Bee Eff Effs Unite

I met Alexa almost ten years ago when she interviewed me for the now defunct Jump magazine. The article? "The Anatomy of a Popular Girl" based on one of my Chicken Soup stories about, uh, being popular.  I wish I were kidding. What's even more amazing is that the woman who interviewed my seventeen-year-old self never belittled or made me feel small, idiotic, ridiculous, which, I mean, she totally could have. Instead she treated me like an adult, a proper author of short non-fiction,  rather than the teenage poser that.  And the best news of all? She became my friend. 

Ten years later, Alexa and I are madly in love and getting married. She is one of my favorite all-time women. She's been an inspiration and mentor to me all these years, a confidante and one of my go-to peeps for support and girl-love. She's also an awesome mom and her son, Jack, and Archer have spent many a day running amok together. I cannot believe it's been ten years since we've met but more obviously, I cannot believe Alexa has never held against me how we met. At least not to my face. 

Alexa's very first novel was published Monday by HarperTeen. It's called Frenemies and it's pretty much going to be the new Gossip Girl so go check it out on Amazon or at your local bookseller. 

A fantastic gift for your teenage daughter/niece/neighbor/self! You can win a signed copy of Alexa Young's Frenemies by answering the following question:

What was your strangest or most memorable meeting of a friend, past or present? 

The winner (best/ most outrageous story) will get a signed copy of Alexa's Frenemies and two runner-ups will get a GGC Bee Eff Eff Mix CD boasting my favorite girly-fun-music of the moment. 

You can also check out Alexa's blog and website for Frenemies gossip and updates. 

GGC

This evening Kristen was kind enough to have me on Motherhood Uncensored radio If you're interested in hearing the podcast, go here


16 comments:

She Likes Purple | 11:28 PM

I knew I would tell this story one day. So, here goes: I was dating this guy in college, for about a month, and he was the nicest man. So gracious. So kind. But he just ... wasn't for me. I was young and sad, and I couldn't muster the courage to break things off with this guy. I just was ... well ... chicken shit. I was living, at the time, in my sorority house, and I was sort of standing in the hall wallowing on about how I needed to break up with this guy but he was so NICE and CLUELESS and I didn't want to do it. And there wasn't enough vodka in the sorority house or in the state of Texas that would give me the courage I needed. I joked with a girl, "Why don't you break up with him for me?" And she, along with about 15 other girls wandering around, said, "Um. No. Just no." Lots of judgment pouring from their faces. Then, Crystal, one of the most popular girls in my sorority, one of the coolest people I had ever been around said, from the other side of the hall, "I'll do it. I'll break up with him for you." And so I gave her my phone, gave her his number and she called him. She not only called him. SHE SPENT A HALF HOUR ON THE PHONE WITH HIM. She broke up with him and then CONVERSED with him. And he NEVER knew the difference (which, aw, doesn't that prove we were so not right for one another?). She was so funny about it all. She never made me feel stupid or pathetic (which I obviously was).

I wrote her a thank-you card the next day and wrote in it, "This is the weirdest thing I've ever thanked someone for."

Then, a few years later she introduced me to the man I am now married to. And a few years after that I walked the streets of downtown Dallas with her so she wouldn't have to appear in court for her divorce by herself. She's not happily re-married and five-months pregnant with a baby girl. And I'm throwing her a baby shower in about a month.

We are so close. She is family. And it all started because she looked past the stupid, ridiculous, insecure woman I was and saw me for who I am. And vice versa.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 11:34 PM

Oh, MAN! That's an incredible story! Made me weepy, even! You have to please post or link to somewhere I can contact you (via email)! Or you can always wait until I announce winners on my blog after the weekend. Thank you so much for sharing! Brilliant! And congratulations to your friend!

ALEXA YOUNG | 11:56 PM

Damn, I'm crying now too. As if the outpouring of love in this post weren't enough ... SHELOVESPURPLE? I LOVE PURPLE TOO! (What I meant was, that was an awesome story...)

And BTW, Bec...it never even occurred to me to laugh at you. I'm surprised you didn't laugh at ME for writing a story called "The Anatomy of a Popular Girl." (And no, people, Jump was NOT a Larry Flynt, barely-legal-type publication.)

Okay...now I'm going to listen to some Elton John because, seriously, can you feel the love tonight? XO

Billie | 4:05 AM

Well, my story just sounds stupid now!! I was 7, new girl in town. My mom's co-worker invites me to her daughter's 10th birthday party. I didn't know the birthday girl or her friends and was 3 years younger than them (very important at this age, I was basically a baby!!). I ended up hiding in a big box I found in their kitchen because I was really shy. After being in there a while they started to play a game of hide-and-go-seek. Much to my horror the lid of my cardboard box opens and in another girl climbs. Lo and behold she didn't know that I had been "hiding" for about an hour in there and thought that I had just beat her to the spot. There was room in there for the both of us so we ended up chatting in the box until the end of the game (no one found us), when we emerged best friends.

SciFi Dad | 4:34 AM

Can I post two stories? Well, I will, and you can decide if it's OK.

#1:
This is the 100% true story of how I met my best man.

In order to make some sense of it, I need to explain that I work as a consulting engineer: office type with occasional forays into factories to finalize the installations. At the time, I was in month six of a four month contract doing full time support for an automotive manufacturer (as "punishment" for screwing something up).

The auto industry is high-paced, high-stress, and intense. Combine that with my personality (easily excitable) and you get a recipe for disaster. I ran around that place all day, screaming at people to get shit done, rarely stopping long enough to converse.

So one day, my company calls me and says they're sending two new people over (co-workers whom I had never met - remember banishment?) to assist me - one co-op student, and one engineer.

In between that call and their arrival, the plant went tits up, and I was running around fixing what felt like a million things. Meanwhile, I get a call over my radio to come see some visitors in my office.

I ran in, pointed to the first guy and said, "You! You look young and incompetent. You must be the co-op student. Come here." Click. Click. "See? That's not supposed to happen. Fix it."

And then I turned to the other guy (who would eventually become my best man) and said, "You! You look like you know what you're doing, sort of. Come here and use this for a while until I can let you waste my time later."

I turned and left. The student turned to my future best man and said, "Was that SFD?"

He replied, "I don't know. I think so."

#2:
This is the 100% true story of how I met my best friend in university.

We were in a tutorial during the first week. I had been struggling with one particular problem, and could not get it to work.

(This was unique for me because in high school I was the smart kid who knew everything.)

So, she turns around and says, "Did you get them all?"

"Well, all except the last one."

"Oh, here. I got that one. Here's my solution."

I read it over.

"No, that isn't right. That's not going to work."

"Yes it is."

"No, it isn't."

"Well, at least I got the answer."

"You know what? If I were back home right now, I would pull out my .45 and put a bullet between your eyes. And people would be proud of me for doing it."

(Aside: I was all talk; I never used a gun, nor do I believe in them. But at the time, I thought I was a badass.)

PS - we TOTALLY found out what we're having last night!

Erin | 7:42 AM

This is the story of meeting Matt.

It was the summer between 2nd and 3rd year university and I was living in a student sublet in a dingy townhouse close to the best local bar. Therefore, the best location ever.

I was out one night with my new roommate, who also moved in because of the location, and about 10 other close friends. We were having a few beers and some wings on an unseasonably warm Tuesday night in May.

A good looking, long haired guy in his mid twenties with a dirty rucksack and the look of a weary traveler walked through the door just as we ordered the second pitcher. He knew a few people in our group and sat to enjoy the company.

After a few beers we got the story out of him that he had just returned from a year in Costa Rica and didn't really have a plan for the summer. He showed up in our town to see who was around (he had just graduated the year before from our university) and thought he would stop in for a beer before continuing home to the farm.

After the fourth pitcher, Matt mentioned he might be persuaded to hang out in town for the summer but he would need a place to stay. Someone else mentioned my roommate and I were subletting and had a third room. I thought nothing of it, because what guy would want to move in with two perfect strangers, and my roommate and I headed home for a quick nap before work the next morning.

Imagine our surprise when we opened the door at 6 am the next morning and found Matt sitting on the porch with his bag. He moved in that day while we were at work and we found him watching Dallas on our couch when we returned home at the end of the day.

The rest is history. Matt has been a close friend ever since that night. He also continues to travel and show up unexpectedly quite regularly. That spontaneity continues to be the thing I love about him most.

Gwen | 11:02 AM

I met my best friend when I was 12 and away at a music camp. Now with the advent of a couple a famous Gwens I am sure that the name Gwen has risen in popularity since my childhood, but at the time I had never met another Gwen in my(albeit short)life. When I met Gwen we instantly bonded in a way I had never done with another person before. It didn't matter that she as two years older we clicked. It was the best camp experience of my life and luckily she lived fairly close to me.

A couple of months later we met again at another music weekend and quickly started right where we had left off. Since then we have always been a part of each other lives no matter how far apart we live. (Right now Manchester England and Vancouver BC.) She is the only person who is so comfortable to be with no matter how long we have been apart. We can talk up a storm or be quiet and read books and seem to ignore each other.

Who would have thought that someone with (almost) the same name would be the kindred spirit they turned out to be.

Jenn | 12:36 PM

How I met my BFF Mary in college (we re-tell this story often, when drinking together):

We were both art majors and sophomore year ended up in a few studio classes together, which meant a lot of long hours together. We didn't speak much past, "Hi, nice weather. What time is it?" for the first month or so of classes. She seemed nice, but very studious and serious...

One night I went to a party at a popular party house. Parties were in the basement (aren't they all?) and the bathroom was halfway up the stairs, on a landing--it was strange. I was standing in line when a girl in a Hooters t-shirt goes falling down the stairs and lands at my feet! I help pick her drunk ass up and it's Mary, the quiet, glasses-wearing girl from art class! "Do you think anyone noticed?" she asked/slurred. As I was assuring her that people were too drunk to notice and it wasn't that bad a fall, several people came over: "Are you okay?" "That looked like it hurt!" and so on...

She was with some guy who came over to ask how she was. They wandered off and I saw them making out--hardcore--later in the night.

At the next class, we started talking. Wasn't her Hooters t-shirt, wasn't her boyfriend...I learned a LOT about Mary during that drawing class and since, including she's MUCH wilder than her appearance would lead on. We became instant friends and have been close ever since. She's my only still-single girlfriend who didn't ditch me after I got married and had a baby.

A couple years ago, she sent me a card with the words, "I fall down stairs for you! So happy!" It was the most perfect card I have ever received. She moved to NYC a couple years ago (I live in the DC area) and I miss her terribly, but we call and visit often--at least her family is in my area, so she's down frequently.

She's been my most trusted friend and the one person who can laugh at my neurosis and I won't get offended by it. She keeps me sane and grounded and I love her. Of all the friends I've made in my life, I never thought that a friendship with such a strange beginning would have such a strong future.

Angel | 4:16 PM

My name is Angel. Not just Angela, or Angie, but straight up, Angel. One of my bestest friends is also named Angel. Not just Angela or Angie, but Angel.

We met because we caught "our" boyfriend dating us both. At least he couldn't screw up our names, right? We both dumped him, and have been super close ever since.

Some time later, when her water broke in the middle of the night, far too early, I rushed over and watched her older children until her ex picked them up while she went in an ambulance. When she went into preterm labor, I went to the hospital with her and when she was scared in her downsideup hospital bed, I slept there too. When she delivered her twins at 24 weeks, I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House with her. When one of her sons died when he was 22 days old, I stood next to her at the cemetery and I wept with her. That experience bonded us closer than sisters.

Since I met her, I have watched her grow so much as a mother. She was a wild thing back then, and now she is still unique and free-spirited, but she is so much more balanced and I just admire her easy-going way. Neither one of us talk to that creep anymore, but both of us are thankful for his two-timing ways because we may never have had the opportunity to know each other otherwise. :)

learning | 8:44 AM

I was at a late night theatre party when I walked into the greenroom where a girl was pouring shots at the make-up counter. She held one up to me and said "Sex on the Beach"? I looked at her, smiled, shrugged and said "Sure!" With no introductions, we did the shots, and thus began a beautiful friendship.

Fast forward, and later we were on the greenroom couch with a bottle of Skyy (glasses no longer needed) racing to see who could most quickly and accurately recite the books of the Bible - yes, maybe the weirdest drinking game ever. She was the first and only person I've met who beat me at this... It turns out we were both PKs (preacher's kids), and had a world of things in common we'd grow to discover.

It still cracks us up now to recall her first words to me.

p.s. The name of the shot (and the first question) was not actually "Sex on the Beach." It involved a Hot Tub, but I thought it might be pushing the envelope to write it here in your comments. But if you know what it is, it makes the story even funnier.

Rebecca | 12:04 PM

In the summer of 1999 I had just filed for divorce. The kids were with their dad for the weekend and I had nothing to do. I went to an out-door festival (Milwaukee is famous for them)to see a band I knew, feeling sorry for myself.

After the band was done we all went to a bar, ended up staying after hours. Having WAY too much to drink, dancing on the bar etc...NOT my usual nightly activies! Endup up with my head in the sink in the ladies room.

Next thing I knew someone was holding my long hair back for me while I did my thing. :-) Total stranger, I had no idea who it was.

A few weeks later I see this woman at the zoo with her kids...turns out it's her! We get to talking, which begins with me thanking her for holding my hair while I puked...turns out she had just kicked her cheating husband out of the house, we each have two daughters the exact same age, just a ton of things in common.

We've been best friends since!

Patricia | 7:10 PM

I was a freshman in college, and a neighbor acquaintance of mine kept talking up this guy she wanted to set me up with. She was very insistent that we would make a wonderful couple; he was so awesome, I was so fabulous, etc. Made for each other. She practically had our wedding planned before I ever met him.

I put her off for awhile, but as they both worked in the dining hall that served my dorm, it was inevitable that I would run into them together at some point. She saw me eating one day and dragged me over to where he was waiting to meet me. She introduced me to him, hovering expectantly, and we did an awkward "so, um, hi" kind of shuffle for a couple of minutes. She started talking to fill in the weirdness, and as she beamed up at him, it hit me, hard: she was in love with him! Completely worshipped the ground he walked on. But because she had a boyfriend, she felt the need to set him up with someone else- me.

We ended up going out once, and then falling out of touch. Then somehow we reconnected a couple of years later, became wonderful friends, and spent a summer more or less joined at the hip as friends with benefits. When I moved away for grad school, we basically fell out of touch, but I remember him- and our bizarre meeting- with great affection, and regret that we are no longer in contact.

Patricia | 7:25 PM

Oh, I have one more:

I met one of my best friends from college the night she moved in next door to me in the dorm. I was all revved up to meet my next door neighbor, didn't know many people yet, and basically could not wait to find out who I would share a hall with.

She was unpacking her stuff with her mom. Feeling seriously awkward hanging around watching them work, I did the only thing I could think of- I offered to help. I was hanging up some random person's clothes minutes after meeting her, chatting about Cleveland (where she is from) and my dinky hometown and all the stuff you talk about when you first meet someone at college.

After I went back to my room, I basically had a "I carried a watermelon?!"moment, convinced they both thought I was a complete dork.

That night wasn't the reason we became friends. Friendship grew out of endless 3 a.m. conversations in the hall, comparing notes of the good and bad boys we hooked up with, and lots of alcohol. But I can't deny that it was a very strange way to meet someone.

Amy | 9:42 PM

It was not until my second year of college that I made a single friend. As an RA I had fussed at a resident, Jen, for burning candles with her door wide open. My motto was, “if you are going to break the rules, close the door.” She liked that rule, and became my friend. One night Jen introduced me to Elizabeth (my now best friend in the whole wide world), and with a bottle of tequila, and candles burning behind closed door, we began drinking. We were drinking a lot because both Elizabeth and I were under age, and had to get a buzz before leaving for the bars. Within an hour of knowing each other we sang at the top of our lungs, “You’re just too good to be true, cant take my eyes off of you, I love you baby…” Jen took us to a local bar where both Elizabeth and I had drinks passed to us under the bathroom stalls. We danced all night, stopping only to get sick in the bathroom. When we were leaving, we found our car had been towed, and then, piled in the glow stick dancing guy’s car, and he took us home. I can’t remember which one of us ended up making out with him that night.

We have been through so much together, she got drunk on tequila at my wedding and caught the bouquet. I brought my sick seven week old baby to her wedding five states away. On the way I had to stop to get chest x-rays for the baby in New Jersey, and had someone hit me from behind in a rest area parking lot, and I ran over something in the road and got not one, but two flat tires. But I made it to her beautiful wedding. With engorged breast, and a two year old and a seven week old (both covered in piss).

When I was out of my mind upset when I realized my marriage was over I called her. She put her five month old in the car and was by my side in less than one day. We ended up drinking a bottle of wine and sitting on my porch laughing about the day we met. When we drank tequila and sang, “I love you baby, and if its quite all right I miss you baby.”
We even had dance moves.

She is the writer, and could tell the story so much better than I. We have been through so much together, our marriages, the death of our friend Jen, the death of my marriage, and the birth of our 4 beautiful children. Tonight she is at the hospital with her tiny baby boy and I am at home, 5 states away. I wish she could be at my sons fourth birthday tomorrow, and I wish I could hold her had while she nurses her sick 3 week old back to health. I love her. Binky is just too good to be true.

just1linmichele | 1:55 PM

wow - everyone has such amazing stories!

I actually met my best friend when we were in third grade and were at a mutual friends birthday party at the roller rink. The birthday girl presented me to Emily saying "this is the girl who I said looks just like you!!!" Amazingly, she did, but at the time all I could think was "who in the world is THIS hippie?" with her feathers in her hair and a peace sign necklace on (This was also in 1996 lol). But eight years of middle school and high school drama later, Emily and I reconnected through a junior class project and spent all our time together, creating more memories and crazy stories than one could imagine. Even after going to different colleges for the past two years, we have been able to maintain that bond that makes it seem like we've never even been apart.

Lenore | 12:46 AM

Two of the girls I hung out with in my dorm would always tell me that I reminded them of a former classmate of theirs and that I just had to meet her. This went on for many months until this former classmate decided to visit near the end of the spring semester.
It was honestly love at first sight. She was wearing fishnet stockings in Oklahoma after all. We were together pretty much 24/7 the whole week. My dorm buddies would always just grumble, "We told you so" (because obviously by hanging out with me, she was somewhat neglecting them).
She decided to transfer to our school the next semester, and even though we don't look that much alike, people often asked us if we were sisters (once someone asked us if we were twins). We had so many adventures (and sooo many fights!) - we even went eurailling together.
Now, though we live a world apart (it seems), whenever I visit, it feels like I never left.

lenoreva AT hotmail DOT com