.and my dear friend, Freya, who is long overdue for an internet shout-out.
Freya and I met in math class in 7th grade at Hommocks Middle School, a prison masquerading as a learning facility. We also did something called "Reading Advantage." I don't quite remember the point of it, but it was some sort of elective and it gave us the opportunity to become better friends. Then came 8th grade, where we were both had the illustrious teaching team of McCurdy and Ahern. Ostensibly we were learning English and Social Studies, but we also spent ample time creating nicknames for the boys we had crushes on. And there was a lot of giggling. I actually remember running out of my history class because I was laughing so hard. Oh, middle school.
The point of all that is to say that I met Freya at the height of my awkwardness and somehow she saw through that and became one of my closest friends, someone who I've always had a deep respect for and known I could count on. I've gone to her with many relationship problems, whether they involve parents or boyfriends or roommates or certain cast members of the sitcom Scrubs. She's smart, thoughtful, and a good listener - but most of all, she's extremely non-judgmental and I find that to be a rare quality in most people. And despite the fact that she now wears high heels and has a Real Job, she has a terrific sense of humor that's always been the mainstay of our friendship. (If you need proof, I have a few choice videos from tenth grade, including a J-Lo video remake and a trippy Chanukah-related murder mystery. Katie is implicated as well.)
So here's to you, Fritabean - I hope you have a joyous birthday with all the Manhattan trimmings. I miss you lots and look forward to a New York reunion this summer.