Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dear Eric and Marie

Yes that is your sock.

No, I don't care.

I know. I'm a bad friend.



PS- He also chewed a bunch of paper up. All over your living room floor.
You're welcome.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Where Have You Gone, Joe Dimaggio?

As I write this post, understand that my heart is in shreds.
No one died.
No one broke up.
No one even stubbed their toes.
Yet my chest is quite literally in pain.

This week was a tough week.
The Center is hiring an extra maintenance person and an extra security person, both part-time.
We ran an ad in the Sunday paper expressing our need.
By the time we got to work on Monday morning, we had twenty voice-mails inquiring.
By 10 am, we had twenty more.
By the end of the day, we had about fifty applicants.
That was day number one.
The amount increased exponentially throughout the week.
Which is wonderful.
Somewhere in that sea off applicants, there must logically be at least two responsible, hard-working people who we can be proud to employ.

So why the aortic pain?

Because there aren't just one or two viable options in that stack of papers.
There are sixty.
Of all the people who applied, about two-thirds of them are fully, if not totally over-qualified.
What's more, is that these are not 18 year-olds looking for an after-school job. I mean, some of them are, but most of them are tradesmen; electricians, plumbers, heating/air conditioning repairmen, carpenters. They're not lazy or uneducated. They're good at what they do. And because of the state of our economy, part-time janitorial work is their last option. If they want to feed their families or pay rent or put gas in their cars, what other choice is there?

My hearts breaks because as they come to the office and ask for applications, I have to look each one of them in the eye, smile, and choke back tears because I know that we can only give two people jobs that all of them so desperately need.

I'm not the one doing the hiring, but I'm doing all I can to make sure that worthy applicants don't get over-looked.
I've taken to drawing stars on the tops of applications if I feel that they should have an interview. If they're dressed nice or are polite or have a relevant resume, they get a star.
The ones who remind me of my father get two stars.
My father, who wouldn't miss a day of work even if he was missing an arm.
The ones who remind me of him are the ones in leather work-boots and plaid flannel shirts and stonewashed Levi's and Carhart jackets and smell like sawdust.
The ones witth creases around the corners of their eyes that still sparkle with humor and mischeif, with skin rough and calloused like leather from working outside in the sun and the cold and the wind for twenty years.
The ones who work the hardest and the longest hours.
The ones who are the best at what they do.
The ones who would do anything they could to make sure that their families were warm and safe and happy.
Those are the ones that remind me of my dad.

He has a job right now.
In fact, it's a very good job.
And we know that he's very lucky.
Because the reality of being in the trades, whether you're a laborer or a foreman, union or non-union, is that sometimes you can go without steady work for a very long time.
And there's a possibility that one day soon, my dad might not have his very good job.
Or any job at all.
And if that happens, I would want someone in my position to look at him and see how hard he must work, how trustworthy and responsible and loyal he is.
I would want someone to give him a chance to continue to provide for his family.
Because he deserves it.
And so do they.

I was in a really foul mood earlier this evening.
My boss (at my other job, not at the hospital...I kind of love my boss here) was being a total jerk.
I accidentally squirted ketchup on my shirt.
I have a lot of loose ends to tie up before I graduate.
I was at odds with living situations.
I was mad because my plans for my birthday might not work out.
I was annoyed that everything I love and want matierially is so freaking expensive.
Bascially, I was stressed and therefore I was not happy.

And then I remembered their faces.
And realized that even though my paycheck might be meager even by today's economic standards, it's still a paycheck.
My boss might be the spawn of Satan sometimes, but at least I have a job.
Moreover, I have two jobs.
One that I love.
One with really great health insurance.
At least I have a job to stress over.
And an apartment that I can afford to live in.
And even thought I have to drive a minivan because my other car tried to incinerate me, it's still a car.
I have so much to be thankful for.
And such a short time on earth.
Why should I waste my energy complaining about things that others need so badly?

That doesn't change the fact that my heart is breaking, though.

I am legitimately scared for our country.
I don't even remember feeling like this.
Even when the Twin Towers fell on September 11th, 2001 it didn't feel like this.
When that happened we came together as a nation.
And now all we're doing is pulling apart.

I am scared.
I am scared, but hopeful too.
The reason Barack Obama won this presidency is because the peope who voted for him believe that he has the power, the will, and the passion to stabilize all this chaos.
I am one of those people.
And I really hope that I'm right.
Even the people who didn't vote for him, those who hate him and all he stands for.
I imagine that they hope that I'm right, too.

Because how is it fair that people who work their whole lives, that do all they can to maximize their positions in life to make better ones for their children, suddenly find themselves unable to do so through no fault of their own?
How is it acceptable citizens are losing their jobs all around the country so that their superiors can avoid taking a simple cut in pay?
How is it reasonable that we as a country can fight a war on foreign soil that was not ours to fight in the first place and rebuild a nation that we were not asked to rebuild, but cannot afford to help our own people help themselves?

Pride and nationalism turned to apathy and indifference at some point in the last two decades, or so. Now we're stranded.
And my heart breaks for all of us.
I hope that President Obama can heal it.
Heal our society.
Heal the country.
We're all waiting.
We're all watching.

Our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And The Little Things Like That

Campfire Cookies
And John Hughes Movies
Junior Mints
And Cold Shower Tuesdays
November Shivers
And Rear-view Mirrors
The Little Things Like That...

You might recall from my previous post (normally the word "post" would be where hardcore bloggers would insert a like to the aforementioned previous post, for quick-and-easy viewing purposes. I am not hardcore. If you want to see my previous post, don't be lazy and scroll down. Carry on.) that I had been hankering for some John Hughes action. As such, I popped "Sixteen Candles" into my trusty X-Box (okay, for that you DO get a link...I'm a lemming).
If you're not familiar with this particular piece of early-80's cinematic amazement, then I feel sorry for you. I've only recently come to realize how incredibly ingenious it actually is, specifically in it's depiction of teenagers and their social habits. When I watched it as a teenager, I was all, "there's no way I'm that vapid and stupid." But really, I was that vapid and stupid. And that kind of shallow behavior makes for GREAT film.
The basic premise involves a girl whose sister is getting married the day after her 16th birthday, and as a result her family forgets her birthday. Something occurred to me as I was watching Molly Ringwald attempt to be as attractive as everyone thinks she is: in our current age of Facebook and MySpace and Twitter, there is no way in hell that anyone could ever possibly forget anyone's birthday ever again. I mean, you'd basically have to be a complete and total moron not to notice that someone's birthday. You don't even have to remember anymore. All your social networking sites have automatic reminders.

And speaking of annoying teenagers, I went to my parent's house for the night on Thursday. While I was there, I had the pleasure of viewing the Glenbrook South Variety Show, a production of which I was the star for many many years. Okay, so maybe by "many" I only mean four, and by "star" I mean...well, let's just say that I was in it and that I was particularly awesome my senior year. This year, it was all right. The song choices were kind of bad. Singer-Dancers were lukewarm. But, I will say that three of the boys that I babysat when I was old enough to be in V-Show we in the cast. I'm getting old. Also, all the girls in the audience were supremely obnoxious and dressed the same way. Which is not only boring, but made me wonder if I was ever that irritating to the people around me. You don't need to answer that...I know that I thought I was the sh*t and therefore acted accordingly. I apologize for being a plague. But I refuse to apologize for thinking that I was the greatest person on the face of the earth because let's face it, I basically was.

And speaking of getting old, in case you haven't checked your Facebook lately, my birthday is Friday. Since I won't see my parents for the special day, they gave my my gift early. Janie, Mom and I went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch...avocado eggrolls, why can't I quit you...and then presented me with a lovely new digital camera.

Dear Mom and Dad-
Why are you so awesome?
Daughter Number 1

I'm attempting to figure it out as we speak.

PS-Oh, and in case you were wondering.
The blurb at the top is from a Bowling for Soup song.
You've never heard of Bowling for Soup?
I'm sorry. Their lyrics are supreme.
Marie and I listen to them all the time.
That's how we roll.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Should Probably Stop Blogging at Work.


So, it's Sunday. And technically, it's my "weekend off", whatever that means anymore.
And I feel like crap because I ate a bunch of crap (please see previous post and add three red velvet cupcakes to the list of awful). And I'm tired. And my sinuses are making my face swollen. And the economy is failing.


I think this calls for a stupid survey.
You dig?

Dreaming of....
Scotland. Absolutely. The Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I mean, the food sucks and all. But if I could die in front of Faerie Falls, I would be okay with that.

Martini of Choice....
I'm not so much a fan of gin. Although, last time I was at Ginger, I had them make a pear martini but with vodka...oh man.

Currently Craving....
Something spicy. Fajitas, I think. Or a black bean burger with pickles and avocado. Thanks Blogger. Now I'm hungry.

Beauty Trick....
Dr. Bronner's all-in-one soap. It's organic AND vegan AND awesome. They have a couple different smells, but I'm rocking the peppermint one. You can use it to wash your skin and your hair and your face and shave your legs. Oh, and Smith's Rosebud Salve is kind of miraculous.

Obsessed With....
Moccasins. I love my Minnetonka pair, but I wear them so much they're going to fall to pieces in the not-too-distant future. I just bought a new pair from Target yesterday, and I'm eying another one from Nordstrom. It's becoming a problem.

Can't get enough of...
American Idol. Mostly because I cannot wait until Tatiana bites the big one.

A 2001 Plymouth Voyager that is not on fire.

Loves to play....
Sudoku. I downloaded an app for my Blackberry so I can play whenever I want to. Also, Apples to Apples. It's pretty hilarious sometimes. And Rock Band II!!! I enjoy induldging my inner-rockstar.

On the nightstand....
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire, and The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

More extensive and intense yoga. I'm starting a new round of Ashtanga classes March 3rd. I'm really excited.

In my purse....
Besides the usual stuff, package of Orbit Crystal Mint gum, my striped day-planner from Curiosty Shoppe, five different kinds of lipgloss, and a sharpie.

Mandy Moore's style in "Because I Said So" and "License to Wed." Not so good movies, with really cute clothes. I'll take a side of Gabriel Macht or John Krasinski, too.

Wishing I was watching....

"Say Anything" or "Sixteen Candles". I'm in a John Hughes mood today.

I'm not going to lie.
Today will be a looong day.
As such, there might be some more posting.
You're welcome.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


1. I'm pretty sure the yahoos at McDonald's gave me regular Coke instead of diet. Let me just say that I don't really drink pop. Like, as in almost never. And when "almost never" rolls around, I try to go for diet over regular. You know, for health reasons and stuff. So on this rare occasion that I do choose to partake in that-which-is-so-unholy, it really busts my chops when jerkfaces who choose not to listen to me when ALL I ORDER IS ONE STINKING DRINK. But you know what? I'm drinking it anyway. Because I need the caffeine. Joke's on you, incompetent fast-foodigans.

2. While I am drinking the aforementioned evil pop, I am also eating some Twizzlers. And maybe a Ding-Dong for good measure. Because tonight is all about consuming things that are good for my body. Obviously. And currently, it is also all about watching "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist", which is admittedly not as crappy as everyone told me it would be. It's actually kind of amusing. I guess since I'm eating junk food and watching borderline-awful romantic comedies, tonight could probably considered my pseudo-Valentine's celebration. Particularly since I will be engaging in some very un-Valentiney activities on the actual day. Oh, and I'm getting paid for polluting my body and my brain. I'm the coolest person ever, right?

3. I am kind of entertained by the song "The Gambler", as performed by Kenny Rogers. I know that it's crappy. I know that everyone else thinks it sucks. I don't care. If Kenny Rogers and songs about transients spouting life advice and then dying on trains are wrong, then I don't want to be right.

4. Michael Cera is the sh*t. Watching him makes my life happier. Also, he makes me miss "Arrested Development." I can't wait for the movie.

5. Barack and Michelle are in Springfield tonight for some Lincoln-related banquet at the Crowne Plaza. But first they stopped in Peoria. In a car, it takes approximately an hour and a half to drive from Peoria to Springfield. Airforce One took off at 5:02 and landed at 6:21. It took a JET an hour and 11 minutes to make a trip that takes and hour and 30 minutes by car. Three guesses as to why...

6. I have the greatest friends of all time. No. Seriously.

7. I think that hand-holding is a lost art. And I think we should bring it back.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Brace Yourself.

This post is going to be about a lot of things.
So, grab yourself a beer (not that I would know anything about beer...)
And settle in.
Or just hit the "back" button on your browser and ignore me.


Before yesterday, I clearly hadn't blogged in a while (sidebar: when did "blogged" become acceptable verbiage? Weird). The reason for my hiatus?
There are a couple.
The main one being-- I got a new job.

Yeah, I know.

A new job.
I am now a grant writer and contracts manager for this place. I think my *official* title is associate manager. At least, that's what it says on my business cards.
I get business cards!
The Hoogland Center for the Arts is a non-profit artistic enrichment organization that was created with a very, VERY generous grant from Charles and Kathleen Hoogland who, incidentally, happened to also found the Family Video chain. Which is obviously how they came to be able to afford to donate such a thing to the city of Springfield.
It is a single four-story building (technically seven because we have a basement and there are also two half-floors, whatever that means) that is home to a number of arts-related organizations including the Springfield Ballet Company, Springfield Theatre Center, Praire Art Alliance, and some others. All, except for one independent media business, are non-profit like the center itself. They rent their offices from us, which is how we make a portion of our money.
However, when these organizations put on shows (for example, Springfield Theatre Center does six shows in a single season, not to mention all the other youth-related workshops they produce) they use our facilities.
We have three theaters all together; one large 500-person theater on our main level, a medium-sized theater which will seat approximately 300 with temporary seating, and a small theater which can comfortable seat about 150, also with temporary seating. In addition, there are multiple practice rooms, a dance studio, and art gallery, and a dining room.
Although our residents and their events make up for a large part of our schedule, we also have outside performers give shows in our theatres when space permits. Not huge national touring company shows, mind you. Most of those go to the Sangamon Auditorium, which holds something ridiculous like 3000 people. But smaller, more localized groups. Sometimes, bands that frequent the local bar scene will get cocky and decide that they are cool enough to play an actual show, and rent the space from us. You get the idea.
And when all of this is not going on, we host wedding receptions, birthday parties, reunions, galas, fundraisers, beautye pageants, annual meetings....

So what's my job.

Remember all that stuff I just talked about? I get to write and negotiate contracts for space rentals and reservations with every. single. one.
It sounds overwhelming.
And it kind of is.
But more than that,
There's a lot of problem-solving involved and a lot or creative thinking. Yeah, there are points in the day when I want to stab both my eyes out with a pencil. But, at the end of the day, I know I've accomplished something. Which is more than I can say for working at the hospital answering phones.

The hospital.
I might be working there also.

When it came down to it, the Center, being a non-profit, really couldn't afford to pay me what I'm actually worth but I couldn't turn down the job because it will eventually turn into a really great opportunity. There's a vast wealth of experience that can be gained from working so closely with so many different organizations at one time. And that's really the most important thing to me.

Money is also important, though.
So I stayed at the hospital part-time to supplement my income. I'm working much harder and only making slightly more between the two jobs than I was before, but it will be worth it. It already is.

Health insurance is important, too.
And, as you can imagine, the hospital has kick-ass insurance.
Which I can maintain if I still work part-time.
Ergo, my dual employment.

If you were reading very carefully during the part where I first talked about my great new job, you might have caught that I was also hired to write grants for the Center.

What is a grant, you ask?
And even if you didn't, I will still explain.
Large corporations, in order to maintain public and political favor, donate large sums of money every year not only to charities like The Red Cross, but also to non-charities. Most non-profits are founded with an initial lump-sum and subsequent donations from patrons, but are not self-sustaining. As such, they need to lobby for donations from larger companies, i.e. grants. Althought, donations is not really an accurate word; donation implies that money is directly given to a recipient. What happens when a corporation establishes a grant is they basically make the kowledge of a designated amount of money available to various non-profits, and then award the sum based on whichever group writes and submits the best proposal stating *why* their respecitive organization needs and deserves the money, based on the unique specifications of the individual grants.
Still with me?
So, that's my job. I get to research companies offering grants, write a super-awesome proposal about why we should recieve the grant, and submit it to these gigantic corporations.
How do I do this, you ask?

I have not a clue.

Don't get your panties in a bunch. My boss knew this when he hired me.
This is how the conversation went.

Him: How do you feel about grants?
Me: I think they're great. I don't really know a whole lot about them, though.
Him: Do you think you could write one?
Me: Well, like I said I don't really know anything about them. But I'm not imtimidated by it. I think I could probably write one.
Him: Great. You're hired.

I've already got an order placed on Amazon with several how-to books that should be really useful (like this one, and this one, and this one).
And we all know that Amazon is the key to everything.
Or something.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

It is also worth mentioning that the reason I have this other really exciting job is because Lara is the collest person on earth. She recommended me to her boss, and then helped CREATE a position for me. Because she's the coolest. And I love her.
So next time you see her, give her a big hug and tell her that she's the best friend ever.

If two jobs isn't reason enough for you to accept the fact that I legitimately didn't have any time to blog last month, you might also consider that I'm in school.
Ah, yes. School.

In school and trying to freaking graduate.
Which is part of the problem.
I'm double-majoring in English and Communication.
I started off as an English major because I like to read and write, and then added Com because I like to talk.
Simple, right?
Not so much.
I graduated high school in 2003.
Partially because I worked full-time for three years.
Partially because I have bad procrastination habit (one day, I'm going to invent a patch for that)
And partially because I double-majored.
I've actually been done with my Com portion of my degree for almost a year.
The reason I'm still taking classes is merely to finish up English.

And it's slowly killing my soul.
I am not 19 anymore.
I'm not even 21 anymore.
I will be 24 three weeks from yesterday.
Taking classes with kids who still survive on a steady diet of vodka and bacon cheeseburgers and stay up until 5 am on a Tuesday watching James Bond marathons is not where I should be at this point in my life. Don't get me wrong, I was that kid. There's nothing wrong with it. But, I'm not there anymore.
I work full-time in an office. I wear suits and heels to work. I have bills to pay. I go to bed at 10:30 and get up at 6:15.
What I'm saying is, my brain is not in college anymore.
So, my body shouldn't be either.

Drop my English degree down to a minor (which I'm already well past), get a bachelor's in Communication, and call my undergrad finished. Unless I decide to go back and finish up my English bachelor's, in which case I'll be suffciently on my way. Or I could go to grad school. Whichever.
It wouldn't matter.
So I'm pretty sure that's what I'm going to do at this point. Kudos to my mom for not freaking out like I thought she would. I don't know why I thought she was going to, but she didn't. Really, it's not like I'm dropping out or anything. I'm still getting a degree. It's just not in what I had planned.
But really, when you think about it, there's no job that an English degree would get me that a Com degree wouldn't. Except for maybe an English teacher, and even then it's debatable.

So there's the whole job(s) thing, and the school thing.
And sleep.
And socialization. Which I miraculously manage to still make time for.

That's why I haven't been around.

But I'm back, Internets.
I promise that I will write more often.
It won't be easy, especially since I have a real occupation that requires real effort and legitimate work.
But I think it can be done.
Because, hey? If I can work two jobs and graduate, what's one more thing.

On a final and much cuter note, please allow me to present my Wrigley Pignon-Swegle.

He is twice as adorable in real life.
Too bad he belongs to Eric and Marie.
But that's okay because I got to hold him the WHOLE TIME we were in PetSmart buying him new puppy stuff.
We even got him a sweater.
He's super-tiny and likes to give me kisses on my chin.

I think I'm in love.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dear Molly Beth

Author's Note: When you're best friend tells you that you need to start blogging because she's running out of ways to procrastinate before 'American Idol' comes on, it might be time to consider re-visiting your blog. When you one of your other best friends starts a blog because you have one, and then you subsequently do not read said aforementioned blog because you haven't logged on to blogger, even though this friend bug you EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to do so, it might be time to seriously consider re-visiting your blog. But, when your GRANDMOTHER says that you've neglected your blog for far too long...well friends, then it's probably time to get off your lazy ass and do some writing.
So write I will.
Several things have happened as of late. Some of them are even interesting. But, those are going to have to wait until my next post. Because today's is reserved for one of the above-mentioned best friends (the first one). She turned the big 2-5 in January, and I promised to write her a fabulous birthday blog but never did because sometimes I suck at life.
Tonight I am making good on that promise.
So, you can wait with baited breath for my post tomorrow, which may or may not involve several life-changing events/decisions, but it probably won't be nearly as exciting or earth-shattering to you as it is to me. Instead, why don't you read about just how fabulous my one-and-only is.
That's right.
I said it.
Molly Elizabeth Page is my one true love. My bosom friend. My same-sex-hetero-life-partner. My BFF.
Laugh if you want.
But if totally digging her and all that she stand for is wrong....
Then I don't want to be right.

Dear Molly Beth-
On January 3rd, you turned 25.
Yes, I realize that this is over a month late.
Perfection takes time! What do you want from me?!
No one taught me how to procrastinate like you.
For example:

You: Let's watch "Gone With the Wind"
Me: But I have 15-page paper due in two days. And my parent's are coming to visit tomorrow.
You: But...we should probably watch "Gone With the Wind."
Me: Molly, it's like a 3-hour movie. And it's almost 2 am.
You: you want popcorn?
Me: Sigh...put the DVD in. I'll turn on the microwave.

Let me back up.

Three years ago, we embarked upon the biggest journey of our respective lives separate, and emerged from the fire of it all...together.

From the second we met, I should've known we'd be best friends. I didn't, though. I was too concerned about the fact that there was someone else in the house who HAD MY NAME. God forbid.
But you knew.
You knew when you came up to my room in 95 Cranbrook for the very first time after I had arrived, sluggish and bewildered from my 13-hour flight across the ocean, and you glanced at my bookcase, smiled, and told me "I think we're going to be very good friends."


Why do you always have to be right?
It's really annoying sometimes.

Okay, that's a lie.
If you weren't always right, I don't know where I'd be.
Wandering shoeless in the Mojave, no doubt.
You are, and have been since the day we met, someone I can wake up at four in the morning because I have to talk about something that simply cannot wait until tomorrow (I try to limit those calls to questions regarding contraceptives and bourbon-and-Coke mixture instructions).
You are my personal fashion adviser.
You are my personal psychiatrist.
You are my personal cheering squad.

I honestly can't say whether or not you do this for all your friends.
I'd like to think that I'm extra-special because we endured some hellish circumstances (that may or may not involve the dissolution of Dutch-American peace treaties...but that's a whole other story).
Something tells me, though, that you probably go through this with all your friends.

Mostly because you don't know how to be mediocre at anything.
Which is also really annoying sometimes.

Your intellect never ceases to amaze me.
In elementary school, I was often teased for using words that the other kids couldn't understand (true story...I kid you not).
When I met you, I met a person who could "out-word" me.
There have been occasions where I feel like an imbecile merely talking to you on the phone.
You can switch gears from pop-culture to classic literature to European politics in a matter of seconds, and not even bat an eyelash.
I just sit there going...."yeah! And...and... Colin Powell looks like Sydney Poitier! Kind of."

Do you see where I'm going with this?
Your brain is an amazing thing.
I can only imagine the things you will accomplish in your lifetime.
And may I just add that considering all of this, I'm really really super-glad I'm on your good side.

Your massive brain capacity aside, you're also one of the most fun people I know.
In retrospect, there are times in my life tat I have never laughed harder than I did when I have laughed with you (did that even make sense? It's 2 am. Plus I'm drunk. Okay, not really because I'm at work and that could get me fired. But I am really tired. So, did that make sense?)

You are an amazing storyteller.
You are an uncanny observationalist.
And more than anything, you know how to laugh at yourself.
It's even funny when you get angry.

I love that our friendship allows us to get angry FOR each other, not AT each other.
Like, when one of us is wronged by, say, a male figure in our lives (cough, cough...) we logically call the other, probably while we're driving to Starbucks to drown our sorrows in a Skinny Soy Cinnamon Dolce Latte (say that five times fast. I dare you), to yell about the bastards (cough, cough...).
What does the other one do?
We get mad.
We get livid.
And then we plot revenge.

Most of which is not very well-thought out, but it's the sentiment that counts.

That's what friendship is.
And you taught me that.

Or when we're shopping (at Primark, of course) and one of us falls in love with a beautiful cotton top with a lovely cian-colored print on lime cotton and tries it on, but inevitably looks like a Three Mile Island refugee.
We can say that even a white Hanes undershirt (with pit stains) would be a better option.
Because if you look bad, then I look bad.

That's what friendship is.
You taught me that.

Or, when it's 11 o'clock on a Saturday night.
And neither of us feel like going out to a smoky bar again because we did that last night.
And every night for the past three months.
And one of us says "we should order Chinese take-away"
The other one doesn't say, "No, I'm sorry. I'm eating nothing but carrot sticks until I'm state-side again because all this gross British food is getting to me and if I don't do something about it soon I'm going to look like that whale that got accidentally trapped in the Thames (so sad, by the way."
Oh no.
The other one does NOT say that.
What they do is they suck it up, take one for the team, and say "I'll take chow mein and an egg-roll."
Because that's what we do.
And if one decides she also wants ice-cream after wards? The other one just smiles.

Because that's what friendship is all about.
And you taught me that, too.

So, thank you Molly.

Thank you for having the same name as me.
For loving books as passionatly as I do.
For loving movies the way I do.
For listening to me cry for hours and hours, over things I can't even remember now.
For walking to the grocery store with me in the freezing rain because I needed a bottle of water and there was NO WAY I was drinking tap water in that country.

Thank you for seeing London with me.
For taking goofy pictures with me.
For laughing so hard we couldn't breath.
For introducing me to the finer points of television shows about spies.
For broadening my fashion sense.

Thank you for knowing me.
For talking to me.
For talking with me.
For answering your phone.
For always calling me back.
For supporting me, no matter how many stupid choices I make.
For always being the person I want to go to first, for anything, because I know that it won't change the way you think about me.
For accepting me for who I am.
For believing that I can do all the things I want to do.
For wanting more for me.
For wanting more for yourself.
For being so fearless.
For being so patient.
For never losing hope or faith.
For understanding the world better than most people.
For understanding me better than most of the world.

I am a better person for having known you.
I don't know what I would do without you.
You and your southern charm.

Happy Birthday, Molly Beth.

Also, I love you.