You know "Her?" Aphrodite? She Who Shall Not Be Named? Or, She Who Shall Not (yet) Be Named? Welp, the long-awaited moment is here folks: She is Ellie. The person I've known as my neighbor for a few years, and the person I know now as one of my closest friends.
We actually exchanged numbers on the street corner maybe four-ish years ago (that sounds funny, "on the street corner," like we were working it or something), but neither of us reached out after that. It was just one of those things, a near miss of friendship, or a postponement of friendship if you will, which bums me out a bit. I really do wish she had been around for the last few years; however, I am utterly grateful for the wait, since it means I have her as a friend now. And good people are certainly worth the wait.
Most of you reading this have probably heard me tell you how wonderful I think Ellie really is. Instead of regurgitating it all, I decided to list some of the top reasons why I'm so very thankful for her--partially because I just want to, and partially as a birthday tribute. There are forty of them, to be exact.
Top 40 Reasons I'm Thankful for Her, My Neighbor-Friend, Ellie:
- She is brilliant and she is hilarious; she is brilliantly hilarious.
- I understand (and love) her sarcasm.
- She knows how to listen, and is genuinely interested in listening to me when I'm talking, even if I'm spewing nonsense.
- She lets me vent, and will tell me if and when I'm borderline obsessing.
- She hasn't known me too long, but doesn't hesitate to be brutally honest with me, which I appreciate.
- If I need to call her at 3AM, I can. Or, I can bang on her door until she answers--which I know she will, no matter the time.
- We help each other work on parts of our personality we want to change. (This is one of my favorites.)
- She can get me out of a seriously bad mood by sending a funny text, or by dropping off an ataulfo mango at my door. (I had no clue those existed prior to receiving one.)
- She introduces me to new things! (Mangoes, new people, new places, etc.)
- She's a great wing-woman, and is ready to pounce on any overbearing guy that comes my way.
- She's always down to get sushi.
- She goes on Friday and Saturday night dinner dates with me, likely to get sushi. (Or on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.)
- She is a wonderful dog mama, and to a dog even bigger than my Nellie, so she can empathize with the annoying comments about having big dogs in a city.
- She makes me want to read more and challenges me intellectually, which I love.
- That said, I must have written three drafts of the first "thank you" note I wrote her, because I wanted it to be clever and "on her level." (I also had my mother approve the final draft.)
- She corrects my mistakes without making a fuss about it.
- She makes the effort to look up funny slang terms that I use.
- I'm sure all of the above makes this one obvious, but she is an incredible, incredible writer. I read her whole blog in one weekend. (She started it in 2012.)
- We never run out of things to talk about (or text about).
- When Ziggy had a scary seizure and I frantically called her, she somehow made it from Pasadena to DTLA in five minutes to be there for me. She took Nellie out for a walk so I could tend to Z, and that extra hand meant the world to me then, and still does now.
- She's seen me ugly-cry. Didn't care then, sure don't care now.
- Our friendship never feels one-sided.
- Immediately, I felt I could tell her anything. Which I absolutely do.
- I was even comfortable enough to mention getting a Brazilian wax within the first week or two of really getting to know her. Oversharing? Maybe. She didn't seem to mind.
- As much as she inspires me to make healthy lifestyle choices, she also will go to town on a bowl of salty Takami edemame with me, or inhale Mexican food with me at my favorite place (even though she prefers a different Mexican restaurant).
- She makes the best molasses cookies I've ever had, and I don't usually eat sweets. (I ate 7 cookies in one night from last week's batch.)
- She doesn't judge me when I choose not to do my hair and throw it up in what she calls a "shame poof."
- She bought me a flexible "hair sponge" thing so I could put my hair in better messy buns.
- She also doesn't judge me when she sees me wearing the same red sweatshirt day after day.
- She's the first person to say I'm smart, capable, and pretty; it's like I have a one-woman cheering section.
- She pops by my apartment to check on my dog/s when I need her to. (HUGE, in my book.)
- She's offered to send her boyfriend over to kill the big bugs in my apartment. (Remember the moth invasion?)
- My friends back East tease me about how much I talk about her, and they call her "my girlfriend." which is hysterical. I love it.
- These same friends have told me how happy they are that I have Ellie in my life, without even knowing her firsthand. (You know you must be a pretty good friend when people you've never met adore you.)
- She somehow hasn't gotten annoyed with my ability to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk...
- She makes me feel like a little girl, wanting to call her one of my "best friends."
- She was open to going with me to Morocco this fall/winter, and we hadn't even known each other three months when it was first discussed.
- She appreciates my favorite salad from the Greek Grill a few blocks away, which of course is super important. (She also lets me complain about the new price increase at this place.)
- She makes me like myself. Maybe that sounds lame, but I feel confident in myself when I'm around her. And I like that.
- Lastly, I cannot understand how I got so lucky to have her in my apartment building, on my floor, and in my life. I am so grateful. It would be weird to not have her around, in any of those facets, and I honestly don't look forward to the day where either of us move. (Sooo let's not! Like, ever!)
Anyway. Happy, happy birthday, Ellie! I'm so happy to have you in my life. (And a bunch of people you don't even know are too.)