I met Stephanie on a college trip to Turkey. I made a lot of friends on that trip, but she was a soulmate. She was weird, creative, spontaneous, and always optimistic. When we returned to Tennessee, we kept hanging out, and she quickly became my college bestie.
Having started our friendship while traveling, we continued to roadtrip together – short trips to Memphis, longer trips up I-55 to my hometown, and longest trips to Savannah where we both had family to visit. Long car rides with Stephanie were easy. We shared a love of 90s pop songs and modern musicals. We were both obsessed with A Very Potter Musical, and we perfected our duet to “Granger Danger.” We also used those long rides to craft the most absurd and delightful iMovies of our adventures. We loved over-documenting ourselves, with pictures and videos and dumb clips, and we proudly showed our creations to anyone who was unfortunate to be around us for more than five minutes. The most tragic thing in the world is that I cannot seem to find our 1-55 Adventure video, which was at least 15 minutes long and was totally awesome. Continue reading →
One of my best friends in college was Stephanie. For a while, I spent the night every Thursday at her dorm, which meant I got to know her roommates pretty well. One of those roommates was Elizabeth Waibel. She was one of the coolest people I knew, and I assumed she thought I was mostly an idiot. Well, if she did, joke’s on her, because it has been six years and now we are really good friends!
I don’t really know how we shifted from real life acquaintances to frequent Facebook conversationalists, but our mutual introversion definitely helps. She is intelligent and snarky, which are two of my favorite qualities in a person. She often posts culturally relevant statuses that challenge people to think more deeply, and she tags me in articles about feminism. Internet besties! Continue reading →
When I started working as a nanny three years ago, Anju was six and Ketan was nine. Now Anju is her older brother’s age, and Ketan is nearly a teenager. I got to be a part of their lives while they were at their most creative and affectionate, and now that I’ve finished working for them, I miss them. A lot.
Anju: Do you know what makes me sad? Matteo doesn’t tease me.
Me: That makes you sad?
Anju: Yes! One of the signs of liking someone is teasing. He never teases me, and I tease him all the time!
Anju: And I don’t know what to do. Last year he was in my class, so I was used to him. But now whenever I see him I just run away like a weirdo.
Me: Yeah, I’ve done that.
We listened to a lot of pop music in the car. One summer we listened to Imagine Dragon’s album over and over and over again until we knew the lyrics to every song and could sing them at the top of our lungs. I set a precedent of absurd dancing, and I took so much joy in glancing at the rearview mirror to see Anju and Ketan flailing and fist-pumping to the beat. Continue reading →
This weekend, my cousin Bess came to Dallas to visit me. We spent her first night here watching all three Jurassic Park films in anticipation of Jurassic World‘s release. I chose to view our immediate fixation on movies in a positive light: our family is very media- and story-oriented, so really, we were honoring our ancestry. After all, this was not the first time movies were central to my memories of Bess.
When I was very little, I loved the Ernest movies starring Jim Varney. So did my brother Roy and my cousins Andrew and Bess. One night when we were visiting them in Atlanta, we rented Ernest Scared Stupid, in which Ernest must destroy a bunch of trolls on Halloween. It is the most absurd film to ever exist, culminating in Ernest dancing and kissing said evil troll. The four of us peered over blankets, laughing as though we weren’t actually terrified. I vowed never to watch a scary movie again. Continue reading →
*a McGarrah, Monahan, Newton, and Wineinger hybrid
Eight people spending a three day weekend together can be a recipe for disaster. Staying in a single bedroom with four double beds while sharing a tiny kitchen and tinier bathroom makes it even more likely to fall apart. Anticipating a sun-filled weekend of outdoor play only to experience cold rain ought to have been the final straw. The fact that these seven friends embraced the disappointment and close quarters with grace and humor is exactly why I love them so dearly. Continue reading →
I once heard that it is important to be close to your siblings because that is probably going to be the longest relationship of your life. Parents die and spouses come later, but siblings can stick around in your life for 80 or more years. Which is FINE BY ME, because my brother is the coolest person on the planet.
Roy is four years older than me, and I think I’ve always been in awe of him. My childhood memories center around a common theme: stumbling through the woods after Roy and his friends, watching movies that Roy thought were cool, playing the games that Roy got excited about. Don’t get me wrong, I had my own nerdy little shy world, but so much of who I am is an effort to imitate his awesomeness. Continue reading →
Mallory and I both lived in Senegal at the same time, working for the same organization though in different cities. She knew the girls I was working with, so occasionally we would all meet and hang out in the capital city of Dakar. I got food poisoning from a sushi restaurant one weekend, and when I suggested she sleep in a different room because I would be vomiting all night, she said, “Nah, it’s fine,” and fell asleep. Her chill reaction immediately made me want to be her friend. Continue reading →