearing the same outfit (a weird side effect of shopping at the same stores). Our kids went to the same preschool, and at one point our families all went to the same church.

When I started writing "Goddess Speaks" columns, I encouraged her to do the same. She was ecstatic when her column was published and she proclaimed herself a "Minor Goddess," in deference to me.

The pragmatic side of us made contingency plans for the future. We have vowed to meet with our other office gal pals at least once a month. We have vowed to keep in touch through e-mail. We will keep each other on speed dial.

The other night, I was complaining to my husband, Bill, that with Gina gone, nobody will laugh at my jokes at work anymore. He suggested e-mail, which I said would not be the same because I wouldn't hear Gina's straight-from-the-gut laughter.

"Laurie, this is Gina we're talking about," he reminded me. "You could probably hear her laugh from a neighbor island!"

True, my Gina is a lot of endearing things, and being loud is one of those things. So I am sure that the silence she leaves behind will be deafening.

Laurie Moore is director of communications at the Hawaii Credit Union League.

The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and
about women. If you have something to say, write
"The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813;
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