Every year on Memorial Day weekend, I get the luxury of celebrating a special anniversary. This year was another milestone for us, and every year adds to the memories and adventures we have together. Dani and I have been friends since high school when we met in that 5th period Physical Education class and were paired next to each other due to alphabetical order by last name. She stuck out in a sea of brunettes, but it wasn’t until the end of May that we really hit it off. It was one phone call on a Saturday afternoon that would eventually set our friendship in stone.
I remember calling her when I pulled up into my driveway. I was bored and it was Saturday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend. She was on her way home from work at the local theme park and said she was up to hang out. I have no idea what we ended up doing that day, but I remember wearing a denim jacket and magenta pink top with an over-sized bow at the collar to the left. I pulled up to her house in my purple sports car courtesy of Mom and Dad, and adjusted the bow of my top as I came up the front steps to meet her parents. We left and I returned her home sometime after dark.
The next day we continued the adventure and I swung by the Cheesecake Factory and picked up Farfalle pasta with mushrooms, peas and roasted chicken in an Alfredo sauce. I specifically remember talking to her on the phone about it before ordering and that was the best option it seemed for us both. Now when we go out, every time I end up seeing that pasta on the menu, I think of that first time when we had it together.
The following day was another day of adventure for us, and we added another friend to to mix, but while that friend was part of the day, our adventures just the two of us continue on. Our friendship sustained being across the country from each other, being at different stages of life together, and even through heated fights and hurt feelings.
As I look back at the years together, I can’t help but think, this is a friendship that was meant to happen. It didn’t happen too early where we grew up and grew apart, it didn’t happen too late where might never have met. It happened when it was supposed to, and for once in my life, it felt like a friendship was organic and meant to be.
What is a best friend supposed to be? Since as long as I can remember, I have had friends, some who I thought were my best friend, but it never seemed like I was theirs. When Dani and I became friends, it was like instantaneous that we fit into each others lives as best friends should. A best friend is always there for you, through thick and thin, and even when they are far away, it feels like they are always there. A best friend remembers while traveling through Europe on her honeymoon to send you a post card from your favorite city. A best friend remembers you have a deep obsession with squished pennies. A best friend calls on your birthday, but doesn’t feel obligated to get you a gift, and vice versa, but sometimes you surprise each other anyways. A best friend never takes advantage, and its often a fight over who gets to pay first. A best friend is never having to think twice about anything because you know it will always work out.
Dani will always be my true first best friend. As weird as it sounds, she is the first best friend where I feel truly symbiotic with. At first glance, we may not seem like we belong together, but when you see us as a pair, it fits just right.
While the years have past and our lives have changed, we have stuck it through. We have had arguments and fights, and we have come out of them stronger. The best part of our relationship is the ability to just say the words we are feeling, and know that anything and everything that comes out of the other persons mouth is never intended to hurt you, but to just be honest. That is something I feel like I don’t have with all of my friends. That is something that will always keep everyone else at arms length while with Dani, it will always make sense. Not everyone can handle honest opinions or constructive criticism and I think that is where we just work. She has said things to me where if it were anyone else, they would probably curl up, deflect or hold a grudge, but with her, I know she is saying it from the heart, I take it in, I learn from it, and I accept that she is probably right. That is a gift of friendship.
Reflecting back on all these years as we celebrate this milestone, I am so glad to be able to say that through all these years, we have remained best friends. We both have other friends, we both have other best friends, and while those worlds will probably never mix, when we are together, its like our very own universe where everything makes sense.
So thank you my best friend, for holding me up, grounding me, and always being there for me through thick and thin. Years have come and gone, and many more years of adventure are ahead of us. Without Dani, there really would not be a Jayne.