Let’s say that I was going through a “transitional phase” in high school when I met Jayne. Yeah, that sounds nice. Let’s not call it “coming out of my dark ages like a primitive organism crawling out of the primordial soup.”
On the one hand, I was just growing out of my awkward phase and beginning to embrace wearing something other than sweatshirts, but on the other, my small group of friends had left school and nothing brings out the awkward in me quite like hanging out (or God forbid eating) alone.
I did have friends–they were just at other schools. And I felt like people needed to know that, so I bombarded anyone who made the mistake of asking what I’ve been up to with stories of all our after-school shenanigans and weekend parties. I’m beginning to suspect that might have been a bit obnoxious.
Jayne seemed to tolerate my stories in Biology class but with her intellectual-looking glasses and expression of skepticism, I could tell that she wasn’t impressed with me. Here was a young woman who wasn’t amused with my antics and who probably thought that I was being immature (that seems likely). I thought of her as a highly-evolved high schooler who was too smart to care about parties or be concerned with who broke/drank/stole/said/wore what. She seemed so confident to an insecure, awkward girl like me. And no matter how hard I tried to impress her with my tales (and boy did I try), she wasn’t having it.
Fast forward to a few years later just when Jayne spat her water in my face. I was less preoccupied about the water and more concerned with the fact that Jayne actually laughed at whatever dumb joke I had made (though, regrettably, no one remembers it). I probably made some kind of sexual pun or turned an innocent expression into a double entendre and this super mature, intelligent girl actually laughed. That was when I realized that maybe we had more in common than I thought.
What followed were sneaky lunchtime trips to Subway (that I thought were only important to me. Go figure) and piroshki and Starbucks and the beginnings of our own inside jokes.
It wasn’t until college that we became as close as we are now. But what we only found out years later during a particularly productive trip to our favorite dive bar was that we had been really similar during high school, going through the same exact experiences (like referring to our awkward years as the “Dark Ages”) and coming to the same realizations, but were too stupid and shy to figure it out.
Carpe friendship, ya’ll.