Today is Jessica’s birthday.
Ever since I started doing things like turning 20, Jessica always did it first. For that, I will be ever grateful. It’s not so weird to be 24 or 29 or 31 when your soul mate does it first. As panicky and weird as I have gotten over a birthday, I can only imagine that it would have a certain kind of awful if I didn’t have the knowledge that it was ok and normal, because that’s how old Jessica is.
And today she is 32. I always have this sense of gratitude on her birthday and rather wish that I could wax nostalgic on her actual birth. But thanks, all the same, to Crazy Janey and Jimbo who made it all possible. And to the brothers, who used to feel like halfway to my own brothers, for being a part of that person.
I don’t know how a person like me got a friend like her, but I’m awfully glad that I did. She’s the best sort of person possible. She is patient and listens to people. I get jealous, in fact, of just how well she can listen to absolutely dullards. She is adorably (possibly freakishly) in love with her cats. She has a wonderful fashion sense, appreciative of the right flavors of quirk, vintage, and classiness. And she changes and evolves so that it’s almost kind of like having a whole new friend, who you immediately love from the word Go. A new friend who suddenly likes miso.
David’s sister had a baby girl yesterday, Elizabeth Joy.
To be fair, David’s sister’s husband sent an e-mail with the subject Elizabeth Joy!
Some people interpret this to mean that they had a baby girl, named her Elizabeth, and then felt joy.
Other people may surmise that Elizabeth has a middle name and it may be Joy.
I kid that I have more man tendencies than I should, me being a girl. I’m no butch, but I do do some things that really remind me of how guys function.
I think babies are boring. I want to think that they’re cute. But they just don’t DO anything.
I have a high tolerance for messiness and untidiness.
I like to have answers.
Last night, my dearest friend admitted some personal stew in her pot that was making her sadly. And I opened my mouth and unleashed a torrent of blather about why it was all really fine. I can’t even remember what it was I was trying to say, because I think it was all nonsense. Or just noises to try and solve it all up, shove it in a box, and put it on the top shelf of the closet under an old blanket. When maybe I could have just said that I was sorry. Or to tell me if it develops further. Or that it’s ok to feel worried.
I like pink and purple and I buy unreasonable high heeled shoes that are too hurty to wear and I like flowers for no reason. But I just had a very shameful manly moment and I might need to regroup my girl goodness to recover.
At this moment, I have 447 friends on Facebook. Which feels a bit like I’m on my way to Tila Tequila, considering I only have about 5 actual friends.
Among these acquaintances are a good number of connections from my pre-high school era. When I was 4, my family moved to Greenville, North Carolina where my dad would be working for the pharmaceutical company Borroughs-Wellcome. We lived there, at 201 Courtney Place, until January of 1992 at which time I was half way through the 9th grade. I lived a whole childhood there. I had friends. I had the cool, pretty, skinny girls that I was jealous of. I had crushes on boys named Ben and Peter.
I was completely heartbroken to leave. My group of girl friends through me a surprise sleep over party. It was supposed to just be a sleepover with Anne and I remember planning to not stay over night because I was just so miserable and crying constantly that I didn’t want to go to her house at all. But I got there and all of my friends jumped out and scared the crap out of me. And I did cry, but it was one of the sweetest things ever. They were such good friends, but I was so young when we left, and I mostly didn’t keep in touch.
In retrospect, though, I’m glad I didn’t stay there. It was definitely The South and it was small town, tobacco country. I have come to appreciate being from somewhere a bit more metropolitan, although take that with a grain of salt when talking about Clinton, NJ. But in high school and college, I was an hour away from New York City, not 3 hours away from Raleigh. There are some bad connotations with the hair of Jersey Girls, but I have to say, I think some of the fashion sense of that 80’s era in that North Carolina land was much, much worse. Many things about that place were just more close minded. It’s hard to imagine what might have become of me if I had stayed there, but so many of those kids are still in Greenville, or are very close by, that I don’t think I’d have made it to San Francisco. And if nothing else, I am quite happy that my path got me here.
So I’ve become “friends” with some of these kids on Facebook and in the past few days, someone posted a bunch of pictures from middle school and high school. There’s one of about 20 kids grouped in someone’s living room and it’s titled The Night Before We All Left For College. And I just can’t believe that I wasn’t there, that that was almost my life, but then it wasn’t.