When I applied to college, I wrote my essay about how I didn’t know how to drive (I didn’t get my license until I was nearly 21). Each paragraph was about a different car in which I’d ridden, and the lessons I’d learned from the people driving. Well, one of the paragraphs was about a little red Saab with a leaky roof, and a girl with square green glasses whom I drove around with one summer when both our boyfriends were out of town, drinking milkshakes and listening to Sleater-Kinney way too loud.
Well, a couple weeks before my wedding I was sitting once again in the passenger seat of a car, and even though the Saab had been sold and she’d upgraded her glasses, the very same girl was sitting next to me. We were driving on the exact same roads with our music a little too loud on a hot summer’s day, and right before I took this giant step in my life I had a little smile over how much was still the same. And I think that’s kind of a cool thing: no matter how old I get, I have these relationships with certain people that remain so solid and steady. The Boy is one of them, obviously, and Maggie is the other. So today, on the day that she turns 24 years old, I just want to thank her for being one of the best ones.
The kind that you don’t talk to every day, but as soon as you need her she’s there.
The kind that constantly reminds you that it is time to start crafting for your wedding, so you’d better give her a job.
The kind that you call when your high school boyfriend dumps you, and she says, “Come over and watch Gilmore Girls and cry with me.” For that matter, the kind that introduces you to the wonder that is Gilmore Girls.
The kind that is not afraid to tell you when you’re being a jerk.
The kind that is so wise, every time you give her advice you have to preface it with, “I know you already know this, but…”
The kind that never loans you her clothes, because she knows you’ll never give them back.
The kind who knew, before you even really knew yourself, that you were kind of in love with that boy. The kind who told you to just call him up and tell him.
The kind who casually whips out her phone on your wedding day, and takes hands down the best photo of the entire night.
The kind who is always a better friend to you than you are to her, but still loves you anyway.
The kind who has known you since you were fourteen, and no matter how old and mature you get, will never let you forget that you once wore white kitten heels, a denim mini skirt, and a Harley Davidson crop top. At the same time. The kind who doesn’t hold that sort of thing against you.
I moved around a lot growing up, so I’ve experienced a plenty of friendships that were wonderful while they lasted, but faded away over the years. And sometimes that’s sad, but mostly it’s just normal. Relationships grow old and decay, much like anything else. But sometimes you meet someone, and you probably don’t notice it at first, but little by little they become an inextricable part of your life. Because some friendships aren’t meant to last, but the best ones do.
Photo by Katch Silva.