January 21, 2010

Harlem: Renee

If it weren’t for my best friend up here, Renee, I’m not sure where I would be. Like Val she is a Californian, and a mexican-food snob. “This isn’t anything like California.” Oh yeah? Well, California’s Mexican food sucks compared to Mexico’s. (Let’s be honest- Missouri can’t even compete. Arkansas probably has better Mexican food than Missouri.)

As my mother can attest to, I’ve never really had any close girl friends. Renee is my first best friend who happens to be female. I realize that she is far from the typical girl, though, and that is probably why we click.

Like my guy friends out West, Renee is always up for an adventure; Girls usually just sit around, talking about plans they’d like to follow through with, but they rarely do. If I tell Renee I want to jump, she grabs my hand and we go together. Being in the city without a friend like her would probably be dull. I have no problem going on adventures alone, but it’s oh-so-much fun to laugh about it with a best friend.

Part momma-bear, part adolescent, Renee and I seem to compliment one another well. Sometimes I think she simply sticks around because she’s worried about me, but then I’ll get that worried text or call, saying “Can we hang out?” Tonight we have an engagement, and she was seriously worried. “But, I won’t be any fun that night. Thursday is the end of my work week. Thursday is when I come over and bitch to you about work and everything else going on. We are not going to be fun Thursday night.” (This was, of course, said with one breath.)

Although a bundle of fun, Renee is also one big ball of stress. I often have to do a “tone it down” gesture to her when she goes on a breathless ramble about work or her family. She’s a hard worker, and really cares about those around her, but she often takes on far too large of a work load. Being (slightly) soft-spoken, she tends to just shrug things off and do what she’s told. Luckily she’s becoming a bit more bold and demanding, and her health is greatly benefiting. If it ever gets to be too much, though, we simply meet up and eat popcorn or pancakes.

Renee has also helped me greatly with my down times. With all of the uncertainty surrounding my health and future, she’s always been eager to help. She’ll show up with some food and a big smile to make sure I’m okay. I have already been pushed out of the city year elite, meaning that the people I worked with daily, the people whom I could “depend on for anything” have excommunicated me. Despite what her teammates may think of her, she still stays in touch, never giving our friendship a second thought.

I think my favorite thing about Renee, though, is that we can just sit at a table and have a good time. Yes, we go out together and conquer the city, but we don’t need to. We are simply okay just being together, and to me that makes a good friend.

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