happy birthday, jaz
today is the 27th birthday of my best friend in the world, jazmine. she is celebrating in the less-than-ideal circumstances of home confinement, but her fiance (!) bought her a regulation size ping pong table (!!) and ordered live lobsters to cook tn (!!!), so i think she’s having a nice day, even if the lobsters don’t show up, which is a real possiblity.
in fact, i just gchatted her to ask her if she’s having a nice day, for fact checking purposes, and she says “yes i am!”, so there you have it.
it’s been a long journey for jaz and me. we met at a horrible freshman orientation “outdoors” trip for new ninth-grade students at our fancy new york high school, a place where we did not exactly, uh, fit in. while our popular, effortlessly straight-a-getting classmates were taking black cars to school and drinking in their parents’ empty park avenue apartments, we were taking the 1 train to chipotle and eating burritos side by side while quietly quizzing each other on art history vocabulary terms. and honey? it was great.
okay, that’s a bit of revisionist history: it was not great. jazmine and i spent high school as two indistinguishable halves of one fleshy malformed dough ball, quietly rolling from classroom to classroom while the other kids ignored us (at best) or subtly made fun of us (at worst) or implied we were lesbians (just me!) and the occasional well-meaning teacher expressed concern that we were “too close.”
were we too close? definitely, yes. you’re not really supposed to have one friend from ages 14 to 18, and a lot of fights took place that probably wouldn’t have if we’d had, uh, a larger social group to balance ourselves off of. that said, what jazmine and i now share is so much more than friendship that the word doesn’t even seem to apply.
there are several things i’m proud of in my life—my work, my loyalty, my eyebrows—but they’re all outpaced by how proud i am of the friendship jazmine and i have built as adults. we went from a codependent, resentful, fused-together dough ball to two gorgeous croissants, each with their own lives, friends, relationships and needs that we’re learning how to address. she’s not my whole world anymore, but she’s still the person i most want to talk to on any given day, and her twitter favs are immaculate.
things aren’t always perfect: jazmine and i still fight, as croissants are wont to do, but the thesis of our arguments is now usually “i want [x aspect of our relationship] to be healthier,” not “you are my tethered and i must destroy you if i want a chance at life.” after six years of therapy, i’m proud to announce that jazmine isn’t me! and i’m not her! wild!
here are my top 10 jazmine memories, in no order:
-the time my dad took us on a segway tour in san francisco and jazmine couldn’t figure out how to stop and segwayed into oncoming traffic and the tour guide was SO mad
-the time we went up to my dad’s place in hudson and we got drunk and couldn’t figure out how to get the tv sound to work and gabe finally figured it out and we watched “sideways” and all fell asleep on the couch together
-the time we took my mom’s ambien and i finally convinced her to take a bath with me (in our swimsuits, for modesty)
-the time we visited kenyon as high school seniors and smoked from a bong in a cool first-year’s apartment and immediately became gregarious and sociable for the first time
-the time we went to jackson diner in queens in high school and stuffed ourselves w perfect indian food and then got cold stone in times square, just because
-the time we went to san francisco and got matching tattoos “of a bud, because we’re buds”
-the time i sort of vaguely came out to her as not-straight at a pretentious diner in williamsburg and the server was clearly laughing at us and we drew all over the placemat (with crayons provided for that purpose)
-the first time i saw a picture of her engagement ring, which is phat and looks like the heart of the ocean from “titanic”
-the time her dad and his girlfriend took us on a cruise to the british virgin islands in high school and we slept on the front part of the boat where the netting is and looked at the stars
-any time we drink orange wine and order food and watch a thing
love you, jaz! <3