To be honest, it's been shitty. Really shitty. I've cried a lot, felt sorry for myself, wondered why I have no friends and, overall, been very lonely since she left. I feel selfish for wanting to keep her here forever -- to go to sushi, eat McDonald's swirl cones, make fun of everyone, use terribly ugly voices, etc. It sucks to be with someone non stop, then have them torn away from you, never to return again. (At least not for two years.)
But before she left, she gave me a going away present: a bridal list book and a pack of brightly colored felt-tip pens (my favorite!). The big engagement was coming up and she knew exactly what I needed: a place to keep all of the lists that would soon consume my life.
I love Amanda. I love her more than I've loved any other friend. I'm not gay, but if I was I'd love Amanda in that way too. Right now, that love is devoted to Josiah.
Amanda is the best. She is the friend who will drop everything for you -- no matter what. She is hilarious, thoughtful, gorgeous and nurturing. She is the friend that has made me pee my pants. And even though I fake peeing my pants a lot, I'm being literal here. Not only is she the greatest friend on earth, but she is brilliant and an extremely hard worker. She was my assistant editor when I was EIC at the State Press Magazine. And to be honest, I would have not be able to do it without her.
It's funny, because Amanda and I have known each other since our freshman year at ASU. She was the awkwardly tall and obnoxiously loud one who lived a couple doors down from me in the Hayden West dorm. I was the reclusive hipster in room 209 who did not like anyone having fun remotely close to me. My roommate Bethany and I would complain about everyone outside who would never shut the hell up.
Then, sophomore year Amanda stumbled into the SPM editors' office during one of our weekly meetings. She was a new writer, and I recognized her as the loud girl from the dorms and promptly decided to not talk to her. Instead, I was pretentious and made fun of my fellow staffers with Katie Lehman, our photographer.
The next semester, our paths crossed again while working at the Arizona Republic. I figured I might as well get to know this girl, considering we'd probably just run into each other more and more as we continued our journalism classes. Surprisingly, we instantly became attached at the hip, hanging out at all times and becoming BFFs.
Since then, there have been three trips to California, too many days spent in the basement, countless hours getting goofy and a lot of wondering why everyone else is so dumb.
I am so thankful we came to be great friends. She is truly a blessing in my life. I would be even more of a disaster without her right now. Even though she lives on the other side of the country, even though she teaches Pre-K full time for TFA, even though she's taking graduate classes at John Hopkins ... we still manage to talk every day. I think that speaks volumes about how good of a friend she is and how much she means to me. I have friends who live 15 minutes away who couldn't be bothered to pick up my calls, let alone call me in the first place.
Thanks, ManFru. I don't know what I would do without you.
Photo courtesy of Deanna Dent.
P.S. - I forced Amanda to get a blog to chronicle her experiences as the greatest Pre-K teacher in all of Baltimore. You can read it here.
Edit with Amanda's response:
oh my god
i am crying right now
i cannot believe you did that!
ugh you are the best friend ever
and i miss you all the time tooo!
Amanda: i am in shock
Amanda: i didnt think you liked me that much!'
Hahaha. Oh man.