She hates when I write about her on social media and the blog, but I think for the better part of 10 years, she's known I'm the touchy feely one who needs to write it out. So in advance, M: thank you.
She wore all black, tights with rips and gold bangles that clanged together when she whipped up lattes and played Beyonce when the owners were gone for the day. But her eyes? THE KINDEST EVER.
I was 21 and she was 20 and we were baristas at a Highland Park coffee shop (RIP White Rock!) and I was the new kid, hosting my 22nd birthday gathering just down the street after we closed up shop. Heart beating out of my chest, I asked her if she was doing anything or needed to study and if not, maybe just maybe you'd think it was okay to come to the party?
Those eyes glanced my way, she probably winked or smirked and said, "yeah girl, I'll be there." And that, my friends, was the beginning of a decades-long platonic life partnership between me and Marissa.
For the last 10 years, she's been there.
// When we were two stubborn girls who claimed we needed space or another stupid reason, we spent a few months apart. I ended up at a show she was at (which was pure fate, because I AM NOT a show person and she is) and in her flannel and tights, walked over to me and just hugged me. I hugged back, tighter than ever and that was that. She came back at a time I needed her and turns out, she needed me just as much.
// When I moved into my first apartment, Marissa came over and gave it her seal of approval. She would come over weekly, around 8 pm when I started my nightly OCD preparations: making a lunch for the next day, setting up the coffee pot to brew at approximately 6:35 am, laying my clothes out, setting up my workout for the morning. She claimed it was helping her be a better, more organized person. It made me feel like I was doing something right!
// When we were in our mid-20s and living on shoestrings with impending piles of student loan payments, she would call me up to meet her for coffee. Coffee turned into a walk around the block turned into a 5 mile walk. I never wore the right shoes. She had band-aids for my blisters.
My ever-present photography school subject who I have lovingly taught to "find the light and put your face there." She was photographed so much by the MCTC Photo & Digital Imaging Department that she was banned from the classroom and studios. Oops!
She's the original hustle, the original Mo Money, but most importantly, she's my person.
The recipient of many SOS HELP ME texts over the last 10 years and her constant advice that I've started to heed?
You be You girl. You do you. Love and be loved. 💛
We're only six weeks out from her wedding and less than 6 months from mine. On those 5+ mile walks when we were 23 we'd plan out our lives, filling them with hopes, dreams and by the end of the walk? Somewhat more realistic visions. When I think about that long list of wishes, I am overwhelmed with how many of those items are now checked off.
We hoped we'd meet our soulmates and they'd make us laugh. But also that they'd take out the trash. CHECK.
We hoped we'd be in each other's weddings and be the source of all calm and reason during the process. CHECK.
We planned to buy a duplex and live side by side until we were old ladies wearing mumus, having afternoon tea together and growing gardens. ALMOST CHECK.
Next life goal? DUPLEX.