Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend
Oregon’s September is still summertime. I spent warm, breezy afternoons at Anna’s house, just across the street from our elementary school. The two of us would sit on the deck, eating pickles. That was not just our after school snack, it was our activity. Our love for the gherkin brought us together. This particular afternoon, we had a jar to ourselves.
Fifteen years later, Anna still doesn’t believe me when I tell her that her tongue turned completely green that day.
After meeting as infants in the nursery at St. Vincent’s Hospital (she had a very firm handshake), we continued to love each other endlessly. Except for 7th grade and we both know who was to blame for that. That year, Anna and I took a break from each other; we had other friends and other conversations but nothing could compare to the opened jar of pickles we still had to finish.
Later, we attended different high schools even though we had specifically asked each other not to. I didn’t want to imagine our ‘freshman homecoming :)<3’ Facebook album photos, but each time I did, they were a sparkly mess.
We are now living on opposite sides of the country. But with 20 years under our best friend belt; the times that we do see each other, it’s like we had never left each other’s side. We have the texts, Facetime screenshots, Gmail chats and back and forth voicemails to prove it.
My father is in and out of contact with his best friend from growing up. Just the other day, he said that ideally he would still like to be neighbors with Eric... in Switzerland and they would raise sheep. Anna and I would like to be neighbors but either in the United States or the south of France. We often joke about raising our kids together but the joke is barely a joke anymore. We both know we’d be happiest with houses right next to each other and an underground tunnel that connects them.
I admired Anna from our beginning. I often credit my sense of humor to her being so accepting of my dorkiness. I thank her for being born four days before me so I will always be younger. She has always had strong and healthy relationships with men. Maybe I’ll allow myself to have one of those someday. I tried to look the way she did in skinny jeans but some things just need to be hers. We share a passion for a good laugh and a good cry, even better if it happens when we are with each other.
As Annie B and Anna B live on through the years and our ups and downs, I’ve found strength in knowing how important the bond is with one’s friends. The ones that you choose, the ones that aren’t in your family tree.
These people become family when their tongue turns green.