Ten years ago (yes, C, it’s been that long…I did the math) I hesitantly decided to be the fourth in an apartment cohabited by my friend Jenny and her two friends, Carolyn and Jennifer. Little did I know that my decision that year in college would change my life forever.
Jenny, Jennifer, Carolyn, and I didn’t have a whole lot in common. Jenny was very sporty and often gone from the apartment, hanging out with her boyfriend, her gaggle of friends, or just participating in the hundreds of sports she liked. Jennifer and her boyfriend were involved in several Christian based activities that kept them both pretty occupied, so they, too, were gone a lot. Carolyn was kind of shy (lord how times have changed) and spent a lot of time with her boyfriend both in and out of the apartment. I, too, had a boyfriend that kept me pretty busy as well as a full time job. Oh yeah…we all had classes too.
With all these things going on, the four of us were rarely, if ever, in the apartment at the same time. Then, that Christmas, Carolyn and I found ourselves in the apartment alone for several days while the other girls visited their families in the neighboring town. I can’t remember exactly, but I think C and I decided to come back early for some reason. It was a long time ago. Forgive me.
Neither one of us is very great at making small talk or starting conversations, so we awkwardly moved around each other, trying to be friendly, but also trying to stay out of each others’ way. Then one of us turned on Food Network. Without realizing it, we began to bond over our love of food and cooking, learning from Alton Brown, and drooling over all the gorgeous dishes created on that channel.
Eventually, we began talking about other things…boys, clothes, makeup, beauty, until no topic was off limits. I had found my best friend I had been wanting my whole life! Our boyfriends became friends and eventually started rooming together too. Years passed and we continued to be roommates, even after the other girls chose to move on to different things.
Finally, the year came when Carolyn had to complete her dietetic internship in Nashville. Driving down to help her move in to her new apartment was a hard day for me. I felt like I was losing my best friend! Sure, she was only a phone call, email, or drive away, but it wasn’t going to be the same, not watching Saturday morning cooking shows or walking to Kroger together to get the fixings for that night’s dinner.
The years passed and, though we continued to keep in contact every few weeks or so, our relationship had changed. She was not the first person I went to to talk about my challenges and triumphs with, nor was I hers, I’m sure.
One day, however, she called me to share some personal news she was dealing with and I think everything changed. I realized how much we needed each other in our lives. Everyone needs a girlfriend to talk to, vent to, and bitch at knowing no matter what is said all will be understood.
From that day on, we started to rebuild our friendship (though it wasn’t really lost, just on sabbatical). We started emailing each other more and, with the invention of texting, started texting more frequently.
We started trying to hang out more and more, though by this time I had moved from Lexington, KY to Dayton, OH. It made the drive between our two cities that much longer. Then, one day she informed me she was moving back to Louisville! Yay!
After she moved back to her hometown, we got even closer. Hardly a day goes by we don’t text each other at the very least! Most days, we talk regularly throughout the day via text or email and get together as often as we can. In fact, I am headed to Louisville this Friday to spend the weekend with her. We are still hoping to one day live in the same city again, but until then we will continue to do what we do.
You may be wondering why I’m sharing our story here today. Well, friends, today is the 1oth anniversary of Ms. Carolyn’s 2oth birthday! I wanted to recap how much she has meant to me over the years and wish her a fabulous day.
C, you are my best friend, my sister, and the person I know I can come to when the rest of my world is in shambles. I’m so lucky to have you in my life and cannot imagine not having your quick whit and sarcastic humor to get my through the hard times! Love you!