First Impression of My Best Friend

I met Heidi at summer camp at the University of Oregon in 2008, roughly 6 1/2 years ago. We’ve been good friends for years, despite us always living three hours apart. Sometimes we won’t talk for months, but we always pick back up where we left off, which is a sign of a true best friend. Our formative, maturing years have been spent together–nobody else who I met in middle school is still someone I can call a friend.

But my first impression of her wasn’t a good one. It wasn’t that she was unkind or annoying. It was a matter of jealousy: she already seemed to have life figured out even though I didn’t, despite being two years ahead of her in school. She had an impeccable style (no other person I know could pull off the color combinations that Heidi did in 2008), she was funny, she was likable. The natural reaction to someone like that, of course, is to disguise your envy with undeserved hatred. I told myself that because she was cool that she had to be arrogant and have a superiority complex.

ImageThank goodness for the UO sprinkler system that caught the two of us in a surprise shower while walking on campus. We were startled and disoriented, and Heidi yelled out, “Go! Save yourself!” as I navigated myself out of the downpour. When she emerged from the sprinkler’s flood, we looked at each other and burst out laughing. By the time we arrived back at our dorm hallway, drenched and late for our floor meeting, all my bitter feelings towards Heidi had been washed away.

She’s visiting me this weekend in Portland for her first real trip since 2009. I’ve traveled to Seattle to see her tons of times, but it’s nice to have her here again after five years.

I asked her about her first impression of me, since I remember mine for her so distinctly.

“I remember we were sitting together in history class [at UO camp, and for the record I don’t remember this class] with that sassy teacher and you were right next to me, and I said, ‘I agree with what she said,’ and the teacher said ‘WHAT’S HER NAME?’ and I had never really seen the name Sabina before so I said, ‘Sabina??’

“I remember seeing you and Megan [another camp friend] around and giggling together and having a messy dorm. Reallllllly messy.

“After we became friends, it was very easy to come up with jokes, and we had them over and over again. I like when you can sorta fall into hanging out with someone so easily. And then we had those Gmail chats. Those were the days.

heidi 2“Your hair was really red. I want that to be included. AND AND AND I thought it was really crazy, you had those glasses that dimmed when you walked outside. I always thought they were flawed and unnecessary, but that’s okay.”

And then she touched my bunched up comforter and said, “Is this your leg?” 

It wasn’t my leg.

She went to go get ready, turning on Alt-J as background music. She introduced me to Alt-J and they’re now one of my three favorite bands–their music will always remind me of her. 

She suddenly came back into my room as I was writing this, and said: “I realized I didn’t say much about you specifically. I definitely thought you were very nerdy looking, but in a good way. You seemed very smart and you definitely looked older than…well, especially me, cuz I was a year younger. And I was like, I can be down with that kinda thing.”

Both of our first impressions were appearance-based, as I suppose all first impressions are. I interpreted her her daring outfit choices and yellow Sidekick phone as a snobbiness that simply didn’t exist, while my dorky 7th grade style reflected my true nerdier side.

We’ve both grown up and changed so much since then, but our friendship has always remained a constant, something that’s always there even when life gets busy or confusing. For that, I’m forever thankful. heidi


This post is adapted from 5 Years and Counting, published January 14, 2014.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “First Impression of My Best Friend

  1. Aw, I love this! Some of my first impressions of some of my best friends weren’t the best either. At the same time, I find that some first impressions become altered then go back to where they were once you really get to know someone. That was confusing, haha, but as an example, there is a girl I thought was not very nice when I first met her. Then we became friends. Well, ever since leaving Christianity, she has not been so nice to me. Interesting, huh? But for the most part, I don’t think first impressions can be trusted, especially when they come from our biases. Great post! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed. I understand what you mean about that for sure, but luckily that hasn’t happened in this friendship. It has in others though, and it’s always esepcially hard to deal with when your hesitation is proven right.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My best friend and I are met at a camp also, and our first impressions of each other were not so nice. To this day we jokingly fight over who gave the “bitch look” first (I swear it was her!) It’s definitely hard to maintain friendships that are long distance, but soon it becomes natural. She is also younger than I am, but she’s so much wiser in so many ways. I really enjoyed this post, it reminds me of Taylor and I.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad it resonated with you! It’s great because I knew my going to college wouldn’t distance us. Unlike with my high school friends, Heidi and I already knew how to be apart, so it was more natural. She’s often wiser than I am too, about certain things.

      Like

      • Going away is definitely hard for some friends, and tests them even. Taylor and I ended up going to the same college, near her home-city of Pittsburgh (one of the reasons I chose the school, a lot of camp friends nearby) and those are my friends now, even after college, because we spent so many years apart, it’s only natural to only call or text and not “experience” life together. Sounds like Heidi and you have an awesome friendship. I hope it continues, which I’m sure it will!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Year in Review + What’s Next | Victim to Charm

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