I met Katie when we were wide eyed, 18 year old, freshman at Boston College. I had slightly contradictory first impressions of the girl who would later become my best friend. In a drowning sea of JCrew outfits and fake smiles, I thought she was very real. But I was also overwhelmed by her. She had a boyfriend that she planned to marry. She had a promise ring and a hope chest, and I had never heard of either. She dreamed of decorating her future home and having lots of kids…I don't even dream of those things now, 12 years later.
Still, we became friends. Later, best friends. I lucked out in the best friend lottery.
The most famous story about Katie comes from the night I met Eric. She had befriended Eric's friend Brian during the night and he had already nicknamed her "fiancé," not because they planned to get married but because he thought she had a fiancé :) At the end of the night, I found her giving Eric my number. "How do you know my phone number!?" I demanded. It was a serious question, I still could only vaguely rattle off a few of her numbers even today. I just rely on Siri to know exactly who I mean when I say, "Call Bestie."
The next weekend we sat in her bedroom discussing if I should meet up with Eric again. I had spent the day studying and didn't feel like going into Boston. "But, what if he is your husband?" she asked. "He's not going to be my husband," I replied. Oops.
It's a good story, but there are so many others.The time I met Katie in a Bertucci's parking lot at 7 am to tell her I was pregnant. The time we went out to a club by ourselves. The many Bud Lights. The many glasses of wine. The walks around the reservoir. The dinners before quilting. The tables we danced on in Aruba. The tailgating in our Superfan shirts. The phone conversations on the way to my student teaching in Australia…and the many phone conversations in the 10 years since. The voicemails that get cut off because they are so long.
It's funny now to look back on those first impressions and think about how little they really matter. Now, 12 years later Katie and I have a lot in common. We both have a little boy. We both value friendship. We both work hard and get overwhelmed by work. We both are married to guys that make us laugh. We both love a glass of Pinot Grigio. We both get anxiety about meeting new people or not knowing what to expect. We both love vacations.
We still have differences, but instead of hesitation they give us new perspective. I won't throw a Pinterest worthy birthday party, but I will certainly attend Katie's. She will not run a race, but she will cheer me on at mine. I will probably never make a quilt. She will probably never write a blog (or will she?). The feeling of being understood and supported even when the other person doesn't share the same desires is true friendship.
We have been through many "big things" together: college graduation, memorable birthdays, both weddings, trips and of course bringing Teddy and Max (BFFs, see above) into the world. But what stands out to me is the small things. The fact that good news doesn't feel real until it's been shared with Katie. Or that if something annoying happens at work I can vent to Katie for my whole commute home and not even feel bad that I just massively dominated our phone conversation. That if I have no idea what I'm doing with Max, I can just quickly text "what should I do about ____?" That when "flabbergasting" things happen, I can count on a hilarious voicemail from Katie. That Katie will take care of logistics she knows are going to stress me out. That Katie wrote notes and presents to Max "from Teddy" every month of my pregnancy so Max and I have so many fun books to read and toys to play with.
We will still be friends when we are 90. Do you get to choose roommates in the nursing home? If so, I pick Katie.
Do you have a best friend? Tell me all about her (or him!)