I stuck BFF4EVA Louisa on a train to the airport yesterday afternoon. The tenure of our relationship now allows us to forgo the airport niceties of metro escorts. Being that this is her 3rd visit to DC, sight seeing has been demoted to— this is Lincoln Park where I read my book on Saturday mornings, this is the corner store where I buy beer, we’re going to this bar so I can get the catering manager’s digits (again).
Louisa and I have been best friends since I we were 14 years old. One season of volleyball was all it took to solidify a friendship that has withstood high school, college, one year of co-habitation, lots of growing pains and many evolutions of our personalities. We started very much the same—wearing jeans, t-shirts and high top Weapons, listening to similar music and having the same plans on Friday night. Almost 10 years later, our similar paths have taken our own very individual turns.
Louisa does life hard. She plays hard, works hard, parties hard, reads hard and stays up real late at night. Far different from my 9-5-in-bed-by-11 schedule that I’ve grown accustom to. Louisa is steadfastly a damn the man type of girl, while I deal with the man as long as I am able to give him the finger from behind my desk. We have different aspirations, different schedules and different routines. We’re both attempting to navigate life post college graduation and where we fit in the world. We both sometime think that sucks.
When a pair of best friends only see each other a handful of times a year, there are a lot of things that need to be shoved into a couple of days. It is a weekend of hyper-bonding that involves a lot of drinking, a lot of eating, a lot of story telling and a lot of smoking (whoops!). With the lovely bonding that is involved, for Louisa and I it usually involves some form of real talk at the end of bar close one night that is laced with sincerity, concern, criticism and affection.
Changes come as a shock, as opposed to something you are eased in to* when there are months in between visits. We both so starkly and individually live our lives that answering to someone who has known you in all your worst moments, even just for the duration of a weekend, can be both enlighting and harsh. Luckily, I think it is something we are able to do surprisingly well. We never go to bed angry. We think before we speak. And we do it entirely and completely with each others best interest in mind.
It is a battle Louisa and I have encountered many times in our lives. And what I’ve largely learned is a part of adjusting childhood friendships into grown-up friendships. I’m not the person I was ten years ago (thank god) and neither is she. But with that, we need to reassign the roles in our relationship and adjust to our new and forever changing version of normal. But no matter the circumstance— the conversation, companionship and familiarity never falters. And I assume it never will. Real talk, adulthood and responsibilities aside.
Lou, thanks for coming.
*Example: Holy shit, Rach. Your boobs are huge!