The Noonies

Noonies Reunion, O’ahu 2010

Two Noonies walk into a bar.  A stranger asks them, “What are your names?”  One replies, “Noonie,” and the other says, “Noony.”  Guy walks away, confused and no longer interested in making conversation.  Point: Noonies.

If you’re like most people, you won’t understand the humor in this seemingly inane (but true) story.  However, if you have seen the skit “My name is Jeff” on Saturday Night Live that features Maya RudolphFred Armisen, Jason Sudeikas, and host Natalie Portman, you have glimpsed our world.

We are the Noonies: first cousins by birth, psychically linked by the universe, and weird in a way that only a completely asinine skit about a family of eccentric, contemporary art fanatics can illustrate.

Our significant others think we, in fact, share the same brain.  Her husband calls us aliens.  Other terms that might be used to describe Noonies: bosom friends, soul sisters, life partners.  For reference, you might be surprised to learn that Anne Shirley and Diana Barry were old-school Canadian Noonies.

Everyone needs a Noony/ie.  No matter how much distance separates us, or how long it has been since the last conversation, I could pick up the phone at any (reasonable) hour and it will be as if no time has passed at all.  We never fight (although she probably finds me irritating at times).  We will be the first to tell the other she’s acting crazy.  We do not criticize.

There was a time when people mistook us for twins which, if you have seen us together, is quite hilarious.  We look nothing alike, aside from approximate height and being Asian.  I figured out that two of us side-by-side must have created some kind of optical illusion.  However, we do sound nearly identical on the phone and have a habit of speaking in unison.

Noonie has a kid now – a chunky little Booger who is cheek-bitingly adorable and way too large for a 20-month-old.  He is literally half her size already.  I don’t get to see him often, and he has grown too much every time I turn my head.  When I look at him, I flash back to hilarious childhood moments that I shared with his mother.  He is every bit Her Kid and doomed to carry on the weird Noony/ie gene.

A husband/kids/career are all wonderful things, but without a Noony/ie, there is a tendency to lose oneself in one or all of those aforementioned life roles.  She reminds me of the long-haired, nerdy, brace-faced girl I used to be; the girl who wore her brother’s hand-me-downs and walked across the stage at Honors’ Nights in ankle-length, floral-print dresses her mom made.  She would probably think it was completely OK if I still dressed like that.  Noonie keeps me grounded.

I don’t mean to diminish any of my other close female relationships.  In fact, I value each and every one of them, mainly because they are so scarce.  Most importantly, I believe the strength and character of a female are directly correlated with how she relates to other females.

DP, for one, is thankful that Noonies exist.  In fact, he wishes I saw her (and other females) more often because he grows weary of being a sensitive listener.  There is only so much gossip and girly woes one man can take.


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