This month we bring you Lauren and Juliana, who met in sixth grade in St. Augustine, Florida, then were cruelly torn apart when Lauren’s family moved away. But never fear! They’ve stayed close enough to bring you the love story below.
SUBJECT: Friend Crush: Juliana!
My name is Lauren Montez, and I’d like to nominate my best friend, Juliana Norton, for Friend Crush, because I love her and she’s the best!
We met in middle school. It was one of those first-day-of-school “meet-your-classmates” things that everybody hates but all the teachers do them anyways, and we ended up being paired together because we were both too shy to approach anybody else, haha. I think we ended up talking about Invader Zim instead of whatever we were supposed to be doing (we were both also going through a really unfortunate Hot Topic-y pseudo-goth phase). And thus, a friendship was born!
Juliana is unquestionably the best person I’ve ever met. A lot of the very best times of my life have been just hanging out watching terrible movies or reality TV and eating pizza with her. She is so nice to everybody and just a really genuine person, and I hope everybody has best friends as sincere and bright as Juliana.
P.S. Extra good stuff: this is (literally the worst quality you could possibly have aka videotaped on an old camera that couldn’t hold a charge so I had to hold it up to my webcam to save it) a video of me and Juliana circa 2003, re-enacting Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with a bunch of stuffed animals:
ROOKIE: Where in Georgia do you live?
LAUREN [crusher]: Perry, which is like nowhere.
How’s it going?
Pretty good. I kind of left high school, and I’m graduating through taking classes at the community college.
Why’d you decide to do that?
I just wasn’t having a good time. I didn’t really have many friends here.
So you never made a friend there as good as Juliana?
No, which is sad.
Do you remember your first impression of her?
I just remember meeting her in middle school, and she was just really…cool. I thought she was super cool, right away. I had an Invader Zim keychain, which is something really embarrassing to say out loud, but we struck up this hour-long conversation about Invader Zim the first day we met.
She was always one to get good grades. And this is funny, because we both are really not into sports at all, but she did jazz dancing and hip-hop dancing. Our school was focused on the arts, and one day we had this exhibition of what all the different clubs were doing, and I remember seeing Juliana perform in this hip-hop dance group with all these really sassy black girls. And she’s like the whitest girl you’ve ever seen in your life.
Was she good at it?
Yeah, she was really good! I thought she was so cool. That was pretty early in our relationship.
So it was like all of a sudden she had this superpower that you hadn’t been aware of.
Yeah, it was weird! Because she was super shy. She still is.
Does she still dance?
I think so. She does a lot of things. She also plays electric guitar, and she taught herself how to play the banjo.
Does she still live in Florida?
No, she moved to Mississippi in seventh grade. I haven’t seen her for a while.
How do you two keep your friendship going even though you live in different states?
You know how most friends talk every day and call each other up? We don’t really do that, which is weird. We talk maybe once a month. I don’t know how it stays a really good friendship, but it does!
Maybe it’s because you’re both bad at correspondence, so you don’t hold that against each other.
Yeah. We’re both really bad at talking on the phone. So we usually just talk on Facebook or Tumblr.
Have you ever gotten in a fight?
No, I don’t think we have.
Why do you think that is? What makes your friendship work so well?
I’m not sure. I think we’re similar personality-wise, but we’re really different in a lot of ways. We have different tastes in things: her music taste is more like Tori Amos, bluegrass, that kind of stuff; I like old punk and the Alley Cats. She likes old Criterion films; I like Grindhouse and Tarantino.
Finally: what is so great about Juliana?
A lot of things. I think it’s nice that we both have the same sense of humor. We both like really stupid things, and we have a lot of inside jokes. Juliana is super smart. The things that she’s done with her life so far, even with how young she is—it’s crazy. I can’t even fathom it. She went to this exclusive all-girls private school for a year that you have to be super crazy smart to get into. She knows Arabic and Japanese. She wants to be a freelance translator. And she’s a crazy good artist. I think she could succeed in pretty much anything that she wanted to do. She’s just super cool. I love Juliana!
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ROOKIE: What do you remember about meeting Lauren for the first time?
JULIANA [crushee]: It was sixth grade. I didn’t know anybody because I had just moved from a Catholic school. We were both really weird and didn’t have any friends, and we had to have like a locker buddy, and nobody picked us, so we were just put together.
Awww. Fate! You had just half a year together before you were separated?
Yeah. It was so sad, because we were so close for that half a year. We would hang out all the time. Then she had to move, and it was just like the worst thing ever, because she was really one of the only friends I had. I had a really bad time in middle school after that.
Do you still get to see her?
Yeah, during summers and breaks. We switch it up—I went to Georgia one time, and she came here, and then she went on a family vacation with us to Chicago and Michigan.
When you get to be together in the same city, what do you like to do?
We’re really lazy a lot of the time, and we just end up eating a bunch of food and watching stuff.
I think our favorite terrible movie to watch together is this movie called Tamara. It’s about this girl who’s a witch and everybody’s really mean to her and they kill her. Then she comes back to life, because she has this spell on her or something, and then she’s like sexy and seduces everyone and kills them. It’s really bad. I think the tagline is “Everyone’s dying to sleep with her” or something.
I always like a makeover/murder theme. What reality TV do you guys watch?
We’ll just end up sitting down and watching a whole bunch of episodes of something like Shear Genius.
I love that show. I also liked their tagline: “Hair is important.”
We liked Brig. We watched all her YouTube videos. She’s crazy.
Do you have any favorite memories of hanging out with Lauren?
All of my best memories of middle school are just whenever she was there. When I think back to what we did at school, I don’t think I could have done any of that alone, or with anyone else. Like, we would trade Neopets cards at lunch, and we wouldn’t see anything wrong with that. We would draw together all the time. I don’t know, just the fact that we were able to be ourselves and not have to worry about what anybody else thought was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever been as close to anyone as I am to Lauren. ♦
To nominate your own friend for a future FC, email us with an summary of what makes your friend so great, a picture of you, a picture of her, and both of your email addresses. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please write “Friend Crush” in the subject line.