ode to mern

Thirty-seven years ago today a very special person came into this world. She arrived only three weeks after I did and thousands of miles away in Buenos Aires, but as I found out recently, our due dates were the same day, which explains a lot.

We are polar physical opposites:

* She’s 5’1″; I’m 5’10”
* She’s brunette; I’m blond
* She’s dark and tan; I’m freckled and fair skinned, like scary-ghost fair
* She dons piercings and tats; I have neither

Our personalities vary as well:

* She loves cats, I despise them am not a fan
* She wears leopard print platforms; I wear nerdy flats
* She likes Ganster Movies; I like Chick Flicks
* She eats Hawaiiian style pizza; I barfed in my mouth a little just typing the words

And currently, our lives are as different from each other’s as they can possibly be – She’s a kick-ass doctor living it up in Manhattan, and I’m a SAHM living in the burbs of California (Cali as she now calls it with a hint of a NY accent).

But despite all these differences, the two of us are essentially the same person – spiritually, emotionally and metaphysically. Sometimes I feel as if we have the same exact heart. Over the years we have called each other a gazillion times with the exact same story to tell each other, just with different names and places. Our narcissistic tendencies juxtaposed with our self-doubts and predisposition for panic attacks and meltdowns are identical and not to be matched.

We have been each other’s Rock for 24 years.

We’ve laughed til we cried and cried til we laughed.

We’ve talked on the phone for hours and sat in silence to provide solace.

We’ve held each other’s hair back, both literally and figuratively.

We’ve danced on tables in Mexico and seen the sunrise in New York City.

We’ve survived her driving the wrong way down one-way streets in her dilapidated Nissan Sentra and my driving home from TJ in my filthy Nissan 240SX crammed with 8 people.

We’ve abetted each other’s drive-bys (the innocent is he home? kind) and punctuated each other’s Dear John letters.

We’ve worn plastic concert wristbands for an entire summer as a token of our loyalty to one another.

We both have a thing for David Letterman and Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda.

She is one of the most beautiful people I have ever known and I am more than proud of her accomplishments. She saves lives on a daily basis and has saved mine more times than I can count. She also diagnoses my random ailments on a daily basis (she’s going to start charging me soon).

She is my BFF.

She’s the one and only Dr. Mariana Salerno, whom I affectionately call Mern, my daughters call Tia, and all the 8th graders at FWP in 1985 called “the cool new girl with the braid.”

¡Feliz Cumpleanos Mariana! ¡Te Quiero Mucho!

Cheers to you!

!Arriba, Abajo, Al Centro, Para Dentro!



  1. 1
    BENJIE says:

    You totally made me well up and laugh at the same time Mar! Man, I miss that girl too! I hope we can all get together soon, drink some wine and pee our pants laughing about the stupid shit we did. Love you both sooo MUCH!!

  2. 2
    Sean Harrison says:

    You forgot the glue that really keeps you together. The adoration and strange attraction to the late Anthony Perkins. When the country legalizes gay and plural marriage can I be a brides maid?

  3. 3
    Tracey says:

    Your mean cat comment didn’t escape me MBG!!!! I will always remember your sweet reaction when Peeper died! :-)

  4. 4

    These are the reasons I love you both so much, too. xoxox

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