This month’s Friend Crusher, Eryn, is 16, and she and Rookie actually go way back—we have had a friend crush on her for years! Her bestie, Sara, is 17 and basically in training to become a superspy and rule the world. We’ll let them explain all of this when they get here. Read on!
SUBJECT: Friend Crush
It’s difficult to write about my flawless best friend without going into full out cheesy romcom mode (cue swelling music playing softly in the background). Sara, aka Gus, is probably the person who understands me most in the world. We met in ninth grade due to matching headbands, and discovered that we’re basically soulmates, a true fairy tale that can make you believe in fate. We share a fervent love of Beyoncé, as well as a lot of beliefs and values. We talk about anything and everything.
Sara’s going away to India for school in August, a prospect that has already caused me to shed many a tear. It’ll be challenging to adjust to life without her, but I know our friendship will stay strong. I am immensely proud of her—she is conquering the world and will continue to do so. We’ve pledged to spend this summer doing all the things we always say/plan to do, but have never gotten to!
Sara is talented, strong, intelligent, and passionate. She’s my Gusto, the salt to my pepper, my fellow banana in pajamas, my Frances Ha moment, my dancing queen, my very best friend in the whole world, my everything.
ROOKIE: Why don’t we start with you explaining to the readers how you and I know each other?
ERYN [crusher]: I was just thinking that it was almost two years ago! I went to a Rookie meetup [in Seattle], and it turned out my mother and I were staying in the same hotel as you guys, which was such a crazy coincidence. And after the meetup you guys were going to dinner at Dylan’s mom’s house, and you invited me along, which was so nice! That was a really fun and cool evening.
Did you learn anything scandalous about any of us during that meal?
Oh, I’m sure that I did! I just remember that everyone was so funny, and I was so shy. And that Dylan’s mom was so nice! I was just a random guest, and she was really hospitable and the food was so delicious and the house was so lovely and welcoming.
She is really the greatest. So let’s talk about Sara, shall we? In your email you compared your friendship to a romcom. If someone made a romcom about your friendship, what would be the plot?
Um, it would be like a totally fateful meeting—something super random and out of the blue—and then a slow bonding where everyone watching is like, “This has got to happen!” but it takes a long time. And then it’s just like BANG and the love is full-on.
Is there a moment of conflict? You know how in a romcom there’s always some obstacle?
Yeah. I think maybe there are some other friends that were maybe not so great and we have to deal with them together.
Is that what happened to you guys?
Yeah. I feel like we bonded more after that.
That’s really sweet, because even the “obstacle” is something that brought you closer together instead of something that tried to tear you apart. How did the two of you meet? You said there was some sort of headband situation?
Well, it was a handkerchief/scarf thing that we both wore in our hair. Mine was my mom’s that she probably bought forever ago that I stole, and Sara’s was from a vintage store.
Literally they were the exact same headband?
The exact same. I was like, “That’s so weird, you have the same headband as me. Where did you get it?” It was the most random thing!
Why do you call her Gus?
Um, OK, we were getting ready for a party, I think, and I was texting my boyfriend, and he said something about “Oh, are you guys getting all gussied up?” and Sara’s like, “Yup! I’m gonna look just like Gus!”
[Laughs] Do you remember the hardest you and Sara have ever laughed together?
One recent thing was we came home from a poetry slam and we were in her kitchen and we started taking really goofy photos of ourselves doing these crazy poses and just laughing our heads off. You know when you’re like so tired that everything is funny?
Totally. Can you send me one of those photos?
Oh my gosh, yes. There’s one that’s just priceless.
What do you love about this picture?
You said say that you guys share “a lot of beliefs and values.” What are your shared values?
We both have lots of opinions about feminism, and it’s really awesome to have someone where I can just be like, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about representation in the media!” or what have you.
Are there not a lot of other people you can talk to about that stuff?
Well, I think it’s gotten a lot better in the last couple of years—it seems like more people are calling themselves feminists now that I’ve seen. I mean, there are still the people who are assholes about it, but I think it’s being more embraced and talked about, which is great.
Do you have a feminism club at your school?
No, not yet. I’ve been meaning to start one, actually, but I haven’t. I do worry about the backlash it would get.
What do you think would happen?
I mean, there are so many misconceptions. Just the word feminism causes people to react, like, “Oh, you hate men!” and that kind of thing. I don’t know why, but there have been so many Facebook fights about this recently between people at my school.
About feminism, or a particular incident?
Just people getting mad at feminists and saying that feminism is “trying to make women superior.” Which is like so far off the mark! I don’t know why that’s such a big misconception.
I don’t either, except I think it must be rooted in people feeling threatened.
It’s like, imagine if you had—I mean, I know it’s hard to imagine this as a teenage girl, but imagine if you had all the power…
…and you got all this great stuff based on that power. But you also got a lot of shit for it. And then someone was like, “You don’t get to have all the power anymore.” I bet you it would be hard to just accept that gracefully. You’d be like, “You wanna take the one thing I have?”
Totally! Especially when you don’t even realize the power you have.
Right! When all you focus on is like the shitty parts. So what do you and Sara talk about when you have conversations about feminism?
A lot about how misogyny comes up in our daily lives, and a lot about media. We watch a lot of the same TV shows and stuff, so that’s something that always comes up.
Is the daily misogyny stuff at school?
Yeah, stuff at school, you know, stuff like family, stuff like everything. It’s everywhere.
When does Sara move to India?
How long will she be there?
It’s a two-year program, but she’ll come back in December and in the summer.
You mentioned that you plan to spend the rest of the summer doing all the things you always said you would do but never got around to. Have you made a list?
I think we’ve made a mental list.
What’s on it?
Well, a Beyoncé party, first of all. I mean, every time Sara and I hang out it’s a Beyoncé party, but we want to have like an actual party where we invite people and we just play Beyoncé and put Beyoncé pictures up and just have a Beyoncé celebration and dance our little hearts out.
What else is on the list?
A day of just, like, getting on a bus with our backpacks and going places we haven’t been to in our not-too-huge-but-not-too-small city [in British Columbia] and finding cool places and just hanging out, following our hearts wherever our hearts desire.
That sounds so fun. Anything else?
Um, a craft day. We’re actually doing that next week. Because we always say we’re gonna have a craft day, and then she comes over and we just end up talking for a couple of hours.
What crafts are you going to do?
We’ll probably make some mini zines. We make each other mini zines a lot. And probably, I don’t know, glue stuff to stuff.
What’s your favorite zine that Sara has made for you?
There’s one that I’m looking at right now that she made during her spare [period] at school one day. I was feeling really bummed out because I had some art project fall through, and she made me this little booklet of positive affirmations like “It will all be OK, because I have all the inspiration I need right inside of me.”
Aw, that makes me wanna cry! OK, so let’s do a very quick round of the Newlywed Game.
Oh gosh. OK.
What is Sara’s biggest phobia?
She’s really afraid of being buried alive.
That’s mine too!
Well, Sara always talks about it, and then I get freaked out about it.
Yeah, it’s a fear you can catch really easily. What is yours?
Well, she’ll probably say it’s centipedes.
But what is it really?
Centipedes. It’s just not agreeable with me.
What do you hate about them?
They make me feel like I’m going to vomit or faint or something! I don’t know, maybe it’s the legs? The thought of like all those legs walking on me or something…
It freaks me right out! Whenever I get home late they’re just like waiting there for me on the bathroom floor, and then I have to kill them.
I don’t even kill other kinds of bugs, but I totally kill centipedes. What’s your technique?
Me neither! [In an apologetic voice] I…squash it with a tissue paper, and then I flush it down the toilet…
Wait. You take a bunch of tissue paper and then like you, like…press…?
I feel like I can’t do it with just tissue paper, because then you can feel it, you know?
[Sounding faint] Yeah…ugh.
I usually take something heavy like a book or a shoe and I just hit it as hard as I can and then I run out of the room.
[Laughs] It’s always when I’m sitting on the toilet, and there it is on the floor, and tissue paper is the closest thing, so I just grab it and smush it. Because they’re so fast, too! That’s the other thing about them!
Bleh! MOVING ON FROM CENTIPEDES, who’s Sara’s biggest celebrity crush?
What is Sara’s greatest talent?
There’s so many! She’s a really amazing actress and a really great writer. I’ll go with actress if I have to pick one. She’s also awesome at sharing her opinions and at being really eloquent and flawless.
Aww! What do you think your greatest talent is?
Um, being a good friend?
What will she say it is?
She’ll probably say drawing or art.
This concludes the Newlywed Game portion of our interview. What do you think Sara will be like when she’s 25?
She’ll be totally conquering the world and, like, dazzling. And just being so badass and fulfilling all of her dreams.
Is there something about you that Sara sees that other people usually don’t?
I talk to her probably more than I talk to any other people. [Laughs] So she sees, like, my thoughts and things like that.
Are you shy?
I can be. She helps me be less shy, though.
How does she do that?
By being super strong. But also, I know she can be shy too sometimes on the inside, you know? So knowing that she can conquer that helps me feel like I might be able to.
What makes her such a great friend?
She’s super supportive and encouraging. I can just text her and be like, “Oh, this happened and I’m feeling super sucky about it,” and she’ll have a positive affirmation right away. It’ s nice to have someone on your side.
Awww! Thanks so much for doing this, Eryn. It was so good to talk to you again!
Good to talk to you too! I’m so excited to be a Friend Crush.
What are you doing with the rest of your night?
I’m eating pizza with my mother.
I’ve met your mom; she seems pretty great.
Yeah, she’s cool. She’s a good mom.
What’s her first name?
Shoutout to Andrea for being a great mom!
She’ll love that!