If you’ve been following along with this blog, you’ve learned that it’s the people I’ve met in my life that make up these memories that matter most to me and today’s blog is about one of my favorites. Every great relationship starts somewhere and for Amy Jacobs and I it started with a whisper.
Early on in my first year in New York, I didn’t really have any connections with anyone other than my roommates. Being a dance major made for a long day of classes and not having any buddies left me feeling very lonely. One day, while waiting for my ballet class to start, the sweetest little girl in front of me at the barre introduced herself as Meghan and started chatting it up with me. Somehow it came to mention that I didn’t drink so I didn’t spend my weekends going out. If you’ve met me in my adult life, you likely don’t believe me when I say I didn’t drink until I was 21. I’ve been known to enjoy a wine or 5 but it is true, I did not drink until I was of legal age and neither did Meghan or her roommate! We continued to chat and we discovered that her roommate and I were in the same modern dance class and so she encouraged me to introduce myself to her the next time we had class.
The next morning at 7:55 am, still half asleep I sought out Amy, the 3rd member of this possible innocent chicks club. Meghan had told her I might approach and so we made small talk while stretching before the teacher got class started. She invited me to join for her birthday festivities happening that weekend. I left school that day feeling on top of the world! I had made friends and we were going to play laser tag on Saturday! Damn we were cool.
We met in the lobby of the dorms at a designated time and headed off to Times Square! Sounded amazing to me! Laser tag was exactly what you’d expect; silly, nerdy and a total blast. Right off the bat I got a taste of who Amy was. A little silly with an aura of badass and a competitive edge. I also quickly learned from her blatant dislike of Meghan’s then-boyfriend that Amy had a maternal protective quality, one that stands out as her strongest personality trait. Even then Amy looked out for her friends and if that means threatening boyfriends, by all means, let em have it!
Giddy from laser tag and warmed up quickly to each other, Amy and I found ourselves laughing nonstop while walking through the crowds of the 42nd street subway station headed back to the dorms. I can’t pin point how it started but we began playing a game in which you whisper a scandalous word and take turns gradually increasing in volume. And so we chose “penis”. Oh the vulgarity! And so it went, “penis, penis, penis, PENIS!” We’d pause our walk to yell “PENIS!!!” in the crowded station and the fact that not one single person batted an eye made the whole thing more humorous. And then, without warning, one of us (my memory can’t recollect exactly who) decided to up the ante, “penis, penis, penis VAAAAAGGGGIIIIIINNNNNAAA!!!” Hilarious! Our immature humor had us practically falling on the floor with laughter. It was the kind of laughter that brings tears to your eyes and you’re overcome with endorphins that just make you feel good. The kind of laughter that comes from alcohol and here were losing control without it. In that moment, an unbeatable bond was created.
Our relationship flourished and we became inseparable! Meghan, the third part of this trusty trio had two majors and a very different schedule. That piece of this pie really grew around our junior year. Amy and I, however went through our freshman and sophomore years side by side. By our second year we had manipulated our schedules so that we had EVERY class together. We’d walk back and forth from the dorms to school discussing our highs and lows, planning our future(ain’t that a juxtaposition), throwing around some inside jokes and sometimes singing songs at the top of our lungs, giving zero farts about anyone else in the city. Amy became more than my friend, she became my sister. Like any relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs but we need each other and we both know it. There have been times over the years in which life takes hold and we are parted for weeks at a time. In those gaps, I feel a part of me drain. A friendship like mine with Amy requires frequent catch ups to refuel my happiness battery.
Those high class yells of potty talk happened exactly 13 years ago to the date, Amy’s 18th birthday. Amy has always been the baby by numbers but our protector by trait. We’ve seen each other through job changes, boyfriends, breakups, loss of loved ones, victories, weddings, babies and all the stuff in between.
Amy, when we were 18 we found our song; At The Beginning by Richard Marx. The lyrics defined us and we sung them like vows. “We were strangers, starting out a journey. Never dreaming of what we’d have to go through. Now here we are, and I’m suddenly standing at the beginning with you”. We’ve come a long way from our penis game. You’ve grown up to be an extraordinary woman. You’re a hardworking business woman, loyal wife and to no ones surprise, an excellent mother. I am so luckily to have you standing with me at the beginning of all of life’s paths, the good, the bad and the totally unexpected.
I’m with you today in spirit, toasting you with a bottle of wine, (one for you and one for me because let’s be honest, the little girls we were when we met are now grown up wine-drinking women) and I’m wishing you the happiest of birthdays. Raise your bottle and yell it with me, “VAAGIIINNNNAAA!!” Thank you New York! 😉