Girls I Have Loved

Although that is a more risque title than the post warrants, it stands. I was thinking about how lucky I’ve been to have some serious female companionship in my life. My high school / junior college best friend’s birthday is today, and every time I think of her, I smile. Here are the highlights from a life of rewarding female friendship (many guy friends, but usually only a girl or two at a time).

my little sister – Since it was mostly just the two of us as we grew up, we spent a lot of time together in my first 18 years. Indeed, she was the poor soul drafted to play all my wacky games & participate in my home dance / theatre / vocal performances. Probably the best part of being her friend (well, sister) was that she was up for anything, no matter what silly ideas I had. When I went through a phase where I named all the trees and wrote endless stories about the dryads that lived there, she played along. She was an excellent sport.

our neighbor – They say that groups of three never work & that someone is always odd-man-out. I was lucky enough to meet the girl who defied those rules. She lived across the street & a couple of houses down, and she was between my sister & I in age. We spent two years together dancing to Grease & The Sound of Music, jumping in her pool & telling ghost stories. She never chose one sister over the other & always made us both feel equally special. The best part of being her friend was how easygoing & effortless she was, and how she made me into a better sister to the aforementioned baby sis of mine.

my high school girl – This is the one who is having a birthday today. She lived a block away from me, and we spent our years in high school & the local junior college doing everything & nothing together. Because she lived so close, we would walk over to each other’s houses all the time – to watch TV, torment her younger brother, bake, play games, anything. Our phone calls routinely sounded like this… One of us – Hello? … The other one – I’m coming over … *dial tone* The best part of being her friend was how loyal and supportive she was. When I was with her, I believed I could do anything. Once or twice in that turbulent adolescent time, I found myself in situations I couldn’t handle & she was my port in the storm. I’ll never forget that.

my college girls – Although I had a little group of girls I met at college, they moved far away much too soon, but one in particular stayed in the Bay Area. I would drive back almost every weekend & spend 2… 3… 4… days in her little one-bedroom apartment (that she shared with her boyfriend – sorry!) because I just loved her company. She remains one of the most dynamic people I’ve ever met. She’s fearless & the life of any gathering. We played Barbies (in our 20s, I know, I know), watched game shows, drove aimlessly, took photos & had a wonderful time just being together. For sure, the best part of being her friend was knowing that anything could happen & it’d be fun. She never judged, never let me down & always had a smile.

my current girl – We met 7 years ago at a dead end job. One of our first conversations was about how ridiculous Precious Moments figurines are & I left our work area in tears from laughing so hard. She’s spontaneous & well-read & we share a sense of humor to a disturbing degree. She’s the only person I know who, like me, considers texts / email a valid form of serious conversation, is truly interested in grammar, chooses jobs / careers based on if they satisfy her social conscious, and make horrible, unacceptable jokes to deal with pain. The best part about being her friend is that we know it’s permanent. Even when we get irritated with each other or one of us is busy / unavailable for an extended period of time, we know the other will be a part of our lives. There’s a freedom in that knowledge that cannot be undervalued.

Most of these girls have moved on / out / away (Sacramento, don’t know, New York, Los Angeles, ask me again in a month, respectively) & I only talk with two on a regular basis (first & last on the list), but I’m so grateful they’ve been there over my lifetime, making everything just that much sweeter.

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