Sunday, March 3, 2013

just knowing.

Today I was thinking about sometimes I just know. I just know when someone else is going to be my friend. I can remember specifically where I was when I realized that yes, this person is going to be my friend.  Sometimes I don't know until after the fact, but I can look back and think, yeah. That was when I knew we could be friends.  Way good friends.  I suppose this doesn't happen with everyone (especially people I became friends with when I was like five), but I was just thinking of a few today.

Starting seventh grade was a weird time.  I was going to be starting at a new school and my class was going to be made up of a combination of a bunch of different elementary schools.  I think when I started school I wanted to stick with my friends from elementary school, but at the same time I think I knew that things were going to change.  A few weeks into the school year, I noticed a tall and skinny redhead who was in a bunch of my classes. So being the weird a fairly socially awkward tween that I was, one day I went up to her and was like, "Hey, we have four classes together."  I mean, this girl really knows how to make a first impression, right?  But it was true, we really did have four classes together; P.E., math, science, and english (and we might have had five classes together if she hadn't been a band geek--band was only offered first period, so if she hadn't done that, she might have been in my history class, too).

Anyway, I think because we had those four classes together, we were basically bound to become friends.  After a while, we ended up trying to do all P.E. activities together and we talked about math homework (nerd alert), we tried to sit next to each other in science and we would do our group projects together, and we would walk to english together (and then we had to sit on opposite sides of the room--so lame!). 

And middle school is weird, I mean let's be real.  And so even though we had all these classes together, it was still like, she has her friends and I have my friends and so can we be friends? or is that breaking the tween's code of friendship and loyalty?  And so I remember we would hang out in all our classes, but would we hang out at lunch? Would we go to each other's houses? So dramatic! And stressful!

But I remember when I knew Annie and I were going to be good friends.  We were sitting in science class and we were probably supposed to be working on a worksheet or something, but what I was really doing was just talking to Anne.  She was sitting in the desk in front of me and we were talking.  She had one hand on her chin and cheek and her elbow on my desk and I was trying to get her to believe ridiculous (and not true) stories about my family.   Little Annie didn't believe any of the crap I was saying and we just ended up laughing and laughing about it.  And that's just when I knew.  That's when I knew I wanted her to be my friend.  I wanted her to hang out with me instead of her other friends. I wanted her to call me to hang out and to go to the mall and to have ridiculous middle school conversations with (for example, boys!  but really, we were nerds, so it was more like, homework!).

And somehow it worked.  For some reason she didn't think I was a complete loser (even after that creepy stalker-style approach to our friendship that day in P.E. class) and we became best friends.  Pretty much all of my middle school and high school memories include my red-headed Anne.  And I'm really glad they do because that girl.  I freaking love her and we are really perfect for each other, it's so real.  And it was a good thing we had all those classes together that year because it never happened again. The most we ever had together after that was maybe two?  But that Annie, how I love her. No other normal girl would have put up with how weird (SERIOUSLY) I was in middle school and high school, I mean, not a joke, people. I was so weird.  But she stuck it out with me and seemed to even enjoy it when I walked up to people at lunch and started singing to them about a shining star (seriously, WHY?) or when I was always so sarcastic or when we had badminton practice after school for the four years of high school (it's a real sport, foolz) and when I would talk so loudly (nothing has changed) or when I had my first boyfriend and I was just weird about it (sounds about right) or when I would I would want to take a million pictures of us doing homework (really? really.). 

Having a best friend is kind of awesome and it is especially awesome to have a best friend for that long, even through those highly dramatic and emotional middle school and high school years. But being best friends with Annie was never hard because she is such a good person.  I don't ever remember arguing with her or being mad with her, which now that I think about it, is extremely impressive.  We spent every weekend together, had a million sleepovers with us and Katie (TULAF, baby!), ate ridiculous amounts of crappy food, stayed up way too late, took WAY too many pictures, and had just the right amount of fun.

Another great thing about Anne (and Kate) was that they never thought I was super weird or thought any less of me because of my religious beliefs. And that was something I really, truly appreciated during middle school and high school.  Sometimes it can be hard to stand up for what you believe in and some people have friends who think they're crazy for making many of the choices they do based on religious beliefs.  But Annie was never like that. She knew many of my beliefs and respected them and never asked me to do anything she knew would make me uncomfortable.  And honestly, above all else, this is probably why she has been my friend for so long.  Because I could count on her. Because I didn't have to feel uncomfortable around her. Because I knew she cared about me and knew that my religious beliefs were important to me and that even if she thought they were different, she was still my friend. Always.

Also, I'm a crier but I'm not really a crier.  But I remember the night before I left for college we both got all teary-eyed as we hugged each other goodbye by her car because we knew it would never be the same. And I remember when she cried to me over the phone after she had broken up with her boyfriend in college. And when I go home to visit, she is person I most want to see besides my family.  Because when I see her, it's pretty much like I never left because she's my Annie and she's my best friend.  She's an amazing person and approximately 63 times smarter than me (she majored in neurobiology and physiology and beingsmartology) and she's going to do amazing things with her life.

You're the best, Annie. And don't you forget it, yo.
p.s. as always, this post ended up being so much longer than I anticipated it would.


Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Oh, lucky you! I love the way you described how your friendship came to big ways and small, you were truly meant to be friends!

Kay said...

What a great tribute to a great friend!

Unknown said...

A friendship like this is truly something to cherish!

Lori said...

Your post made me smile. And miss my daughter's friends that were always at our house!

Mom said...

But totally worth the read!!! Having a good friend is one of the greatest blessings in life-- and you have been so fortunate to have many. It was great for us to know that you had a real, true friend during those middle and high school years. Lucky you!