Our Friend Crush this month is all about long-distance love. Maegan George, 15, and Jocelyn Gonzales, 14, made friends when they were in the same sixth-grade class in Washington State. Soon after that Maegan’s family had to move away. But the girls say that not only did they not grow apart after Maegan left—they’ve only grown closer. HOW DID THEY DO IT? Read on and find out.
FROM: Maegan George
SUBJECT: Friend Crush
I met Joc when I moved from Puyallup, Washington, to the adorable, woodsy, Victorian-y town of Steilacoom in sixth grade. Being in a military family, I had never had a best friend before (kind of difficult when you only know a person for a year before shipping off somewhere completely new).
I met Joc in a creative writing course. From the time I entered that fateful (and fun) classroom, it was best-friend love at first sight. We loved the same shows, had the same fashion sense, jammed to the same bands, all that good stuff.
Jocelyn is roll-on-the-floor hilariously snarky, and a comic-book nerd. Does your best friend cosplay as an adorable Robin? I thought not. Here’s the tragic part of the story: after two glorious years, I was forcibly moved to LOUISIANA. You read that right. I was terrified that our friendship couldn’t last. She proved me wrong. We text, we send emails, boxes, documents, PowerPoints, Skype, etc. After two years I don’t think we’ve gone a single day without speaking, and that has been the only thing getting me through my exile. All has been made well with the universe, however; this summer, before my move to California (here the angels rejoice) I get to spend a couple of weeks with her family during the summer. The epic potential here is not lost on me.
I think this thoroughly demonstrates what an amazing best friend Jocelyn is; we haven’t known each other as long as some friends, but I think we’re closer even than some lifelong besties.
ROOKIE: How long ago did you meet Jocelyn?
MAEGAN [crusher]: Four years.
How long did you guys live in the same town?
So it’s been two years of tragic separation.
Tragic separation, yes. But I’m moving back to the West Coast soon.
You noticed her, you said, in creative writing class…
Yeah, we had to take this creative writing class and we had to write these minibooks and draw the covers and stuff. And she had this weird cover—it had weird vines on a door, and it was freaky. I just sort of noticed it. I did like some really corny vampire story, because I was in that phase of my life.
Was it a vampire love story?
Yeah! Complete with, like, angst, and all that.
What was the plot?
It was a girl named Zicky, and this guy comes and he gets a blood transfusion, and she thinks it’s hot, and he’s a vampire, so they lapse into a tortured romance for all of 17 pages.
OK, so you notice her book cover, you write this tortured vampire romance, and then what happens?
I had a really bad haircut at that time, because I was really scared about cutting it, and it was really long and, like, ugly.
What did it look like?
Like Shaun White.
That is a really bad haircut.
And she said something really rude about it, and I retorted. I don’t remember what I said, but it was something witty. And then it was all downhill from there.
This is like a romantic comedy, where you guys meet and hate each other, only because you’re so perfect for each other…
And then in the last scene she runs into my arms at the lighthouse.
So how did it turn to love?
It was through Twilight, actually. Because of course I liked Twilight, and so did she. So we just started emailing each other, and we have like 400 pages of emails right now.
That’s amazing, because most teenagers don’t even use email.
I didn’t have a phone and she didn’t have a phone, because we were too, you know, cool for that.
Right. Too cool for phones.
Because if we had phones everyone could contact us. That’s not what cool people do.
You can’t be that accessible.
No! That’s where the mystique comes from. That’s why we fell madly in love!
So you guys start emailing about Twilight…
And like all these anime things she wanted me to read. And I just wasn’t into it. And I pretended to be into it until we got closer and I told her I didn’t like any of them.
Was that a difficult point in your friendship, when you had to admit that you did not in fact enjoy anime?
It was a hard day. It could have broken us, but we lasted through it.
In your email you said that you guys liked the same TV shows. What shows were those?
We started out watching these really corny shows, like Glee, and we kind of bonded over that, long-distance. I’ve been trying to convince her to watch a bunch of old shows, but she won’t listen to me.
Which shows are you trying to persuade her to watch?
You know, My So-Called Life, and Twin Peaks, and all that good stuff. But she just holds out. She likes, like, New Girl. Like she’s that bad.
Hey, New Girl’s not bad.
The one that’s bad is Whitney!
If she started watching Whitney you would have to break up with her.
If it’s lasted this long, it could last through Whitney.
And you said that you guys liked the same bands—do you remember what bands you were into way back in sixth grade?
Sixth grade? It had to be terrible, of course! Because we were pop post-emos. Hot Topic mallrats, basically. We liked the Twilight soundtrack.
Who’s on the Twilight soundtrack?
Oh god. It was a bunch of, like, old, weird bands that didn’t really fit anywhere, like this one Danish thing, Blue Foundation. And Robert Pattinson sang a love song. We had long conversations analyzing the context of Robert Pattinson’s love song in Twilight. We were looking for the deep meaning behind the lyrics.
He wrote and performed a song on the soundtrack? I didn’t even know that.
Ohhhhh yeah. It was the height of sixth grade for me.
Was the song actually good?
What kind of stuff did you guys do back when you lived in the same town?
We went to her house and played Cthulu with a feather duster. You know, Cthulu, the monster from H.P. Lovecraft…
What does it mean to play Cthulu?
We took our fingers and we made weird squid sound effects and just ran around all day.
That actually sounds amazing.
It was really weird. It was fun. And we played a lot of video games, like The Sims and Smash Bros, and dorky stuff. And we watched Whip It! We watched Whip It on repeat like four times. That’s the only part of that year I’m not embarrassed about. It was good. I really like Ellen Page.
So now’s where you get to be all corny: tell me what’s so awesome about Jocelyn.
[Deep breath] Oh, well. She’s really loyal to people. It doesn’t matter who they are—she’s cool with them. She’s Catholic and Filipino, but she’s always had these weird crushes on, like, the Mormon kids—she just doesn’t care if someone’s a little off. She’s always been cool with how they are on the inside and all that deep, introspective stuff. And of course, she’s got my back. And she’s funny as hell. Witty comebacks abound.
What makes her a good friend?
She’s always thinking about me, even though I’m thousands of miles away—light-years away. She sent me this box full of all these things from our friends. I really miss our school, and so she sent me copies of the school paper, and yearbooks and stuff. She sends me books she’s read before, Japanese candy, corny coloring books from the dollar store, a paper maché mask…she sent me a Flying Spaghetti Monster she made out of yarn.
And then my cat ate it. She sent me a big life-size poster of Albus Dumbledore. And she sends me fun little gadgets.
What do you like about sending actual tangible things to each other in the mail, versus just sharing stuff online?
When you get actual stuff, you put it around, like in your drawers or whatever, and when you see it you’re like “Yeah, I remember when she sent me that.” It’s corny, like how moms take pictures, but cool.
Like what moms do, except cool.
Yeah, except for it’s cool people.
Imagine if a mom was, like, a cool person? It’s impossible. Do you guys really actually make PowerPoints for each other?
Yes. Whenever I want to get information across that I can’t really express in a text, if I want to REALLY get something across, like in ALL CAPS and pictures, PowerPoint is the way to do it. Like when she was pining after this one kid, and he was being all jerky and weird, I told her to stop, and she kept not listening to me and getting all emo and heartbroken over him—so I just sent her a PowerPoint. That was the only way she would listen.
So you’re gonna go stay with her family over the summer for a few weeks.
Yeah. It’s going to be very awesome. We’re gonna watch movies she needs to watch and go see all my old friends.
Next summer’s a long way away, though, no?
Five months is a long time. But I’ve been waiting like two years to go anywhere, so it seems close.
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ROOKIE: How did you feel when you found out Maegan nominated you for Friend Crush?
JOCELYN [crushee]: I was excited, and honored.
She says you guys started talking when you made fun of her hair. Do you remember what you said?
I think I compared her to Shaun White or something.
And eventually you guys bonded over Twilight.
Oh my goodness.
All your secrets are coming out!
I’m a survivor of Twilight.
And nowadays you’re really into comic books. What comic books do you read?
Like Batman and Robin and stuff like that.
So mostly superhero comics?
Yeah. I like a lot of the different Batman series…es? I don’t think that’s an actual word. The characters are really fleshed out and developed.
Tell me about playing Cthulu.
Oh my gosh. Yeah. I invited Maegan to my house for my birthday, and we were so crazy. We had a secret handshake where we wiggled our fingers in front of our face, and we were like, “CTHULU!!!”
When I talked to Maegan she made fun of you for liking New Girl.
I love that show!
I think it’s good, too—what does Maegan not get about it?
I think the thing she doesn’t get about it is that she hasn’t watched it yet—because she hasn’t.
She’s busted. [Ed. note: Maegan strongly disputes this version of the story.] What is so awesome about Maegan?
She’s just really chill with everything. It’s really easy to talk to her. And she’ll tell you how it is. Like, we always write these stories, and sometimes I’ll tell her a concept I thought of and she’ll be like, “That’s really lame.” And I’ll be like, “Yeah, I know.”
That’s a really good quality. Do you remember the PowerPoint that she sent you to try to dissuade you from your crush object of the moment?
To quote her, she said, “Watch out: those charismatic, overzealous religious guys have a sadistic side.” I always get words of wisdom from her, and I keep them.
What other advice has she given you?
On the same subject, she said, “He must be one of those guys who doesn’t like music. That means he has like half a personality.”
That’s cold. Did it work? Did it make you like him less, or did you still have to ride out the cycle of the crush?
I just went through the cycle.
It’s really impressive that it’s been two years since you’ve lived in the same town and you’ve stayed so close. What’s your secret to keeping the friendship flame alive long-distance?
I text Maegan almost every day. And we send each other things in the mail. She sent me a friendship bracelet she made, and this miniature plastic horse that she found, because I carried around a little plastic whale in my pocket, as a good luck charm. In the end it’s really about keeping contact.
To nominate your own Friend Crush, send your name and a picture of yourself, your FC’s name and email address (and a picture if you’ve got one), and a paragraph or two telling us what makes her so great, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and write FRIEND CRUSH in the subject line.