The last few days I’ve been trying to organize my lists of the last few things I need to buy for this trip and have been finding myself feeling kind of blue. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, aside from attributing it to hating the holiday season (which I really do) without my family. Then Carole King explained it for me and made me cry (by the way, readers who don’t know me: I cry at a lot of strange things).
When I first moved to New York I worked for this family for an entire year without making any real girlfriends. The first real friend I made was Rachel. [ http://thepawreport.wordpress.com/ ] We met at an animal rights protest for the cats and dogs living and dying in New York City’s Animal Care and Control. It wasn’t until a few months later that we actually began hanging out but it was destined to be because we were destined to sing karaoke. The first time we hung out we went shopping at American Apparel and afterwards went to a bar where my drink was horrible and we convinced our server to put Hawaiian Punch in it just to make it a little better (it wasn’t better haha). After that for about 6 months we karaoke’d together every other weekend and I would stay with her in Brooklyn. She has a cat named Raskol who is, in her words, a crazy bastard…and he really is. I’ll never forget waking up in the middle of the night the night before I auditioned for The Voice to him screaming and racing around her apartment lol. Rachel wasn’t amused but we laugh about it every time now. When my grandmother died it was Rachel who met fresh from the airport and held me in the middle of the busy sidewalk while I cried. She’s a very busy bee but whenever I least expect it she’ll surprise me with a sweet little gift or Facebook post of encouragement.
The second friend I made in New York was Kerry. I was signing up to volunteer at the local animal shelter and Kerry was the person handing out applications. For some reason that I still don’t know, I asked Kerry if she’d like to have dinner some night and talk about the shelter system in NY. (SUPER random right?) Well, we exchanged numbers and made arrangements for dinner. Kerry will never let me forget that dinner, allow me to explain. At the time I was friends with a woman who was a little crazy and too intense when it came to animal rescue (I hadn’t realized it yet though) and that night at dinner she ended up asking me to go on a wild cat chase for a missing cat. I dragged poor Kerry along, who had no idea what she was getting into but the next thing she knew we were knocking on a strangers door in the rain at like 9:30 at night. I honestly cannot understand why she ever spoke to me again! LOL! Once I had established that I was not, in fact, insane (well..) we became glorious friends! She would come over and we would talk about our love interests over a cup of coffee and lots of squealing ridiculously. Kerry is who pushed me into actually doing this trip. She is the one who googled camping on public land etc etc. She listened to me ramble, rant and rave about all the different plans I wish I could have and why they would or would not work and gave me realistic ideas in return. Kerry is my one friend actually ON Long Island (since everyone else lives in the city) that I could count on in an emergency not even beginning to mention randomly texting for a 5 minute coffee date! She comes over every Wednesday for coffee and we catch up on the week and that’s that! Kerry is the best!
Last year at Thanksgiving Rachel introduced me to her friend Caitlin, who quickly became my friend also! (Although if you ask her she’ll say SHE infiltrated our friendship). Caitlin lives with her mother and her fiance with their 4 dogs, 2 (or 3?) cats and other tiny family members. Caitlin and Richard became another little safe haven for me when I’d get frustrated in my house and needed to escape. I could always count on them to let me over for a drink and some ranting angrily (plus a lot of loving on from her doggies). Catlin does work similar to mine so she always understands a lot of the anxieties and frustrations that I go through. She also has a sassy mouth on her that won’t stop for anything, and I love it. Sometimes you encounter people who are quiet just to let the peace continue but Caitlin will speak her part come hell or high water even if it’s about you! Who doesn’t need that in their lives? I love that I can talk about shit and Caitlin with definitely tell me straight up how she feels about whatever I saying. She’s also hysterically inappropriate at times like when I give her my Facebook password for emergencies and she hijacks it with status about all kinds of stuff! What a jerk. ❤
I met Alicia, Kathy and Nicole at a concert for an artist that we all love. For about 6 months we went out every weekend dancing, having fun and getting into trouble. Eventually we realized our poor wallets couldn’t handle that but all the things we got into during that time allowed us to become very fast friends who can talk about ANYthing and anyone. Lots of fantastic memories, sleeping on Alicia’s pullout bed and then getting lost trying to find our way back to the subway the next day; dancing and discussing makeup, clothes, significant others in our lives, shoes and upcoming concerts. I think the best night of the three of us was when we made the not smart decision to go out to a concert on a Tuesday night. We had hoped the artist would go out with us afterwards (because she had done that the last time she was in New York). We ended up at a karaoke bar in Brooklyn and suddenly it was 3:30 am, Kathy was being fed a bagel by Alicia like a bird, Nicole was long gone back to PA (where she lived) and I was panicking on trying to get a cab to the train because I had to work at 6:30 am and the last train was at 4.
Last, but not least, is my friend Taina. I met Taina in July this year. We ran into each other at a pow wow in Queens and never interacted and then ended up being in a giftshop in a museum at the same time two weeks later. We went out for coffee and immediately there was a click. Right away she understood what I meant when I said I love to sigh in the wind, to stand in the rain with my arms up. We like to say that destiny brought us together at a time when we needed a friend that understood our souls. We don’t see each other often but whenever we do and whenever we talk we have these deep, honest discussions about EVERYTHING and sometimes there is a language barrier due to her speaking more Spanish than English and me the other way around but we always get our point made and understand. We have had many adventures and end up laughing over the silliest things later on. There is always a race to watch the sunset when she comes to Long Island to visit me and hopefully one day on my trip we will watch one. ❤
Needless to say, the first time I left New York I didn’t really mind it because I wasn’t leaving anyONE behind. This time the thought of leaving my girlfriends behind is really rather excruciating. Since my phone will be off I won’t be able to just text, facebook message or call any of them if I suddenly have a problem with something and just need to talk, want to see their posts on animals on facebook or what hair drama Kathy is having. For the first time in my life every single girlfriend I have here is someone I can literally say ANYthing to and know that they won’t judge me. They accept me for who I am, and respect me enough to be honest with me. I’ve never known friends quite like this that will have an entire thread about my ridiculous antics on Facebook the way these ladies will and it genuinely makes me smile knowing that I love them as much as they love me. I’m super glad I wrote this blog out because it actually lifted my spirits a lot thinking of all the joy my friends bring to my life. #FreeFranny