Jayme and Miranda, both 15, met in the seventh grade, when Miranda helped Jayme cheat on a test. They’ve been sneaking out of the house to longboard and hang out ever since. Last year, Miranda moved from Alberta, Canada, to Port Washington, Wisconsin, but they kept in touch, and Jayme was really happy to have Miranda back in town for the summer.
TO: [email protected]
SUBJECT: FRIEND CRUSH
Miranda and I met in band class in seventh grade. We both played clarinet, and our teacher seated us next to each other. I didn’t know what to think of her at first, to be honest. She seemed kind of stuck-up. Then our teacher gave us a quiz in which we had to name the parts of our instrument. Miranda must’ve noticed me struggling, because she leaned over and started whispering the answers to me. I’m not entirely sure when we made the jump from mere acquaintances to best friends, but it happened. She skipped swim practice after school on many occasions to go to the convenience store with me. We spent every lunch period together at school, and those conversations are the source of many of our inside jokes (such as SAUSAGE RAGE). We sat on my roof and talked about life. But we weren’t best friends for very long before she was brutally ripped away from me. She moved to Wisconsin to live with her dad last August. It turned out all right, though. I made some new friends, and so did she. We kept in touch through Facebook, and the occasional phone call. It’s summer now, and she’s here until August, which is amazing.
I think part of what makes us “click” so well is that we’re not the exact same. We challenge each other. Miranda brings out my rebellious side, and I’m a calming influence on her. She doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her, and that attitude has rubbed off on me, which I am forever thankful for.
ROOKIE: Why did you think Miranda was stuck-up when you met her?
JAYME [crusher]: She just seemed a little bit intimidating. She was talking to a lot of people, but not to me. Then we sat next to each other, and she helped me with my clarinet test.
Then you repaid her by encouraging her to skip swim practice to hang out with you!
I do feel bad about that now, but the first time she skipped swimming it was her idea.
So what is there to do at the convenience store?
Drink slushies. We live in a really small town, so there’s not much else to do. It’s like the only place for teenagers to go. Sometimes we go to the elementary school playground and sit on the swings, or we go to my house, because my dad works and we can be there without parental supervision. Or we go longboarding in this huge parking lot where a grocery store use to be. There’s a skate park, too, but it’s where the stoners of our town hang out, and I’m not interested in that.
What do you love most about Miranda?
I’ve changed a lot since I met her, and that’s a good thing. I was kind of this shy, quiet kid, and I didn’t want to do anything that could get me in trouble. But Miranda brings out my rebellious side.
What do you do to rebel?
I guess it’s more general mischief than anything. We sneak out a lot. Last year, she and I hung up these “lost unicorn” posters all over our town. They had a picture of this little cartoon unicorn, and it said: “Lost. If found, please return to Narnia.” The last time we snuck out, we stayed out until sunrise and we rode our longboards and bought doughnuts at Tim Horton’s.
What’s your technique for sneaking out? I grew up in an apartment, so I always imagine that you need to, like, jump off of a roof and into a tree.
I wish I could say I went off the roof and into a tree, but I just walk out the front door after my dad’s asleep.
You mentioned that you don’t have a lot of common interests. What’s something that you love that she doesn’t?
When I first met her, she didn’t like the Beatles, which was like the worst thing in the world to me. I didn’t understand how you could not like the Beatles! And earlier today we had a discussion about raisins. She loves them, and I just can’t stand them.
Raisins gross me out.
They have such a weird texture. I have a thing about weird textures.
Yeah, me too.
The texture of tomatoes really bugs me. And the texture of coconut.
It gives me the chills just thinking about coconut. So what is “sausage rage,” is that somehow related?
No. During one of our breaks at school, Miranda was eating this kielbasa, and someone came up to her and asked her if they could have a piece of it, and she basically yelled across the room, while hovering to protect her sausage, “It’s mine!” Now it’s an inside joke. We were at this food festival last week, and it came up a lot, because we were trying and failing to share food. We’re not good at sharing. And I’m a vegetarian.
When did you realize that you’d gone from being friends to best friends?
Probably the day that she told me she was leaving. I realized how close we had gotten, and that I didn’t want her to go.
How did you celebrate her return?
The weekend of my birthday, she came back for spring break. That morning, she was sent to the grocery store and she came over while I was still asleep and my dad let her into the house and into my room, and she just stood there until I woke up.
That is both sweet and a little creepy! How long did she watch you sleep?
Not very long. I vaguely remember hearing the doorbell ring.
Can you remember the best piece of advice that she’s ever given you?
She’s given me a lot of great advice. She’s told me to stop worrying so much. I am a worrier. I always think about what could go wrong.
Do you make her more cautious in return?
No, she’s corrupted me.
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ROOKIE: Jayme said she was kind of intimidated by you the first time she met you, because you were talking to everybody but her. What was your impression of her?
MIRANDA [crushee]: I thought she was really shy. I was kind of afraid to talk to her. I thought I might make her uncomfortable, because I’m a social butterfly, and I talk to everyone, and I didn’t want to push her out of her comfort zone and make her feel awkward.
So why did you help her cheat on the clarinet test?
I was assigned to sit next to her, and I saw her struggling, and I just said, “Do you need help?” And she was like, “I have absolutely no idea what is going on.” So I helped her with some of the answers. Actually, all of the answers. She really had no idea what was going on.
Then you guys started sitting next to each other on the school bus.
The previous years I sat by myself, because I didn’t like anyone on the bus. At first I didn’t even notice her, because she was staring out the window, and I sat down across the aisle from her and we looked at each other and I was like, “Wait a second.” So we started sitting together, and we talked forever, and we figured out we had seven billion similar interests. Like, we were both obsessed with The Nightmare Before Christmas.
That’s funny, because she said that you guys had pretty different interests–and that you hated the Beatles.
I used to hate the Beatles. She made me listen to “Here Comes the Sun.” I didn’t like it, and she was like, “This is blasphemy!” When I was in Wisconsin, I found out that the song “Come Together” was by the Beatles, and I kind of like that song. I’m not fanatical about them, but I’ll tolerate them.
Is there anything that you love that she hates?
All of my techno music. She doesn’t like electronic music at all. I lived in Germany until I was five. My parents were DJs there, and I like these bands Elektrochemie LK and Heckmann.
Jayme describes you as rebellious. Do you think of yourself as a rebel?
Yeah. I sneak out a lot when I’m home. My mom hasn’t noticed yet, and I am not dead or doing drugs.
Do you have any tips for sneaking out without getting caught?
Make sure that your parents are asleep or at least watching the television with the volume up too high. Make sure you have a way to get back inside in case the door is locked. I sneak out the back door, which no one uses but me, so I just leave it unlocked. Be super duper quiet until you leave your neighborhood. And be fast. If I’m too slow, the floors creak.
Do you blame Jayme for your thwarted swim career?
I got really bored of swimming. I’m also ridiculously scared of tampons, I just don’t like the idea of them, so it was not fun when I had my period during swim practice. I would just hang out with Jayme instead and wet my hair before I walked in the house.
What’s the best advice that Jayme’s ever given you?
I don’t really ever remember her giving me advice. I mean, she’s told me to listen to certain music, and then I did, and I didn’t like it, so I know not to listen to AWOLNATION anymore!
You didn’t have to move away, but you chose to. Was it hard to leave Jayme?
It was. I’d been wanting to move in with my dad for a long time. My mom and my dad are divorced, and I decided I didn’t want to live in Beaumont. So my mom said I had to wait until I finished middle school. And I had second thoughts, but I decided I wanted to go. I’m happy. I made a lot of friends. And we text and talk all the time on Facebook.
What makes Jayme different from and better than other friends?
She just seems so much more out there. A lot of girls that I could have been friends with in Alberta have a very blank personality. They’re very mainstream–not to label everyone, but they gossip about everyone else and they talk about how cute boys are. Jayme and I don’t talk about that stuff, we don’t waste our time with it. She was just different, and I liked it.
So you two never talk about crushes or people you want to date or anything like that?
I dated a couple of boys, and Jayme hasn’t dated anyone yet, but we don’t talk about them. Except for the cute Australian swim team. We stared at them for a while. ♦
(Interviews conducted by Phoebe.)
To nominate someone for a future Friend Crush, please send an email with both of your names, ages, and pictures, and a paragraph or two explaining what makes her so wonderful, to [email protected], and write Friend Crush in the subject line.