(For those of you who don't know, BFFLs means "best friends for life."** Obvi. Duh.)
For the last three years (ish), I've had the distinct pleasure of living with my bestie, Kimbo. Not only did Kimbo and I live together, we also have classrooms across the hall from each other. And we drove to work together. And drove home from work together. And gossiped when we got home from work. And went out to bars together. And went on a vacations together. And road trips together.
We basically spent the vast majority of our waking hours together.
We became friends kind of on a whim. She was a fun new first year teacher, and I was still in fun "I'm-still-young-and-pretending-I'm-in-college mode." There were a few tentative facebook wall posts.
Kimbo's second year of teaching and my third year of teaching, our classrooms were next to each other. (Actually, the admin kicked Kimbo out of her classroom so I could have it and moved her next door. I'm not complaining. The room is prime classroom real estate.) Not only were we hallway buddy lurkers, but we also had all the same prep periods. We found ourselves in the teachers' lounge together ALL the time. On Wednesdays, we taught the exact same schedule.
After Kimmy complained that she had no friends and basically never left the house on the weekend, we decided to set up a friend date. Lunch at a burrito place on the West Side and a movie. (We live fast paced here in New York.) Before we went to the movie, she just wanted to go this meeting about running a marathon for charity--would I come with her?
And thus, our friendship was born. I don't know if it was the excitement of leaving the house or the prospect of margaritas after the movie, but somehow, against all odds, Kimmy and I signed up for a marathon together. Namely, the ninth annual Country Music Marathon in Nashville! We trained for our marathon together. (Or we would instead take all of our running clothes to the west side, where we would then stop and get margaritas instead of going running. Margarita Tuesdays?) (Maybe this is why we didn't make any Team in Training friends?) We met far too early in the morning to run silly races in Central Park. Even if Kim didn't make the start line, she was able to find me in the crowd (of 5000 runners!! What's up with that?)
The first of TOO many races we ran together
Our roommate was moving and Kimmy decided to move in with us. The first night she moved in, I was wearing a garbage bag smearing overripe avocado on my head. She just took pictures. Not only did she move into our apartment, but our classrooms were now across from each other. The children just knew to expect us together.
Everyone thought that we should be sick of each other. Everyone thought that we may be at each others throats. Instead, we just spent ALL of our time together. I could look through the window in my classroom and give her looks that said, "Is it Friday yet?" We could go home and explode with work gossip and rage that no one else should ever have to witness. We could have Taylor Swift dance parties (both in our classrooms and at Karaoke nights at bars.) We could have ABC Family Harry Potter Weekends! (Although, I'm fairly sure we never did.) We could pretend to be running buddies (although Kim did more of the running, even though I had managed to sign up for another marathon.) She even turned me onto The Office! For the better part of two years, I woke up to Kimmy knocking on my door telling me our ride to work was on the way.
At a bar in CocoCay in the Bahamas. Yeah, it's like 2pm
We moved into new apartments, found new issues to gripe with in our classrooms (this, at least, will always be constant), had break ups and new boyfriends, and navigated into our mid to late twenties together. We went on a cruise to the Bahamas together. She helped me fully embrace the year of "Why not?" Kimmy was my girl compatriot in an apartment full of boys. (That said--Kim and I make more "that's what she said" jokes than all the boys combined. Woops.)
Unofficial Work Holiday Party with my other Bestie (and our roomie!) in 2008
Kimmy and I were reminiscing over our shared lunch period about a time when she still lived in Harlem and I lived in Queens. It's hard to remember. I know I have memories of living with Rachel, and they were happy hilarious memories of our first apartment and living at my parents' house for a while), but the idea that Kim and I didn't always live in the same space. WEIRD.
Kimmy has recently moved to her own beautiful apartment a little bit less than a mile from me. You would think that we see each other enough being that we still spend all day at work together, plus large parts of the weekend, plus the drive home. And yet, I still miss her.
Not everyone gets to have a classroom across the hall from their best friend.