For My Very Best Friend

Britt & Erin

I never remember to call her on her birthday.

Ever.

We’ve been friends for 17 years, and I always call the day before or the day after, but never on the actual day.  I’m pretty good at remembering dates, I’m just rarely aware of what the date is today.

I think we’ve been friends for as long as we have because she has never once taken it personally.  Ever.  And she doesn’t just pretend to be OK with it while secretly resenting me; she wholeheartedly embraces that this is just something I suck at.  She laughs about it, sincerely.  And as she’s winding down from her belly laugh she says, “ohhhhh, I love you.”  Always.

Erin is both my closest and oldest friend.  We met for the first time when I was 13 years old and had just moved to a new town, Parkersburg, Iowa.  She was a year younger than me in school and we wouldn’t get close until we were both in high school, but that didn’t change the fact that hers was the first friendly face.

She had her first child just three months after I had mine.  She got married three months after giving birth, just like I did.  She and I were newlyweds and newly mothers when the rest of our friends were still sneaking into bars with fake IDs.

Before I moved away, she spent every night at my house for the last several weeks.  We’d sit together on our back porch, she and I and Jared, laughing and talking and promising that everything would be OK after I left.  The night I left Parkersburg, I stopped and had one last cigarette on her front deck, and I cried knowing that nothing would ever be the same.

The next morning, we met up at a gas station just outside of town and she climbed up into my loaded up SUV, prepared to make the long drive down to Florida with us.  She spent a week helping us get moved in to our new home, and I bawled like a baby when I left her at the airport for her return flight.

I don’t know how to tell you how much I love this girl.

She gets me in ways that only someone who has known you since you were 13 can.  She loves Jared and I, together, as fiercely as you could love any couple that you watched walk down the aisle and later fight like cats and dogs.  She supported me as much through my separation as she has through our attempts at reconciliation.

Her home is mine and mine is hers.

And she’s a phenomenal friend.  Much better than I could ever be.  She never forgets a birthday.  She calls regularly just to chat.  She lets me see her weak spots and never judges mine.  She makes me want to be a better friend.

I called her today, on December 17th.  On the actual day of her 29th birthday.

The first words out of her mouth when I finished singing were, “holy shit, you called on the actual day!”  She told me about her plans and her presents and her children’s Christmas concert, and before we hung up she said, “the highlight of my day will be that my best friend called me this morning.”

Happy Birthday, Erin.

The highlight of my day will be getting to be your best friend.

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  1. Jo says:

    You made me sniffle…again.

    Beautiful post.

  2. sue says:

    That’s what a friend should be. Beautiful post.

  3. Karen says:

    That made me teary. And made glad I am having dinner with my best friend tonight.

  4. Lisa says:

    This made me cry because I have a best friend just like this. We haven’t been friends for as long, but she gets me just like that. She accepts the things I suck at, and she loves me for me. I love her long time.

  5. Robin says:

    So sweet. You guys are amazing friends.

  6. Dawn says:

    Beautiful story, beautiful friendship, beautiful friend.

  7. Bre says:

    I’m tearing up in the lunch lounge… *sniff*
    I love this post and all of it’s meaning.
    Ok, gotta go pretend like I’m not weepy-eyed.
    <3

  8. whall says:

    You should bottle her up and sell her on ebay. Well, not all of her; I’m thinking little pieces. Small vials of [checks name again] Erin. Put it into a gaseous form so people can buy it, sniff it in, and feel better. Then make a cheesy 70′s love song “All I need is the Erin I breathe… and to love you”.

    • Bonnie B. says:

      @whall, oh holy hell, that was awesome. Made me giggle for an hour or two after I read it, ’cause I had the freakin’ song stuck in my head with YOUR words!

  9. happy, happy birthday, erin!!!

    • p.s. i have a friend of over 10 years who i absolutely adore. although i was in her wedding and one of the first people to hold new born son, although it was her i reached out to when i needed help getting out of a bad, bad relationship, i can NEVER remember the actual date of her birth. no matter how thankful i am that she was born, i call her on the 22nd of october to tell her happy day. i think her birthday might be on the 19th (but i sure as shit can’t remember). now if i don’t call her on the 22nd she thinks something is wrong.
      you and i truly are blessed to have deb and erin in our lives!

  10. Darla says:

    Happy Birthday Erin!

  11. muskrat says:

    Mine’s June 7th. Will you write something similar on that date (after your phonecall)?

  12. avitable says:

    “I’m pretty good at remembering dates, I’m just rarely aware of what the date is today.”

    This is a pretty accurate reflection of you – made me laugh when I read that.

    Happy birthday, Erin!

  13. Mary Jo says:

    I have a best friend who’s birthday I always forget. I set seriously like 5 alarms on my phone the day of, so I can remember. I feel bad, but she thinks it’s funny. We’ve been friends 23 years now, so I guess she’s used to my bad memory LOL.

  14. Erin Good says:

    Britt-You made me cry I love it and you too. You hubby called me today too I feel like I won the lotto! Even if I can’t write as wonderful as you about what a great friend you are, know that you are always in my thoughts and I miss you more than you could ever know. You are the best!!!
    Thank you for all of the birthday wishes:))

  15. Dawn says:

    This is so odd. I keep trying to comment. I wrote my comment but it didn’t show up. Then, every other time, it yelled at me that it was a duplicate comment. I know, but the original never showed up, dammit. OK. I’m fine now. But I hope this works this time.

    Beautiful story, beautiful friendship, beautiful friend.

  16. Sybil Law says:

    Aw, Happy Birthday, Erin!
    Best friends like that are completely irreplaceable.

  17. Faiqa says:

    Happy Birthday Erin! :)

  18. the s.i.l. says:

    That was a very sweet write up. Happy birthday Erin!

  19. I am crying here, Britt. I have a best friend this past 18yrs, she is the one person in the world that knows me inside out and accepts it all, flaws and all. Happy Birthday to your best friend Britt.

  20. Nanna says:

    Oh Jesus I definitely have PMS, cuz I’m all weepy too. You forgot to tell that part about how snarky she was in high school and everyone was scared of her!! hahahahahahaha

    Love you, Erin baby!

  21. This reminds me of my best friend. We knew each other for a bit before we got close; which was right after we each had a baby and everyone else was still in high school. We’ve been each other’s lifeline for the last 30 years.

    Happy Birthday Erin!

  22. Laurie says:

    I wrote a very similar post on the 17th for a very similarly important friend whose birthday is on the same day. We have only a fraction of the history you have with your friend but mine reflects a similar gratitude. It’s so nice to have someone like this, isn’t it? December is my month that is SO full of birthdays and I love that I decided to write about these people who bring so much to my life. It’s making the month a lot more bearable.

  23. Elisa says:

    Happy Birthday Erin!

    It’s the rare friendship that can survive and even thrive long-distance. And when it does, it’s definitely a keeper!

    This made me laugh, because I could have written it myself: “I’m pretty good at remembering dates, I’m just rarely aware of what the date is today.” LOL – same here :-)

  24. Beautiful. I am so happy for you both that you have each other.

  25. I have been best friends with my best friend for 29 years. I am here and she is in Wisconsin. We are as different as night and day.
    There’s nothing like a best friend.

    Happy Birthday, Britt’s Best Friend!

  26. To have a friend like that, one who accepts you unconditionally and never judges you, is true gift. Thanks so much for sharing this touching story. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and sending you a big hug!

  27. VDog says:

    AWWWWW!!! So awesome.

    She must be awesome because our Birthdays are so close (or maybe even the same day! lol).

    So glad you have a friend like Erin in your life. Not all of us are so fortunate.

  28. [...] Her friend Erin met us when we got home and quickly swooped in. Erin is like family – we all used to sit at my kitchen table when they were all teenagers and solve the problems of the world. Jay and Creed are her brothers too, in all the ways that count. [...]

  29. [...] Her friend Erin met us when we got home and quickly swooped in. Erin is like family – we all used to sit at my kitchen table when they were all teenagers and solve the problems of the world. Jay and Creed are her brothers too, in all the ways that count. [...]

  30. [...] Her friend Erin met us when we got home and quickly swooped in. Erin is like family – we all used to sit at my kitchen table when they were all teenagers and solve the problems of the world. Jay and Creed are her brothers too, in all the ways that count. [...]

  31. [...] Her friend Erin met us when we got home and quickly swooped in. Erin is like family – we all used to sit at my kitchen table when they were all teenagers and solve the problems of the world. Jay and Creed are her brothers too, in all the ways that count. [...]

  32. [...] Her friend Erin met us when we got home and quickly swooped in. Erin is like family – we all used to sit at my kitchen table when they were all teenagers and solve the problems of the world. Jay and Creed are her brothers too, in all the ways that count. [...]

  33. [...] Her friend Erin met us when we got home and quickly swooped in. Erin is like family – we all used to sit at my kitchen table when they were all teenagers and solve the problems of the world. Jay and Creed are her brothers too, in all the ways that count. [...]

  34. [...] Her friend Erin met us when we got home and quickly swooped in. Erin is like family – we all used to sit at my kitchen table when they were all teenagers and solve the problems of the world. Jay and Creed are her brothers too, in all the ways that count. [...]

  35. [...] Her friend Erin met us when we got home and quickly swooped in. Erin is like family – we all used to sit at my kitchen table when they were all teenagers and solve the problems of the world. Jay and Creed are her brothers too, in all the ways that count. [...]

  36. Al_Pal says:

    asdfkh;aslghk Beautiful.

    So awesome. I have a few best friends, from different times, but I don’t have that zomg young’mama thang goin’ that you two share. That has GOT to be a trip. GREAT entry. ;p

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