I saw the naked man. March 30, 2006
Iâ€™m fuzzy on the details of how Steffanie and I got to be friends. We met in the 8th grade when she showed up at volleyball practice. Her parents had just moved from across town and she had transferred schools. She wasnâ€™t there very longâ€¦ after a couple of weeks she went back to the school sheâ€™d come from to finish out junior high. I donâ€™t remember much about those times, but I do remember seeing her at volleyball tournaments and speaking to her.
When we went to high school, there she was at volleyball practice again. She and I became friends pretty quickly, and she later told me that she approached me early on because she remembered me as being one of the only people who was nice to her when she was at our junior high. Honestly, I find that hard to believe, as I was not terribly nice in junior high. But Iâ€™m glad I was, because Steffanie is a joy to have as a friend.
One of my favorite things about Steff is that she does her own thing. She, Melanie, Kelley and I ran together throughout high school. We all played sports the entire time, but Steff quit early on and got into all sorts of things. Dancing lessons, musicals, travel, languages. If she wants to try something, she tries it. If she wants to go somewhere, she goes. If she wants to change her major 14 times, no problem. Go from long brown hair to short spiky blond? Absolutely.
There was drama in high school, as there always is, but we somehow avoided it. I may have struggled with everyone else, but Steff and I never had trouble. It was like our friendship was somehow above that. At the end of the day, we just wanted to swim and eat candy and watch movies on her parentsâ€™ big fluffy couch. My friendship with Steffanie was like a calm in the storm sometimes, and I am really thankful for that.
Steffanie and I stayed good friends through college. Real friends, not friends who went to high school together and kind of keep in touch. We had similar frustrations with school, something that was a sharp contrast to the college experiences of our other friends. Steffanie became someone I could be real and honest with â€“ not someone I felt I had to be my â€˜old selfâ€™ with. We bonded over not knowing what to do with our lives, conflicting desires to stay home and go away, problems with the people weâ€™d grown up with. Iâ€™m thankful to be able to say that I consider her a better friend now than I ever did in high school. Even though we donâ€™t talk terribly often, when we do, itâ€™s like no time has passed. I can say with full confidence that we would be everyday friends if we were in the same place. Sheâ€™s the kind of friend that you can tell your meanest thoughts, and she wonâ€™t hate you. Sheâ€™ll just laugh because she probably thinks the same way.
I am thrilled to be a part of Steffanie and Jackâ€™s wedding this weekend. I donâ€™t know Jack well, but anyone who makes her that happy canâ€™t be bad. I will put on my pretty pink dress and my strappy black shoes and pray with all my might that I donâ€™t trip and fall on my face in front of everyone we know. And we will dance and drink and laugh, all to celebrate Steffanie. Because she is fabulous.