Twenty years ago my best friend in the world had moved with her family from Maryland to Delaware. While it’s extremely bizarre to be able to recall things from twenty years ago without issue (I won’t bother saying I’m old, I just FEEL old sometimes), I remember things from that time period perfectly.
My best friend Marie and I spent almost every single day together in fourth grade. It seems like that single year was actually multiple years, but looking back, it was really such a short time. We were basically together 95% of that year. If I wasn’t at her house, she was at mine. Regardless of where we were, we were absolutely singing and dancing to Britney Spears’ first CD. Zero doubt about it. Gosh, I loved her mom. She talked to us about the Beatles and we talked to her about The Spice Girls.
When Marie was at my house we would 100% be walking around the neighborhood, my pet goose, Fluffernutter, waddling behind us.
We went swimming in the bay and talked about our crushes and what we’d be when we got older. I remember not being upset when Marie moved because we would always stay close friends. For a while, that’s exactly what happened! But as you do in middle school, we drifted apart and didn’t talk for years.
When Facebook became a “thing” we added each other and would randomly chat here and there. But a few years ago, we decided to finally get together and hang out. I am so, so, so grateful we did. It’s like no time passed at all. I am so grateful we found each other again. I’m so grateful I’ve gotten to witness her finding her soulmate, Matt. Grateful she’s introduced me to such wonderful human beings, and I’m SO grateful I know her perfect cat, Pumpkin.
The second portion of my interview series is below. Please stay tuned for more!
A: Where did we first meet?
M: We first met in elementary school at Elk Neck! You have a better memory than I do but I knew almost instantly that we were going to be best friends.
A: That’s true! We met on the playground. What has been the biggest challenge in your life so far?
M: That is a hard one! If I am being honest, I think living with anxiety has been the biggest challenge of my life so far. It makes what “should” be easy tasks much more difficult and makes me second guess every single thing I think I know. It’s exhausting (as you know).
A: How did you know Matt was the one?
M: The first time I cooked for Matt, I set off the fancy Nest smoke alarms Maria had just recently installed. They were wailing and yelling at us (SMOKE DETECTED IN THE KITCHEN). I was freaking out, waving a kitchen towel near the smoke alarm, and Matt just went around and opened all the windows. I overcooked the steak (though he’ll swear it was fine), but I knew that he was the one to balance me from that moment on.
A: That’s so sweet. In what way has Matt changed your life?
M: Oh jeez, in what way HASN’T he changed my life? I guess the biggest way he has impacted my life would be the way he has shown me that I am truly worthy of the love people show me. He always makes me feel strong and smart and beautiful. Even when I am questioning everything about myself, he always reminds me that I am lovable, just as I am.
A: What is your biggest pet peeve?
M: Oh my gosh, when Matt leaves his disgusting slippers near our bed or near me on the couch. He used to put them ON THE BED but he kicked that habit quick after a few side eyes from me.
A: What about the world makes you happy?
M: You know, I am so glad you asked this because it is so easy to only focus on the bad. Flowers make me so happy, as do animals of all kinds (specifically fluffy ones). Also, WATER. Get me near a body of water and I am a happy gal.
A: Amen. So, what about the world makes you sad/angry?
M: Injustice makes me so sad and angry. We live in a world that should have so many opportunities for everyone and yet so many are pushed to the side because of greed. I mean, mostly it comes down to how capitalism is garbage and tricks us into thinking that our worth is tied to our productivity.
A: What do you love most about yourself?
M: I like to think that I am an honest and kind friend. I love when I can positively impact the people I love.
A: You genuinely are and you do. Who has influenced you the most in your life?
M: This is going to sound so cheesy but absolutely my mom. Anyone who ever had the opportunity to meet her would tell her how incredibly kind and compassionate she was. I look up to her so much; she is where I gain all my strength and resilience from.
A: Your mom was really the greatest. I loved her. Speaking of love…how has your dog, Crash, changed your life?
M: Well, firstly, he is the most amazing and smiley creature who has ever graced the earth so there is that. Mostly, though, he reminds me everyday that love is something worth living for, even if it is just the love of a stinky little dog.
A: What is the best decision you’ve ever made for yourself?
M: Cutting off people who did not serve me, for sure. I used to be the kind of person who would continue to be friends with someone, regardless of how they treated me. Fuck that! Now I critically analyze my friendships and cut away anyone who is treating me poorly.
A: You honestly encouraged me to do the cutting off I needed to, as well. What is your greatest fear?
M: Honestly, my biggest fear is something happening to my remaining loved ones. If something happened to Carla, Sierra, Maria, or Matt, I would be endlessly devastated. I have lost a lot of important people in my life, I don’t know how much more I could bear.
A: I know there are specific days during the year which make you sad/need a break from life. What are the days that you get excited for?
M: Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year! Not for the original reasons (we don’t celebrate white washed colonial fairytales in our home), but because I get to cook and spend the day with the people I love. Also, pie. I also really love my birthday. It’s a good excuse to spend time with friends and do whatever I want (which is usually eating with friends, lol)
A: What are you looking forward to most?
M: I am so looking forward to growing old with Matthew. I am excited to continue to grow together, build our family, and face the challenges the world throws at us.
A: What is your favorite book? Why?
M: Okay, well, obviously my favorite book is a Harry Potter book. Specifically, the third; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is probably because it touches so much on family dysfunction and building your own community.
A: That’s my favorite HP book too! What is your favorite movie? Why?
M: This one is harder! Possibly Matilda? Possibly James and the Giant Peach? Possibly every Harry Potter movie? I tend to like movies about orphans or kids with dysfunctional families (or both). Foreshadowing, much.
A: Just a little. But those movies are the best. What emotion do you experience the most?
M: Ha. Anxiety. Absolutely anxiety.
A: If you could say one thing for the entire world to hear, what would you say?
M: There is magic in loving yourself fiercely. It is infectious. You will find that when you treat yourself with compassion and kindness, it will spill over into your friends and family as well.
A: Love that. What is your favorite meal to make? Favorite meal to eat?
M: I love making sauce! The whole process of it is soothing to me; the browning of the meat, the slow simmer that fills your house, the way it clings to the ridges on the pasta. Honestly, I love a really love a good plate of barbecue. Brisket or chopped pork, beans, and mac and cheese.
A: Would you rather cuddle 10 puppies or 2 baby sloths?
M: Why would I pick? Couldn’t we all cuddle? There is plenty of room!
A: Sloths are always the answer… anyway. Is there any food you refuse to try?
M: Balut! It’s this Filipino fermented partially developed chicken egg. No way!
A: That sounds horrifically repulsive. Tell me your favorite thing about Matt.
M: He is honestly the most genuine and warm person I have ever known.
A: *cough* other than Alex *cough*
A: Most importantly…Nsync or BSB?
M: N*sync, duh.