Well, what better favorite thing could I choose today, then my best and longest running friend, Jane. Its her birthday today!! That means that for the next 8 months we will be the same age and I don`t need to feel so old, all by myself.
**ages have been witheld to protect the elderly**
Jane and went to school together for a few years before we actually became friends. We were a grade apart, so in elementary school we didn't really run in the same circles. In high school however, things changed and it was a friendship born of necessity. We ended up being on the same bus. We were the first and second kids picked up along the route. The third student was a nerdy kid. We had a choice a) we could either strike up a conversation with each other, or b) with the nerdy kid, or c) endure 20 minutes of awkward silence between the three of us until the next kid was picked up 10 kilometres down the road. The choice was obvious.
"So, Hi... How was your summer?"
"Yeah... not bad. Looking forward to school?"
"Ah well, ya know, its school".
Or some equally inane, teenaged chatter.
But from that teenaged chatter blossomed a friendship that has lasted for many, many years. We don't speak as often as we used to since really, no one could sustain that level of chatter. Fresh off the school bus and we would be on the phone with each other, something at which her father never failed to marvel.. How could we have anything more to say? If we were at church together, the chatter would continue on through the Mass, until her dad would sit between us in a vain attempt to quench the verbal tide.
Since we skirted the issue there, this seems like a good place to add that there is an obvious reason that Jane is as awesome as she is. She is the product of awesome parents. I can't put my finger on the exact thing that makes Jane's parents such wonderful people - although the fact that they are Dutch and therefore always have Gouda, and those spicy windmill-shaped cookies, and that salty black licorice candy that as I type this, I realise sound horrible, but oh sweet Hannah, are they ever good!! - they just have an inherent quality that makes them special with little effort on their part. Lucky for Jane, it is a trait that she inherited from them, and it is a trait that she will pass on to her own daughters.
We email fairly regularly, and do the things that friends do when they are separated by distance. When we do get the chance to be together it is like there has never been a minute or a mile between us. It is that easy to pick up again. I guess, at the end of the day, the reason for that is simple. Every monumentally stupid thing that I have done in my life, I did with Jane. There is some good blackmail there that is waiting to happen. I can't afford to piss her off!
So happy Birthday to you, Jane. And thanks for being one of my favorite things for oh so, so many years!!
ps... Your card may be a little late.