The first time we met, I was on my best behavior… for perhaps all of ten minutes and then it was immediately obvious that I didn’t have to play a part. I think that’s always been a back-of-the-mind thought for me when meeting a partner’s friends. I want to be the “cool girlfriend.” Who doesn’t? But within an hour, it was apparent that I could just be Liz.
You should know that he spoke very highly of you all. So much so that I wasn’t nervous about the introduction. I imagined anyone he would care about and bring into his life would be someone worth having around. I knew you would be good people before we shook hands… knew that we’d be friends when we all agreed we were actually huggers.
Thank you for putting me at ease anyway. For showing me so much kindness from day one. Thank you for trusting me with your best friend’s heart. I promise I’m going to keep it safe. Thank you for welcoming me into this wacky little family.
Thank you for driving me to and from the train station and taste testing all my vegan baked goods. Thanks for being my intel-gatherers when I have an idea for a birthday present and thank you for being my excitement-sharers when I can’t keep the secret to myself. Thanks for not minding that in a crew of night owls, I tap out at eleven and thanks for letting me sleep on the sofa behind a game of Mario Kart.
I don’t know if I fully recognized how special something like this would be… gaining a group of friends as a sort of extra deal for falling in love. Being welcomed into a community of genuinely kind, funny, brilliant people not as a “plus one” but as myself has been an unexpected joy.
I’m grateful for the way you went from a name I tried to remember to one I had a single identifier or story attached to. The way you moved from “I’m meeting so-and-so today!” to “Oh! Tell them I said hi.” The way you now live in a space of “I’ll just tell them myself.”
If falling in love is a highlight of the year, then surely these friendships are the cherries on top. Thanks for being the people you are. You mean more to me than you know.