Mary and Kendall (19 and 18, respectively) met cute, and now they’re just livin’ cute, all day every day. Read on to find out which one of them is afraid of milk, why Kendall used to get so flustered around Mary’s big brother, and who won our Friendship Test!
TO: [email protected]
SUBJECT: Friend Crush
Kendall and I became friends in seventh grade, when she missed school for a couple days and nobody in our class wanted to call her house and see how she was feeling (she was new that year). After being chosen involuntarily by our teacher, I left a message on her machine, and after that she wouldn’t leave me alone!
That being said, Kendall is the BOMB. She is so weird and awkward that you can’t help loving her! She also may be the smartest girl I know. She works hard, cares about everyone, and deserves every opportunity she gets (not to mention she is a science GENIUS)! And she’s into cool activities like scuba diving and origami. But despite being awesome in every single way, she remains surprisingly humble and grateful for everything she’s been blessed with. She values honesty and authenticity, and in a world where high-school drama seems to loom over everything, Kendall remains level-headed. Ugh, it’s so hard to describe how awesome she really is in just a short email. I don’t know anyone who is more genuine than Kendall, and I’m not expecting to meet anyone more genuine in the future. I have SUCH a Friend Crush on her… it’s like friend IN-LOVE. She is the real deal.
I’m so thankful she got sick in seventh grade and I was forced to call her.
ROOKIE: So why were you chosen to call Kendall in seventh grade when she was out sick?
MARY [crusher]: I don’t actually remember this happening—I only know about it from hearing Kendall tell the story. She was out because she hurt her back or something? She was new, so no one really knew her. Our teacher asked who wanted to call her house to see how she was doing, and I think nobody raised their hand, so I did. When I called, nobody answered, so I left a voicemail. Then she called me back, and then she just started hanging out with me.
In your email you indicated that the call was involuntary. That you were chosen.
The other kids who were in the class say it was involuntary, but I doubt it. I don’t feel like my teacher would do that. But I do feel like I would volunteer.
Do you remember a moment when it switched from just casual hanging out to best-friend-dom?
I think it was when she invited me to her birthday party. Her birthday’s in the summer—I guess it was the summer going into eighth grade. We’d been friends that whole year, but I remember in middle school it took so much more effort to see people over the summer, so you really only did that with people you really cared about enough to call them up and, like, talk to their moms about hanging out with them.
You mentioned some of the stuff Kendall’s into now, like scuba diving and origami, which are amazing, exotic hobbies, but you didn’t say much about yourself. What are you into?
I’m very into arts and crafts, but not really anything impressive. Like, if I burn a CD, I’ll make a case for it. That kind of thing. I knitted a scarf today. I also like going to museums.
What’s your technique for CD cover art? Do you draw, do you collage something, what do you do?
I usually collage them, and I use a LOT of glitter. Glitter everything.
The collages are made from magazine cutouts and whatnot?
Yeah, or if I find, like, a cool wrapper or something, I’ll just keep that around forever, until I find a use for it. I never want to give it up. Sometimes I never even use them.
So you’re, like, a wrapper hoarder?
Do you make mix CDs for Kendall?
I’ve made her a couple. I remember one time, I was making them for all my friends, and I kept telling her I was gonna make her one, and then I never did it until really late. Everyone else got their CDs, and I was like, “Don’t worry, I’m gonna make you yours.” It came way later than I said it would.
Oh my god, you’re such a bad friend!
[Laughs] Yeah, I know.
Why did it take you so long?
I don’t know! I just take her for granted, I guess. I felt like all my other friends would leave if they didn’t get their mixtapes, but I knew that she would hang around.
I think that’s just a thing that happens with best friends. What’s it been like since you two have had to go your separate ways for college?
We don’t really talk as much as we used to. We used to spend every day together at school, and all our free time we would spend together, and…I mean, we both knew this would happen, that we wouldn’t be able to hang out as much once college started.
How far away are you from each other physically?
Well, I go to school in Claremont, California, and she goes to school at Princeton, so she lives in New Jersey.
Oh god, that is faaaaaar. Are you both freshmen?
How’s it going so far?
It’s a longer transition than I thought it would be, but it’s going pretty good.
Do you know what it’s been like for Kendall?
Honestly, it sounds like her life is really great at school. It sounds like she has some awesome friends there already, and…a reason I wrote to Rookie about Kendall in the first place is that she is so great, but she gets down on herself really easily. I mean, everyone’s insecure sometimes, but in high school I didn’t think she was appreciated for how great of a person she is. People seemed to write her off or have preconceptions about her without getting to know her. If everybody had gotten to know her, she would have been super popular, because she’s so amazing. It sounds like at [college] she has a lot of friends who really get her and appreciate her and like her. But I think the academics are really hard, and she’s used to being, like, the smartest person in the class, ’cause she’s really, really smart. But so are a lot of people at Princeton, so I think she’s a bit down on the academics right now because she’s not as confident [in that area] as I guess she was in high school.
So Kendall’s having a great experience at Princeton with all these friends and everything, and…do you feel a little bit jealous about how great it’s going for her, while it’s taking longer for you to find your niche?
No, I’ve made some great friends where I am, too. I’m more jealous about the fact that Kendall and I can’t have a shared experience about college together, you know? Like, we have to have our separate experiences and then fill each other in, instead of having one shared one, which is what we’re used to.
What are Kendall’s best and worst qualities?
Her best quality…man, she has so many. She’s super loyal to her friends, and she is naturally beautiful, and…wait, that’s not really a quality, is it?
I think beauty counts as “a quality.”
She doesn’t ever wear any makeup or dress up or anything—she’s just naturally very gorgeous. She doesn’t really like it when I tell her that, because she doesn’t really believe me. She’s also very authentic and genuine. Which, especially in high school, is something you don’t come across very often
Does she have any any worst—or just weirdest or hardest-to-understand—qualities?
She can be really awkward. I think sometimes she gets nervous and just says weird things. One time when we were in high school, I had her and our friend Cara over, and I was upstairs or something and my older brother was in the room [that Kendall and Cara] were in. And Kendall just starts talking about, like, vaginas, for no reason, and Cara gets really embarrassed, and my brother just starts laughing. To this day I don’t know if Kendall didn’t realize that he was there, or she didn’t think that was weird at all, or she did think it was weird but did it anyway? She’s kind of like that.
What was she saying about vaginas?
I don’t know. She can get so awkward!
Is it ’cause she’s shy?
Yeah, she’s kind of shy, and I think she tries to overcompensate for that.
Is there anything in particular that you’ve learned from her?
She’s taught me a lot about friendship and about valuing good people—identifying those good people in your life and really making sure that they’re appreciated and that you let them know that.
That is really nice. Before I let you go, I want to give try this new experiment on you and Kendall. It’s a Friendship Test, where I’m gonna ask you questions to find out who knows more about the other.
What is Kendall’s favorite food?
Well, her least favorite is cheese. Does a drink count?
Orange juice, maybe? She likes chili also, I think.
What is her favorite TV show?
Hmm. Either Adventuretime or Futurama.
Um…argh. Oh, no. I don’t know! We had a joke about her Kindle, though, does that count? It was called Kendall’s Kindle.
She likes Donnie Darko and the Harry Potter movies. That’s a pretty easy guess.