You’re 24. I know it’s an odd number to be dedicating something to you. But, it’s another milestone I am celebrating. It’s been 15 years since we became best friends. Let’s come out and say it. We were best friends the second Ramona ma’am made us sit in the same row in 5th grade. In the 15 years that we’ve been together, I made you cry only once (read: The Shanana Baby Sham) and I thought I should do that again. This time, though, for the right reasons.
Why are we still best friends? We have spent nine years away from each other. That’s 60% of the time that we’ve been together. (If you were here, you would not have needed the calculator to know that. I did.)
In the nine years that we have been apart, we told each other more secrets and shared more than we did in the earlier six. Whether it was the boy I first loved, the boy who ruined my reputation in school, the boy we both liked in school — okay, that’s a lot of boy talk. Since then, you have also literally called me up to discuss disgusting medical conditions that I wouldn’t hear from anyone else or just when you needed a shoulder to lean on. Or when you’ve had “GOSS!!!!”
I have called you when I needed to talk to someone. You’re the first person I think of whenever something major happens and you’ve been the first to know many things. In some cases, you’ve been the only person to know about some of these things. You were the first person to tell me to get over that boy. You were the reason I did get over him. We were each other’s first period buddies. When no one wanted to discuss it, we discussed our first periods in immense detail (I swear, I can retell the whole thing back to you).
In the years that have passed, you have given me more reason to laugh than to cry and more reason to be glad I have a great girlfriend in you. You’re the goddamn best for a reason. You have been there.
For those who don’t know, I could recall the time that I had to call off a party because no one wanted to come for it but you. You still decided to make it home and spend time with me because you didn’t want me to hate my life. You wanted to be there and you were one of two people who wanted that for me.
Our parents always low-key pit us against each other. But, we never let that get in the way. Eventually, I grew taller than you and you were healthier than I was. When the WORLD pit us against each other, we didn’t let that get against us. At my lowest moment losing the quiz in 10th grade, you held me by the shoulders and said, “I am happy I won and I am happy I won against you because that’s how good you are.”
In the deepest throes of my anxiety, you told me you’ll make sure I have a new job by the end of that year. I got that interview because you sent me the tweet asking for applications. I owe you the happiness I have to some extent.
During a bad time with a stupid boy who broke your heart, I stayed on the phone and sang ALL of Beyoncé’s “Irreplacable”, including the back-up vocals. I almost got kicked out of my room by my roommates at 12 am, but it was worth it. Because it was for you.
All our special moments and our mutual interests aside, I need to tell you the one thing I have been trying to say through this whole post and through our life together — you’re worth it.
You’re smart, funny, determined, honest and the most loyal person I have ever met. You are angry when it matters and you’re so easy to love. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There is no reason for you to believe otherwise. I know you live with a crippling fear of being alone for the rest of your life but:
1. that is not a terrible thing and,
2. it is not true because you have me.
Thank you for existing, you goddamn pearl taken from a swan’s butt. I love you more than I say it. I love you more than you can imagine. This is your day and this is your world. Go get ’em, tiger.