Every month Glamour magazine (yes I read it) poses this question to various staff members and publishes their answers. I usually don't give these pages much thought, but this one caught my interest:
Who is your best friend, and how did you meet?
Well. I have more than one best friend (hi Ash and Pannie!), but the story of how Ash and I met is not so exciting. We were both in University choir, both altos, and both in the back row. She had on a Harvard sweatshirt, stuck out her hand, said "I'm Ashley," I said, "I'm Julia," and the rest was history. We are actually very exciting, dynamic people. The how we met story is probably the least exciting thing about us. So now I move on to the Pannie/Jules story. She likes to say "Jules loves the story of how we met, even though it makes her look like a high maintenance priss and me like a judgmental fool" You be the judge.
The story is best told from her point of view, but since this is my blog and not hers, I shall attempt. Pannie and I were in the same freshman English class. As it was the first day, I was dressed in preppy mode with my blue camp shirt, khakis and sandals. I had a shiny red pencil case on the table and had my binder, pens and highlighters all lined up. I got to class early and had time to prepare myself. Pannie walked in a few minutes later and sat down. Truthfully, I don't remember her walking in or looking at me. But later on I learned that she saw me and my outfit and my seemingly high-maintenance self and shuddered to herself. I was not flagged as friend material. (What's funny is the girl she thought would be nice on the first day turned out to be one of the 5 most annoying people on AU's campus, if not the entire East Coast, including the Bronx) I was also vocal and evidently quite annoying in class, because she did not warm up to me.
The following week choir rehearsal began. I think I noticed Pannie as a recognized face, but didn't think much about it. She noticed me, though. I was wearing my Furman University (FU) hat, which is always an excellent conversation starter. Coincidentally, Pannie was familiar with this school, but she was none too pleased to see me in choir rehearsal. Oh no, she's an alto in choir and she is in my English class? Poor Pannie was beginning to wish me into oblivion.
It gets better! Not long after these encounters, she was talking to a friend in the friend's dorm room and heard my voice. Turns out her friend was my neighbor. I cannot get away from this girl! Not only did she see me in class and choir, she heard me in the dorm hallways! This is a regular issue: hearing me before seeing me.
Truth be told, I do not remember the turning point where we talked and she realized I was acceptable and I thought she wanted to talk to me and we became friends. But we had an assignment in English class where we had to do a peer review. This normally ridiculous exercise requires you to trade papers with a classmate and critique their work. Pannie was my partner. She wrote about the French Horn she inherited from Aunt Jane. It was a Geyer. I don't remember what I wrote about. I suppose that was when we learned that not only were we good writing buddies, but she lived down the hall from me, across the bridge that connected two dorm buildings. We began visiting each other and having dinner at TDR, and hanging out with Ashley, too. We were an excellent trio, the three of us. We watched Friends together, and also enjoyed the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, where we witnessed a drug bust!
Finally, Pannie's attitude toward my high maintenance prissiness changed completely and we actually were roommates the following year. During this period of time we had bunkbeds and most nights I put my feet on the underside of her mattress (she was top bunk) and silently pushed her mattress up to the ceiling. It was high hilarity, I tell you.