5 people in your life right now who mean the most.
I'm going to organize this based upon how long I've known these people. The ones I met earliest are at the top.
I met Stephanie when we were juniors at Grosse Pointe South High School. She had just transferred there from Interlochen Arts Academy. And she was one bitchin' poet. (Still is, in fact. She's graduating this weekend with a BA in poetry from Columbia College Chicago.)
As you'll be able to see by glancing at her blog, Stephanie's also one hell of a feminist. She thinks that I give her too much credit for her role in helping me to view the world from a feminist perspective. But I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it; she did a lot to help me become who I am today.
I was a little intimidated by Stephanie when I met her. I don't know why, exactly. Probably because she, like me, wanted nothing to do with most of the people who graduated with us. So I assumed that I was just another one of the people she wanted to avoid.
But I was wrong. Thanks to our similar interests, the two of us became friends. We were kind of huge dicks in those days, and thought we were better than everyone else. We talked a lot of shit and smoked a lot of weed.
But I think that both of us have grown up a lot since then, and our friendship has lasted; Stephanie is one of the most intelligent, compassionate, generous, and reliable people I know. She's also hilarious. And she pours a lot of her energy into really cool/important projects, like West Side School for the Desperate and SlutWalk Chicago.
I actually just sent her an email earlier today asking for some advice on something I'm dealing with, and as I was working on this blog post, she replied with a list of things I need to do right the fuck now in order to fix the situation.
Put Stephanie in charge of any project: running the student poetry organization at Columbia College, forming an arts collective, or dealing with her friends' personal issues, and I assure you, shit will get done.
I met Sarah at the Controlled Burn Seminar for Young Writers in 2005. We were in Mary Ann Samyn's poetry workshop together.
But for whatever reason (likely my teenage lack of maturity--Sarah's three years older than I am), our friendship didn't really form until a couple of years later. She graduated from SVSU in 2007, the year I finished high school. And then I enrolled at SVSU, so pestered her with questions (What the fuck is a FAFSA form? Whose classes should I take? Etc, etc).
That fall, she moved to Marquette to pursue an MA at NMU. But she came down to Saginaw damn near every weekend, and we spent a lot of time together. We also spent spring break together that year. We hung out with her adorable pet ferret Bandit and broke a lot of rules.
When she finished her MA and moved to Oklahoma, I was sad because we'd no longer be living in the same state. But it's not like we've ever lived in the same city. So in a way, things didn't change much. I don't usually like talking on the phone, but I really like talking to Sarah, and because we're completely ridiculous, we manage to talk for two to three hours at a time. I also flew out to visit her this past January.
Also, she sends me the most beautiful postcards, usually for no particular occasion. I wish I could say that I did a decent job reciprocating. But I don't. So props to her, fail to me.
And that is why I love Sarah. She's really ambitious academically (finished college in three years, is working on her second Master's degree, etc), but loves me even though I don't know what the fuck I'm doing with my life. She has always been really encouraging and sincere.
(And since I know she reads this: Hi, Sarah! ILY.)
When my parents met Tracy, my mom said that she was "charming" and my dad referred to her as "a breath of fresh air." Nearly every time we hang out, Tracy rubs this in my face. (Since then, I've been referred to as "charming" in a letter of recommendation, and just the other day, someone told me via FB message that I am "a source of energy for good vibes," so there).
Tracy and I were roommates during our first two years at SVSU. We first bonded over peach yogurt and wheat bread three days after moving in together; I rather liked her taste in groceries. :)
I didn't know it at the time, but food would become a really important part of our friendship; Tracy loves to cook and is damn good at it. She even managed to whip up some pretty interesting things during the year we lived in a dorm without a real kitchen.
One of the things I love most about Tracy is her wit. She's fucking hilarious. All the time. And she makes it look effortless. Her sister Tricia works in a hair salon, and one day, we paid her a visit and asked her to tame my eyebrows. We were both laughing so hard at everything that came out of Tracy's mouth that finally Tricia said, "Trace, I need you to stop being funny for five seconds so I can get this wax off of Amy's face without screwing up the shape of her eyebrows."
Tracy's the friend I stay with whenever I visit Saginaw. She knows to stock up on coffee when I come. And she puts up with all of my quirks and questionable habits. We don't actually talk much when I'm in Grosse Pointe, but whenever I visit her, it's as if I never left.
Matthew and I went to SVSU together; he was the editor-in-chief of Cardinal Sins before me. He's fifteen years older than I am. When I met him, I was a nineteen-year-old freshman; he was in his 30s and a lot closer to graduation than I was.
So if someone had told me then that we'd remain good friends even after he went off to grad school in Baltimore, MD and I transferred to Wayne State, I wouldn't have believed them.
We make an odd pair, but I've realized that that's just the point: Our entire friendship is based on our quirks and fondness for cats. He didn't think it was weird at all that I brought a rubber dinosaur to the student publications office and instead of helping him lay pages, talked to the dinosaur and gave her a name: Gertrude.
In fact, that night he wrote on my FB Wall, "Give Gertie a squeeze for me."
Our friendship hasn't gotten any less strange since Matthew moved out of state. Last month, he sent a package addressed to "Mac the Cat, c/o Amelia Glebocki." It was a mix CD. And yes, there were songs on it that mentioned cats.
I "made Mac send him a thank you card." Matthew told me that I'd done a good job of teaching my cat how to write.
It's just weird enough to work. My guess is that you can only base friendships off of quirks like this if you're both legitimately strange and comfortable with that strangeness.
Rose and I went to SVSU together, but that's not where we met. We met a year or so after she graduated, at a coffee shop in Saginaw in August of 2009.
I'd gone to a poetry reading there and met up with a bunch of people I knew (among them Matthew). I didn't know Rose at all. But when she walked through the door, all my friends went to her. I guess Rose doesn't come out to play much? Everyone was so happy to see her.
Through the crowd of people, Rose saw me hanging out awkwardly by myself in a corner of the coffee shop where our friends had left me. She came over and said simply, "Looks like you're friends with my friends. And they ditched you for me. Sorry about that. I'm Rose. I'll add you on Facebook when I get home."
I figured that we wouldn't interact much on Facebook, and that I'd end up deleting her from my friends list. Boy, was I wrong about that.
For about a year, we commented on each others' posts. By the time I moved back to Grosse Pointe in May of 2010, we were exchanging lengthy, candid FB messages. And that October, she invited me to her wedding.
So back to Saginaw I went. I hadn't seen her since the day we'd met over a year earlier.
She also came to visit me in GP this past February, which really meant a lot to me.
It's hard to explain how we became friends or why. But things that she says make sense. And she listens. I like to think I do the same for her. I think it's lovely that we used Facebook not only to keep in touch, but to get to know each other in the first place.
Friendship takes effort. I think both of us realize that in a way that a lot of others don't. Getting to know each other online and living far away from each other has really forced us to practice what we preach. And I like that.
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