Once upon a time, a very long time ago (fine, it was about 1.25 years ago) I didn’t know one of my closest friends.
Do you ever think about these things? Like, think back to a time when you didn’t know someone who has become such a huge part of your life you kind of can’t imagine them not being there?
And I don’t mean not being there like once and a while, like email every now and then catching up, how’ve you been, good, you? good, that kind of friendship, or the kind where you comment on each other’s blog now and then, or the kind where you’re kind of caught up on what the other person’s got going on Twitter-wise and you chat now and then.
No. Like the kind where you chat all day long on email; where you share pretty much everything – the good, the bad, the ugly, the things that make you feel like crap for feeling them, the things that make you overjoyed for having experienced them but you can’t really tell the world yet because they’re not for general consumption; the kind where you run ideas past each other for things, like writing and plans and schemes and both long-term and short-term goals; where you have a whole shorthand with each other made up of inside jokes and shared history and just this deep love and respect and joy in this person.
Much like this most excellent interspecies friendship.
That kind of friendship. The kind that only comes around, if you’re lucky, a few times in your life. The kind that’s for keeps. The kind that’s real.
In March of last year, I met one of the best friends I’ve ever had, and, I’m quite sure, one of the best friends I will ever have. But, as these things go, at the time I had no idea she would become that person. When you meet someone at first, you don’t know who they’ll become. That’s kind of sad, to me. And also kind of amazing. That you meet someone that becomes one of your people, and at first, they’re just a person. It takes time before they become THAT person.
I don’t even remember where it all started. I know she found me. Because she’s better at internetting than I am. I’m guessing through Insatiable Booksluts? And then she commented on my blog. And I thought, this chick, she is FUNNY. I like her style, yo. So I went over and commented on HER blog. And she asked if she could email me a blog draft, to see what I thought. And I totally sent her my secret email address because I didn’t know her well enough to send her my real address. Because stalkers, you see. Only my best beloveds get my real email address. (I just looked that email up and laughed at how formal we were with each other. Hee!)
We talked a lot on Twitter; we commented on each other’s blogs; and one day, by accident, she was accidentally cc’d in on an email and SAW MY REAL EMAIL ADDRESS ZOMG. And she was SO EMBARRASSED SHE SAW IT. And I was all, “Um. Actually? That’s the only email address I can check at work. I was going to ask if you wanted to write to me on that, since I can’t check Twitter at work anymore because my job is just the utter worst and I hate it like the fire of a thousand suns?” (I didn’t say that. Probably I cussed more. I really hated that job.)
And she was ADORABLY HONORED and we started what, I am quite sure, is an email correspondence to rival all other correspondences until the end of time. Seriously, we write, on average, 50-100 emails each to each other DAILY. Also we supplement those with texts, tweets, blog comments, and Facebook messages.
And we share joys and sorrows and we worry about each other and we care about each other and we bitch and we laugh and we cheer and we have so many things in common that we just kind of click and we just GET it, and, most honestly and sincerely, I can’t tell you what I did without her in my life, pre-her being here, and I couldn’t possibly imagine a life without her in it now. She makes life easier. She makes the hardest tasks more bearable, because when you have her, you don’t have to do them alone.
And I would absolutely stand in front of a herd of stampeding Zombiecorns in order for her to make her escape.
And someday we will be in the same place at the same time and there will be so much talking and laughing and the joy in that room will overflow and everyone in the whole area will be suffused with it and wonder, what is happening? And we will be happening, is what will be happening. Us us us.
And if any of you says the internet is a thing that drives people apart rather than brings them together, and no real friendships can be made over social media, and that you can’t have a real friendship with someone you’ve never met…well.
You don’t know my sj.
Happy birthday, my most precious lemondrop. You make every day a better one; you keep me sane when everything’s flying to bits; you help me see the hilarity when nothing seems like it will ever be funny again; you are a voice of reason when I need one and a shoulder to cry on when I need one and the person I want to tell things to when they finally, amazingly, somehow work out; you are the one I want to run my words by before I send them out for the general public; you are the one that understands what I mean to say when I don’t know what I mean to say; you bring me music and words and laughter and you paint my life in color and I thank the universe, every single day, that out of all the people on the interwebs, that day a little over a year ago, you found me.
Have the best day. You deserve nothing but the best. Let’s be old ladies yelling at kids from our porches someday, telling stories about the good old days and drinking things utterly cluttered with crushed ice. Let’s still crack up about Sweatband Time. Let’s still make fun of terrible television and swoon over utterly beautiful turns of phrase in books.
Everyone wish sj the best day, please, because if anyone deserves a kajillion comments about the best, best day, it is sj. She is an amazing mom and wife and writer and daughter and sister and friend and…well, shit. One of the finest people I have the honor to know.
Love you, sj. Thank you for being one of the best treasures the internet has ever had to offer. I don’t want to live a life without you in it, not even a little teeny tiny bit, and not even ever.
And of course here’s some Ben Lee. You of course get some Ben Lee today. He’s your teeny singing boyfriend.