One of the biggest Pillow Talk fans is my dear friend Ben Church. We met as teenagers at Central Piedmont Community College so we could get high school and college credit on our transcripts. As seemingly the only two queer, homeschooled students on Levine Campus, there was an instant connection — our shadows cast a rainbow on the school’s brick face. We met in our first class around 8:15am, 45 minutes early because, well, that’s what good homeschoolers do: Not realize non-homeschooled students are never on time for class, let alone in their seats before the teacher is there.
The two of us were the happy face and sad face theatrical masks: he turned on the waterworks over wonderful and sad things while I was the buoyant Liza Minnelli of the Student Government Association. He used to punctuate a sentence with, “Kisses, Ben!” when we were supposed to be practicing Spanish in the language lab. He sounded like a walking 8×10 glossy that an MGM starlet might sign in bulk to mail to fans of their movies.
This weekend, we joined forces to meet the (hopefully) future first female president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.
Hillary was set to speak in support Senator Kay Hagan’s reelection campaign last Saturday at the Charlotte Convention Center. The event invited past and present volunteers. I tore tickets at the front door. Then I wormed my way to the front of the crowd. Hillary spoke last. I was mesmerized by her presidential-esque speech, which was filled with quotables like, “Women’s rights are like the canary in the cave. If you don’t protect them, everyone’s rights are at stake.”
I almost cried, but I wanted to preserve my makeup in case I got a photo with her. Ben, who was down several people from me, was full-on blubbering. The two eventually came around the front row and shook hands with people. I was squished between a lithe man and a big guy who stuck his green-checked shirted arm over my head to shake Clinton’s hand.
Then she was in front of me.
“Congratulations on your granddaughter!” I said.
“Thank you!” she said.
That’s when my head start spinning. Her face was glorious and wise and smiling. I looked at her turquoise beads and earrings.
“Turquoise is your color!” I said, and she laughed. Yes, I made Hillary Clinton laugh. All we needed were two mimosas, a fluffy pink bed and a captain’s hat and we would have been filming an episode of Pillow Talk.
Ben, through tears, told her that she inspired him. Her eyes got glassy. Glassy! They were crying together.
Once the last Secret Service agent disappeared behind the navy curtain, I found Ben. We made a high five Hillary video, and then went out for celebratory nachos and frozen margaritas. We gabbed en route to the restaurant about the quality of Hillary’s handshake.
“It was firm,” he said.
“Her hands were soft,” I noted.
“She exfoliates,” he said, as if he knew this fact the whole time and was just now telling me.
The experience of meeting Hillary is even more special because I did it with my old partner-in-crime. Ben, I can’t wait until Hillary invites us for brunch in the Diplomatic Room someday.
Until next week: What’s the best and/or most exciting thing you’ve done with a best friend? Tell me and follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!