April 28, 2008

Friend 1: Violet

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This weekend I got to spend a big chunk of time hanging out with one of my best friends. I also found out recently that one of my other best friends is moving to Portland, and will be even further away and I got sad thinking about how we already don't see each other enough. I decided that this week in blogland, I'd like to pay tribute to some of the most important friends in my life, so I will post about one friend each day, then on Friday I'll post about other people who've touched my life as friends over the years.

Today's friend is Violet. I have known Violet for almost 7 years, we met in June of 2001 when I started work at Borders Books as a lowly cashier, and she was the supervisor of the music section. I remember that I was intimidated by her with her burgundy hair and white bangs, she seemed so much cooler and wordly than me. Only 2 years after we met, she was part of my wedding party with her awesome bright purple hair and Celtic tattoos. V was pregnant with her first child only a couple of months after we met. She didn't have any friends with children, and I remember how tiny her daughter was when she was first born and how I was afraid to hold her until she was almost six months old. Now, I cry with pride when I see her as a six year old singing in front of the church.

I call Violet my soulmate. My husband is my heart-mate, but I share so much in common with V that it can't just be a coincidence. We both have a strong East Coast connection - she grew up in PA and went to college in Philly, I was born in State College, PA and lived there off and on as well as visiting a plethora of relatives in that area on an annual or bi-annual basis for most of my life. We both understand how cool South Street is and why Tasty Cakes are so much better than Twinkies. We both love books, movies, everything Vampire and Lycanthrope, shows that entertain us and rip out our hearts (Buffy, Grey's, Battlestar). We both got married young and believe that marriage is forever, but also know just how much work it really is.

Working at Borders with V on the special process team was probably the best work experience I've ever had. Along with J, our 3rd team member, we had some of the best times I've ever had at work and our team ran like a well oiled machine. Violet introduced me to Rhett Miller, Fallout Boy, OK Go, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K Hamilton, Battlestar Galactica, Sportsnight, Grey's Anatomy... If she likes a musician or author, chances are I will like it too. She led me into the world of small concert venues in an arena-concert world and we've enjoyed many nights at the Showbox and other local venues. We've gotten 3 tattoos together.

When I had trouble getting pregnant, Violet was totally there for me and not afraid to admit that she felt bad going through her own pregnancy and being around me so much when I longed for a baby of my own. But I was so close to her family that instead of hurting me, cuddling her 2 year old and her new baby always made me feel better. When I finally got pregnant, I had learned so much from V that my transition into being a first time parent was probably about 10 times easier than when she'd done it, alone and without the advice of a well seasoned Mom for a friend. We've shared great times, and some really, really hard ones. We've cried together and laughed a lot. When I had my big pre-wedding cold feet freakout, it was Violet who was there for me. When I got pregnant, she was the first person other than my husband who I told about it. I was too scared to even be excited and waiting for my blood test results. We can talk candidly about any subject.

Violet is one of the first friends I've had in my life who is a practicing Christian. Over the years, she's listened to me talk about faith and my lack thereof for countless hours. We've had great conversations and she's always supported me and invited me to church with her for Easter and whenever there were fun special events. She never judged me, and never acted as though my questions or feeling on the subject were stupid or wrong. If I hadn't met her, I would never have been introduced to the amazing environment and congregation at Lake Forest Park Presbyterian Church, and I would not have attended the new members class that changed my life forever. The first time I prayed, it was for the tiny baby growing inside Violet right next to the IUD that didn't work quite so well.

Today, Violet has three beautiful children who are 5 months, 4 years and 6 years old. I love them too much to describe. Since V and her husband are both only children, I have the pleasure of being a sort of 'Aunt' to the kids, and I am honored to be that. Since I recently moved back to Bellingham, which is 1.5 hours north of the Seattle area, but I still work in Seattle on Mondays, I get the pleasure of having a sleepover with my best friend EVERY WEEKEND for one or two nights. She and her husband open their home to me, my home away from home, weekly so I can keep my job and have a break from being with my son 24/7. I enjoy holding the baby so that V can cook dinner (which never fails to be completely delicious), listening to 4 talk about Pokemon, and watching 6 do her homework on Sunday nights.

Violet is incredibly intelligent, an amazing mother and person, and so, so real. She is an amazing cook - I could probably live on her guacamole and the bread she makes. She is crafty as all getout - she sews, she knits, last year she made her 3 year old son the sweetest costume for halloween - a hammerhead shark made of silver vinyl. She reads and has intelligent opinions, and like me, doesn't watch the news because it's too depressing and sensationalistic. We can laugh together, vent about our husbands and children, and talk about nothing in the dark for hours, and I love her.

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