Today is also my best friend Jean's birthday. She's totally OK with the aging thing, so she won't mind that I tell you it's her 4oth. Yep. A big one. This year is also the 26th anniversary of our friendship. We became friends at our high school freshman orientation (!) and have remained close ever since.
Since I write about people in high school, Jean is always in my thoughts as I sit at my computer. We were so different. I had a thing for black eyeliner, army jackets and threadbare sweaters found at the Salvation Army. Jean liked Esprit, Coach purses, and Ralph Lauren. She liked the jocks; I liked the guys who wrote bad poetry and never washed their hair. She's five (!) inches taller than me and can actually can stand to listen to country music (barf).
But she could always make me laugh harder than anyone else. She never teased me when I added Cherry Coke to my beer because I didn't like the taste. She took me cruising in her little Dodge Omni, past the houses of the boys I liked. She listened and never judged and always looked out for my best interests.
Our friendship has lasted through college and marriage and children and more. She's seen me through heartache and joy, and I hope I've done the same for her. We've sustained our friendship because we value it, and realize how rare it is to find someone you connect with so well in this great big life.
So happy birthday, Jean! This one's for you.
(OK, that is a condom bouquet on my head. It was my bachelorette party!)