By Mackenzie Pedersen, Staff Writer
It seems like so long ago that my best friend and I met. Ironically, we met because of a boyfriend. She and her, now, husband had started working with my boyfriend at the time, and the three of them had started to bond. Then one day, we all played several pain-staking holes of mini golf that served as the beginning of what would become our greatest friendship. It was because of him that my best friend and I began to speak about our shared love of 80s movies, music, art, and making a mockery of the pieces of fabric sewn together at Kohl’s. I didn’t foresee then what would become of us, but I am eternally grateful that I met her.
Growing up, I was always able to make short term friendships, but as time went on, so did they. I never had any sisters, so the only consistent female connection I had growing up was my mom. Then as I got older, I began to build friendships through school and work, but as soon as I moved or left a job, they moved on once again.
And So It Began
As a result, we began to hang out regularly. She started to meet my family and I met slowly met hers. She listened to my woes and helped me through my stresses. We bonded over painting together while watching movies like ‘Just One of the Guys’. Further, my best friend helped me grow and see my potential. She is a about seven years older than me and had the opportunity to share some of her early-twenties experiences with me. This was specifically important as I was just entering mine. She has served, and continues to serve, as a mentor for me.
Additionally, she got engaged! I can’t fault her for asking her sister to be her maid of honor, but I still had the opportunity to be involved in her special day. Consequently, my favorite memory is one that we have coined as ‘The Sumo Dress Incident.” One day, we had gone to one of the wedding dress shops in the local outlet mall. After pretending that I had a wedding coming up too, we enjoyed trying on beautiful gowns. (At one point we must have looked like ‘The One with All the Wedding Dresses’).
During this visit, we both had our respective wedding dresses on and we stared at each other from opposite sides of the stage. Without saying a word, we simultaneously went into ‘Sumo Mode.’ We grabbed the right bottom of our dress while stomping our right foot down, then the left, and after a tense moment, we lunged toward each other. White chiffon and lace flew around us. Consequently, we did not get thrown out. Instead, we received a standing ovation paired with laughter. It is a shame we never got any pictures of this.
The Moment I Knew You were my Best Friend
Shortly after, the aforementioned boyfriend of mine was no longer in the picture. He was technically her husband’s friend first, and I wanted to give them some space. But after a few weeks, we came together and it was made clear that she wanted to continue our friendship. I was so elated! That was the defining moment when I knew for certain, she became my best friend.
Several months later, at a blissful rock concert, I met the love of my life. Needless to say, she was the first to know. More so, per best friend unspoken rule, she had to meet him and tell me whether or not my rose-colored glasses were lying to me. Like best friends are, she was going to be the deciding factor as to whether he became a permanent part of my life. Luckily, she had deemed him worthy, but not without changing his name first! “He just doesn’t look like a Richard, he looks more like a ‘Tom,’” and that’s how it has been for years now.
Since our time together, we have shared many wonderful moments and milestones. Some of our favorite memories include our wine and paint nights, dinner dates, plenty of trips to the zoo, a concert, matching Friends tattoos, and so much more. And yet, there are still many to come. I cannot wait until the day comes that you will stand next to me on my wedding day.
I have learned and gained more from my best friend than I could ever capture in words, but I’m going to try! She has given me a safe space to go and speak when needed. Or not speak if that is the case. When I am having a crummy day, she knows how to put a smile on my face. Especially when I need it most. Reading for leisure is not my strong suit, but she knows what books are good and which ones I will like. The times when I get extremely excited about an opportunity too hastily, she grounds me back to reality. She provides me with a voice of reason in the times that seem make the least amount of sense. Most of all, she encourages me to take on the world and fuels my ambition.
Lifehack suggests that a best friend holds 15 specific qualities:
- They listen to you
- They always have your back
- They accept you at your worst
- They love you
- You can talk to them about personal things
- They know how to make you smile
- They provide you with an honest opinion
- They stick by your side
- They help you out even if they don’t agree
- They encourage you
- They know your secrets
- They traverse time and space
- They are dependable
- They never judge you
- They celebrate your success
My best friend holds all of these qualities. And I can only hope that she feels that I provide the same respect. Regardless, no matter the circumstance, no matter the time, when she needs me, I will be there. Rain or shine. Good times and bad times. At times when she was sick, I brought her soup. During times of holidays, we have created our own (like our Friends-giving and Friends-mas). My best friend is one of the most important individuals in my life, and similar to a marriage, we’re going to grow old together. Most likely, we’ll have wheelchair races in our floppy hats around the nursing home.