In my experience, girls/women/ladies/females throw the phrase “best friends” around more often than men. I know I do it a lot. I have best friends from high school. Best friends from church. Best friends from college. Best friends who were my best friends in high school and continued to be my best friends through college and will continue to be my best friends forever. And when I call these people best friends, I mean it! They are all the best! I remember feeling a lot of anxiety when trying to sort my best friends into a “top 10” on Myspace. Who could I put first? All of these people are wonderful!
Last weekend, I got to see a couple of these beautiful best friends. The first was Evelyn, who lives near Portsmouth. It’s one of those towns you spend 18 years of your life planning to leave, but she was brave enough to go back after college. She’s passionate about art and literature and Classics and cooking big meals for the people she loves. Evelyn knows about lipstick and rock and roll and retro sugar bowls. When I’m with her I feel like my voice is valued but I feel no pressure to speak more or speak less.
Saturday Evelyn threw her sister a bridal shower and I joined in. Then we ate Chinese and sat in sleepy downtown Portsmouth. Sunday we made breakfast out of eggs and leftovers, using every cute piece of dishware we could find. We did most of these things while the new Black Keys album played in my car or from her record player.
I appreciate Evelyn’s attention to detail and her love of the sentimental. She infuses things with meaning. It’s almost like everything she touches becomes an heirloom. This summer she’s preparing to launch a new school, and I know she’ll be a success in the fall when the students arrive. She has this uncanny ability to leave you thinking, “Evelyn believes in me.” Thanks Evelyn, for being the kind of friend who lets me be silly and weird. And for inspiring me to live deeply, even in the simple things.