1: My eccentricities

One of the things that I’ve pretended to love for a very long time is the strangeness that is my personality.

Before this year, I would own up to all sorts of little quirks that I had. In fact, during this year I owned up to a lot of them. They were on the list that I made to catch myself up, too.

But in truth, I was never comfortable with the fact that I’m kind of a crazy person. Maybe if most other people were crazy, too, then it wouldn’t be so bad. But what I’ve learned is that while everyone has their crazy stuff, there are very few people who actually are my brand of crazy.

But this year? This year, I’ve discovered, in a horrible way, that there’s a reason that I’m crazy. I need the crazy to protect myself from reality. Reality doesn’t always make me smile, but the crazy? Yeah, the crazy and the different usually does.

So this year, in 2012, I’m going to say (EARMUFFS, CHILDREN) “Fuck being like everyone else. I need to just be who I am. A crazy bitch who knows what she wants and is going to stop compromising for other people.”

Because you know what? Just typing that made me smile.

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2: Caitlin

In every life, there are those people who become like an extension of your family. When you get married, of course, you’re legit adding to your family. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the friends who have become such an important part of your life that they may as well be blood-related.

Most of the people that I wrote about by name in this blog fit into that category. But, I have to say, none more than Caitlin. Maybe it’s because she was a part of a work family first (Gillett-Hudson WAS a fam, trust me), and then when that family was no more, we stayed important to each other. Or maybe it’s because she’s just that awesome. Not sure. Either way, she has unfortunately been added on to the family by pretty much everyone, especially my little sister’s dog, Shaun. And now she’s stuck with us.

Saving Caitlin for last was a fail on my part. Not because she’s not the best, she really is. Honestly. But because now I’ve said such wonderful things about all my other friends, and I feel like Caitlin deserves even more than that. I doubt that I can pull it off, but I’ll do my best.

Caitlin has inspired a ton of smiles over the past five years. Let’s see:

– there was the time that we drove to Fulton in the middle of the night…on accident…
– the time that we went to Iowa and back in one night…on purpose, to see Frank Warren…
– the inappropriate pictures from after ResHall Ball…
– sing-along Grease!…
– any time period spent at the Diner…
– buying the black, peeing Cabbage Patch doll for that crazy kid…
– when I almost killed us both driving home in that blizzard…
– and just last year when I made my first real snowman in her front yard over Christmas.

You know what? Why don’t you just check the timeline for the rest, huh? Fbook has created that nifty thing, might as well use it, no?

There are a lot of other times that she’s made me smile, too, that go unnoticed.

The funny thing about Caitlin and Taryn is that they’re like my two halves – Caitlin is my more-sane side, I like to think. πŸ˜‰ Actually…maybe it’s the less sane side…eh, whatever. The point is, Caitlin totally understands my nerdy obsessions, even if she doesn’t agree with them, and she gets my crazy-ass insecurities even if she rolls her eyes at me the whole time she’s talking me down.

The great thing about this is that I’m totally cool just hanging out with her when I go to visit. And she’s one of the only people who I call without being under duress for some reason – just to talk, because it’s not weird. And I don’t have to pretend to be someone who’s a lot cooler than I actually am. The awful thing about this is that we don’t live in the same city. When I moved, I was so upset at the thought that I was going to lose the most amazing friend I had…and apparently for nothing.

Caitlin and I pretty much pick back up where we left off when we talk, even if I’ve been a recluse for a month. And I hope it will always be similar, no matter where our lives may lead us, because I know that my life is all the better for having someone great like her as my friend.

I admire this girl for her dedication to what she wants to do. I mean, come on, I bailed on my so-called dream career and found another when the going got tough. But Caitlin? She’s staring down years of schooling to do what she wants, and she’s not batting an eye. That’s persistence.

I also admire her for putting up with me. Yeah, I know, I’ve written a lot about people I’ve known longer than her, but my dad likes to moan and groan about how old he is by saying “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” This friendship has a lot of fucking mileage, both literal and figurative, actually. So I’m going to tell you right now – if I were Caitlin, and my friend were as bat-shit crazy as I am, we may not have made it this far.

For all of this and more, I love love Caitlin. So much so that I embarrassed her with this ridiculous blog, even though I’m moderately suspicious that she’ll hate every word and the fact that it’s public. Almost as much as she hates it when I refer to her as C$. But she knows I’m a crazy bitch, so it doesn’t really matter. πŸ™‚

3: T Wo-No

Sweet baby Jesus.

What to say about Taryn….there are so many, many things I could say. Some good things, some good but embarrassing things. Which, of course, makes them even more fun. Like, you know, how I used to amuse myself our freshman year of college by encouraging her habit of talking in her sleep.

This, I’m convinced, is the reason that she didn’t ask me to give a toast at her wedding. Well…I mean, that and my abysmal non-crying public speaking skillz. I would have started out telling ridiculous stories and then somehow started crying about the time that she got all upset over the stupid stray cat that was stalking our front door when I needed to pee. And then she would cry, because that’s what she does…

Anyhoo…in reality, there are several things I can say about Taryn as she pertains to this particular blog.

Taryn and I were random roommates our freshman year. The first time I met her, I was some scared little girl at summer welcome. And you know what? She totally put me at ease. Was she the type of person I was accustomed to hanging out with? No. But we got along really well. We had Grey’s Anatomy nights with our fab suitemate, Sarah, bonded with our PA, Annie, and stayed up late having girl-talk with SVU on in the background.

When we both became PAs, we stayed friends, even though we weren’t in the same building. Then, after two years of managing the crazies on campus, we both had had enough and moved out – only to be roomies again in the cutest little townhouse ever. I can only remember having like…maybe three or four legit disagreements with this girl, and we lived together. Twice.

And, Oh. My. God. It was so much fun. There are so many good times that we had together at Mizzou that make me smile at a single memory.

What really makes this friendship special, though, is that we kind of grew up together. Four years of friendship may not sound like a lot, but when you’re in college together, it’s practically a separate lifetime. Taryn and I went through many of life’s ups and downs during those four years, you can’t replace that kind of experience. And for me, Taryn was the first friend I had who told me that it was okay to be a bitch sometimes. Not that I wasn’t before, but I felt sooooo guilty about it.

Taryn taught me to stand up for myself. She supported me when I made changes to my life, when I decided not to be a journalist. She took me shopping and made me feel pretty – and for those of you who don’t know, a girl telling you you’re pretty and meaning it is totally different from validation from a guy. She accepted me for who I was and who I wanted (and still aspire) to be at the same time.

Two and a half years after I moved back to Dallas, I’m still calling her my roommate. Because to me, that’s who she’ll always be. I can’t imagine living with anyone else – they might eat red meat. Then what would I do?

But in all seriousness, the thing that amazes me most about my wonderful friend is that she gets me, sometimes better than I get myself. And you can’t pay for that, even with a therapist – trust me, I’ve tried.

In the end, I’m so glad that I went to my backup school (thanks, fear-of-crippling-debt) because if I hadn’t, I never would have met the girl who showed me how to be myself and love it. And, of course, I love her, too. Just a smidge. πŸ™‚

4: Jessica

I keep every card that I’ve ever gotten. They’re hidden in boxes under my guest bed. So, you know, if you ever happen to stay in the guest room one night and can’t sleep, go ahead and use them for some reading material. And as you’re reading the heart-felt sentiments from my old birthday cards, you may notice that some of them are addressed to a person called “Mini-Me.”

Yeah.

That’s me.

Jessica, of course, is the only person who addresses me as such. This is 90% because for the first four years that I knew her, we both decided that I was strikingly similar in personality to her, just a year younger. (Of course, that’s because I was trying to be more like her because I was so impressed with her.)

The other 10% is because my nickname from my grandmother is “EE.” If you don’t get that reference, rewatch the Austin Powers trilogy.

Thank me later.

Back on topic, Jessica and I have been friends for a long time. An embarrassingly long time. Maybe not as long as Rachel, but still pretty long. And it’s embarrassing, because as I alluded to earlier, I totally idolized her at the beginning of our friendship.

Now, it’s not that Jessica doesn’t deserve the admiration, she totally does. But it makes for an unequal and occasionally awkward friendship as we grow up, yes? Here’s what’s cool, though – the friendship has totally turned into something legit.

And as much as I’d like to take credit for it, I can’t. In case you haven’t known me long enough or well enough to notice, I royally screw things up when left to my own devices. And trust me, I tried my best to screw up our friendship, more than once.

But Jessica is nothing if not fiercely loyal and dedicated to her friends. So, when I messed up, she always helped me clean up the spilled milk. And she put my head back on straight to help see me through my greatest challenges. This includes but is not limited to:

  • dealing with my adolescent troubles
  • figuring out where to go to college
  • passing 3B English my sophomore year
  • simply graduating high school alive
  • going to college out of state (a lot of late-night phone calls there)
  • celebrating my 21st birthday
  • becoming a teacher

I owe her times a billion for all of those things and more, which include introducing me to her fabulous now-hubs, who definitely is one of my closest guy friends. In fact, being in their wedding? Definitely the highlight of 2010 for me.

I’m incredibly lucky to have this girl in my life, because even when I’m having a hell of a night, she can make me smile. And that’s what friendship is all about. πŸ™‚

5: Liiiiiiiiz

In my group of friends, most of the people I’ve met through school. Because, you know, I’m a huge nerd. Liz, I have to admit, is someone that I went to high school with. BUT, I’m pleased to amend, we actually weren’t friends in high school, so much.

Okay, that sounded like I didn’t want to be friends with her back in the day, which is not true. I’m just psyched that she counts as a “grown up” friend.Β And, more importantly, she’s on my swiftly shrinking list of single friends.

I love Liz because hanging out with her is such a trip. I’m endlessly indebted to Jessica (see future entry #4) and Chad for getting hitched in Vegas, because Liz and I bonded as bridesmaids during that trip. That’s when I realized that she’s awesome and she realized that I was, at the least, tolerable and mildly amusing.

She offers me a completely different perspective from all my other friends. And I’ll leave it at that because I’ve tried to adequately describe what it is for the past five minutes and it keeps coming out insulting. Clearly, I’m a bitch. But I do value her advice, incredibly highly, because for whatever it is, it’s not bullshit. And that’s rare in my life.

Unless, of course, I were to give one of her improv troupes the prompt “Giving a crazy-ass girl advice about her sad life” one night. Then, I’m sure it WOULD be bullshit, but it’d be hilarious. I go to a lot of performances/celebrations for my friends, and sometimes I’d rather be elsewhere…but when I go to Liz’s shows, I’m always psyched to be there, because I know it’ll be an enjoyable (and more than likely fabulously inappropriate) evening.

And that, dear friends, is why the crazy Liz gets her own entry. Because pretty much every time I see her, she makes me smile. πŸ™‚

7: The Dallas girls

Yes, the girls are going to go together in this one. And that’s mainly because even though I’m about to list reasons why you’re fab, the bottom line is this: you help keep my life in Dallas bearable.

Rachel currently qualifies as my oldest active friend. There are some people who I’ve known longer, but we’re not still hanging out, sadly. But, I feel the need to point out, Rachel has known me since I was IN middle school…and now I’m teaching it. This means that she has an awful lot of dirt on me, and it also means that I cherish her friendship for the years that we’ve known each other. And it turns out that some friendships CAN survive a lot of differences, as long as you’re willing to fight for them.

Jennifer and Emily, though they both qualify in the teacher category as well, have been my go-to after school hangout girls. We make sure to spend enough time after school recouping so that we keep our sanity levels up.

Jennifer and I have similar backgrounds for reasons that neither of us would prefer to admit publicly on this blog. And, of course, this makes us pretty much fast friends.

Emily, despite the fact that I thought for approximately one year that she was waaay too cool for me, has become a great friend for me to spend extra hours with Β – and she actually lives in Mesquite. Miracle of miracles.

All in all, my three girls are fabulous. And they always make me smile! πŸ™‚

6. The boys

Surprise, boys! There’s room for you, too.

Of course, as we girls know, boys are weird. They really don’t care for the public displays of affection. But of course I love them for the guy-qualities.

Girls are girls. And sometimes, I just want to not deal with the drama, the competition, and the pressure of hanging out with girls. Yes, there’s pressure. Let’s not go there, though.

MOST of them are somehow maritally or relationshiply related to one of my “gal pals” (yes, I know that feels wrong, but I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of saying “girl friends,” but then I decided that this IS a blog thanking the boys, so I should go ahead and hand it to them). But even the ones who are not related to my friends in some way are important, too.

The truth of the matter is that I’m indebted to my boys. They keep me sane in this world of girls that I supposedly fit into, making sure that I can be a guy every now and then without judgement.

Wellll, with a small amount of judgement, actually. And sometimes they may or may not enjoy making me act like a girl. And sometimes I use them as fake dates. And sometimes I complain to them about my guy problems or ask them to help me figure out “what this means.”

Oh, sweet baby Jesus, I owe them. Thanks for the laughs, fellas. πŸ™‚

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