Monday, December 8, 2008

another train rolling away

last night as i was trying to get to sleep i started thinking about best friends. i don't exactly know what sparked the first thought, but before i knew it i was trying to recall every best friend i've ever had. the first best friend i remember having is kelli james. when i was four we moved to delmar and she lived across the street from us. she was 5. we hung out all the time. it was easy to travel between our houses and we would explore in the woods a lot. she introduced me to hbo and killer clowns from outer space. we had different toys so that made it even more fun. her basement was a really great place to play. older brother: shaun. dog: shih tzu, cuddles (and later there was bichon frise, reggie). kelli was definitely my BEST friend probably until 1991 or 1992 and we were very close until probably 1993 or 1994, when she went into 6th grade at the middle school and i was still in elementary school. she suddenly started wearing eyeliner and i didn't yet understand things like that. we eventually drifted completely apart and held completely different social circles by the time we were in high school. i haven't seen her in probably almost ten years, but i have heard that she has a son. i would like to meet him one day.

meanwhile there was erica pippert, and mandy darlington. Mandy was my best friend in 1st grade. We were in the same class and the same advanced reading group plus we had the same green dress with white polka dots. She lived sort of near me and had a fun old house. My dad called her darling mandton. Older brother: kris. Dog: basset hound named molly (Christ how am I remembering this!) Erica was best friend in grades 2+3 (1991-1993?) she went to my elementary school but didn't live that close to me. i spent a lot of time at her house where we would watch music videos and play in her backyard. she had a german shepherd named ming and a siamese cat with a similar name. younger brother: brendan. she moved to a different school so we stopped being friends.

5th grade: blaire banagan: we were in 5th grade together. i envied her wardrobe so much and shopped at gap kids for far too long solely because of her. older sister and younger brother, kelly and ryan. ate a lot of dinners at her house where the family would divide by 5 one small dinner salad. she became a prep and i became...who knows. she lives in new york now but i haven't seen her since we graduated high school.

6th grade: lindsey strogatz. we were nerdy and slow to develop together. we had younger brothers that were the same age. her family was nice. i don't really remember what we did together but i know we hung out a lot. i still have a bit of guilt about this friendship because we got along very well but i ditched her in 7th grade when i got cooler. sorry lindsey! You are probably doing something really cool and smart now and I practically live with my parents!

7th grade: Pam Coggins. Oh pam. Pam was a good friend. I loved nirvana and she loved pearl jam. We lived close to each other and spent lots of time in each others houses listening to music, eating snacks and reading rolling stone. Older sister: Kristen. WHAT A BITCH. Kristen and I hated each other. She was mean to me and I cursed her existence. Cats: many and I can’t remember names. Pam and I stopped being friends very abruptly towards the beginning of 8th grade when she became best friends with Caitlin Gertz (someone I was almost best friends with in 1st grade) and then I laminated a picture of the spice girls to the front of her locker in response (at the time this was a MEGA insult – trust me) not sure what pam is up to these days.

8th grade: who knows!

9th grade – 12th grade: sammi cathers. Sammi is someone I’ve known and been friends with since 1st grade, but high school is when we were definitely BEST friends. The similarities were there: children of divorced parents, We pretty much spent every moment outside of school (and probably in school as well) either together or on the phone with each other. We went to shows, went to the mall, had crushes, kissed boys, smoked weed, watched full house, dyed our hair, had internet friends, etc etc. younger sister: Alison. Cats: oreo, and two others, one of which was a hermaphrodite. Yikes! What tore us apart? The immediate answer to that is boys. We both had serious boyfriends at the same time (towards the end of senior year) and this really drove a rift between us. But ultimately, we probably would have drifted anyway. I went off to school in the city and sammi stayed in Albany. We didn’t talk for the first year after high school but started casually conversing here and there eventually. Now we talk here and there. She lives in Albany with her boyfriend shane who she’s been with for the past 5 years.

2001-2006: jeff harrigfeld. Oh jeff. What can I say about this one? Is the one mysterious friendship of my life. Jeff and I met at valentines while I was in high school (I think I was 16). He worked at mcdonalds with my friend ariele and she introduced us. He went to suny Albany. We stayed close all through high school and became really close right after I graduated. We stayed best friends all through my college career. He was my true adventure friend. Time with us was always fun. He just had the best way of having fun and making things fun and not letting you worry. I hope I brought half the stuff to his life that he brought to mine. Younger sister: Jessica. Dog: gertie. Jeff mysteriously stopped speaking with me in mid 2006. Still a mystery. A little bird told me he moved to Chicago recently with his girlfriend (who has been described to me as his soulmate) I wish him only the best and know very well that our paths will cross again (even if I have to force it – ha)

2002-2008: Naomi hanson. Naomi and I met through a mutual friend, andrea. We sort of clicked right away and started hanging out all the time. We kind of went to the same school and had the same college fun times schedule: good times, good drinks, good food, and talking smack. Never have I had a better travel friend. There is something there that just works. We went on many trips together including a grand tour of Europe in the winter of 2003, Amsterdam twice, mexico city, and half of the usa on a whirwind this summer. Older sister: Emily. Cats: sausalita and beezus (rip). I don’t know how to talk about the demise of our best-friendship without sounding like I have some other agenda other than writing a stupid blog about best friends, so I just won’t. Naomi currently lives in new york and we have a light chat on occasion.

So there you have it! My history in best friends! What a wild ride! I feel bad not including some very close friends who maybe I don’t remember being “best” friends but maybe they were? I need to just type their names. What if they google themselves? I hope they don’t.
Caitlin gertz, adele godfrey-certner, Jessie Goldberg-pohl, kate Oakley, Stephanie Sherman, Kristen cady-sawyer, alysan brod, meg allen, Jessica Blackwell, Emily silver, alex itov, hilary johnson, kristen ruggeri, anne barrett, erica brunner, kaitlin freewind, stephanie porto.

Phew! Best friends are a funny occurrence. I think a lot of it is circumstantial, and then some of it is actually based on fact. Sammi and I were friends first out of convenience. We lived really close to each other and both liked watching full house. But then we inevitably assumed the same territory and had fun doing things together. It falls into the nature vs. nurture argument, I suppose. Because you will no doubt adopt practices and likes of people you are around. Its osmosis and it happens to everyone. There are always glimmers of what makes you like someone in the first place, over everyone else you could pick to be your friend. Its something I haven’t really thought about enough but I do know after writing this that “best friend” is a term that I will no longer use lightly. It takes a lot out of both of the “Best friends” to be that to the other person. What is a best friend? What are best friends? I’m going to look up the definition of best friends, and in the meantime, leave your definition (or an anecdote about besties) below.

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