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December 20, 2012
— Student Prize Winner ($40) of Oregon Women’s Report “Thanks, Girlfriend” writing contest.
Dear best friend,
I want to write you a letter about why you’re my best friend but I refuse to saturate it with all the generic reasons and adorable anecdotes. Let’s be real: you already know you’re my best friend. If you didn’t, we wouldn’t have remained best friends all these years. What is it? Eight years? Ten? I never seem to remember.
Thank you for remaining close with me even when we’re in separate time zones and separate stages of life. Thank you for not letting dumb facts like distance or time divide us.
We all get distant to a certain degree; life is fast, but you never let me get very far. Thank you for considering me that important.
After not seeing each other for several months, I was afraid you would have changed significantly. Nope, you’re always consistent. You were the same colorful person I’ve known since we were five. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw that you still have that weird thing with your socks; it’s impossible for you to match them. I ask myself as you tilt your head back and laugh if you could possibly be my favorite person who ever existed?
I’m not sure why I get to be your best friend but I know why you’re mine. You’re my best friend because you get it. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but whatever it is, you have it. I don’t need to explain anything to you or worry you won’t understand. You always do. I never need to worry that you won’t get the joke. You already got it and you’re on your way to making the next one.
Thank you for taking care of me in every way possible, for being there when no one else was or wanted to be, when you didn’t have to be. You’re not that awkward kind of friend who I hesitate asking for help. You never got mad when I didn’t call you for weeks on end because I was too busy being someone’s girlfriend, but you were right there to pick up my heart-splinters when things predictably shattered. You’re always there for me, no bargaining or explanations needed.
It’s true that you could possibly be my favorite person who ever existed.
Thank you for being a different friend than everyone else, different from the friends who are only there for the fun things. I know I could do anything with you and it wouldn’t even be lame. You’re always fun even when we’re not having fun. I don’t need to explain that. I know you get it.
Thank you for being everything that a real friend is. Thank you for letting me sob on your shoulder, screaming in pillows with me when there were no more words, reminding me when I forget, for being genuinely concerned with the outcome of my life and always listening, even when you’re tired. Thank you for always being honest.
Are you my favorite person in the whole world? Is it true that there is just something about you that sets you apart from others that I love in my life?
I have to think that quite possibly when we were created; our personalities were made like corresponding shapes, like puzzle pieces from the clay.
Thank you for being my best friend. Thank you for your colorful personality and socks. I hope you’re wearing them as you read this and I hope you hear the depth of my sincerity within my heart when I say: “Thanks, Girlfriend!”
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