The Best Present

I received a happy box in the mail yesterday! Something very cool was inside of it and I wanted to tell you about it.

Occasionally, I get random happy packages from certain friends. My friend Jim particularly, he sends me random boxes of completely bizarre things that he finds and thinks of me. Anything from Pez dispensers that have no head, to creepy little trinkets he finds in thrift stores, to snippets he cut out of a magazine. Lots of chicken related things. I adore getting random packages in the mail. I think everyone does, really. Something like 10 years ago, I did a happy box exchange in which I invited my friends to participate, and I sent out a box full of things that made me happy to each of them. I burned CDs of music that I like, made little packets of cake sprinkles and stickers, made happy little finger puppets from IKEA into refrigerator magnets. I included a note on everything to explain what it was and why it made me happy. Why it was important to me to include in that particular box. The idea was for it to be in exchange, and once they had received my package, they would send me a box of what made them happy back. Not everyone sent me a box back, but many did (with a couple notable people going way, way overboard above and beyond), and I adored every single one of them. Satou-chan was one of those who reciprocated (in spades).

I’ve known her for many, many years. She’s one of the very first people I ever met online and forged a real-life friendship with. We bonded over a common love of Japanese culture, writing, and a particular manga called Fushigi Yuugi. I flew all the way from Oregon to Atlanta, Georgia to attend my very first anime con with her and Holly, our other anime obsessed writer friend. It remains one of my happiest memories. I’m grateful every day that we kept in touch. She wound up moving to Arizona, and I was lucky enough to be sent there for work sometimes, and on one happy occasion we were able to sync our schedules and meet up in person again. That, also, is one of my happiest memories.

Satou-chan just sent me happy box.

She had texted me to let me know it was coming, and to confirm my address, and to apologize for the length of time it’d been since we last spoken. I truly wasn’t worried about that last thing, because communication works both ways and I’m just as guilty about not keeping in touch. I honestly don’t get offended when people go long periods of time without contacting me, because I am absolutely awful at it myself. My most cherished friendships are the ones in which I usually don’t speak to them for months, sometimes even years at a time, and when we do pick up it’s right back where we left off like no time at passed at all. My friendship with her is one of them.

Inside the box were many truly happy things. Including one of the most amazing cards I have ever seen in my entire life – it was a paper craft tray of sushi. Inside, she’d written all sorts of almost embarrassingly praising words, letting me know how much she cherished me and my friendship. The sushi card was because one of her favorite memories was of our Ariona hangouts and going to sushi together. I won’t lie; I totally cried. She also sent me stickers, because duh, and some happy fairy sparkly things, a glorious pair of socks, and probably the sweetest children’s book I have seen in forever. She said it was her favorite, and it reminded her of our friendship. (Yeah, I cried reading that, too.) Everything in the box was wrapped in tissue paper, separate little packages for me to unwrap and reveal surprises within. Every little packet had a note on it, explaining why she was giving me that particular thing, or what was on her mind when she bought it, or simply “This box contains tiny dinosaurs. I am sending them with love. <3 “

I loved every single gift, every single note, every single thought.

But the one that stood out the most, and the one that is probably my favorite thing in this whole entire box, was the note attached to a little bundle of things like lip balm, a keychain, and a little (freaking ADORABLE) notepad: “So… I realized early on that a lot of the stuff I bought for your happy box might be hard for you to use. (One reason I didn’t send.) Then I realized I had no business deciding that for you, and decided to send them anyway.”

And THAT, my friends, is how you be a fucking ALLY.

Inappropriate Friends are the Best Friends, Part 4

As I mentioned in the last video, I’ve developed a habit of cussing out my own body when it’s not responsive to my commands, which has vastly amused people. Here I am trying to get in to a car and my leg isn’t lifting quite high enough to clear the door, and I’m hissing “come onnnnnnnnnnn!!” Or pretty much every time I’m about to fall, I bark out “NO!” like…BAD DOG! NO FALLING! It’s like Jedi Mind tricking my hand into gaining the strength to turn the house key in the door by saying “doooo iiiiiiiiit”. It doesn’t work. But I swear it helps. Sort of.

J, ex-husband, power friend, and awesome dude came over last night to help me clean my kitchen a little. I assisted by staying out of his way, and cleaned up the foulness that my elderly cat had deposited NEXT to the litter box. J gracefully listened to me whining about how changing out pee pads and emptying the Litter Robot’s tray (SERIOUSLY THIS IS STILL THE BEST THING EVER, GUYS, GET A LITTER ROBOT) had me out of breath and sweating, gently reminding me that he TOTALLY could have done that for me, you know. He’s one of my best allies and I’m grateful we remained really good friends – I don’t get how someone can be in a relationship with someone else for ten years and then just never speak to them again because the romantic part didn’t work out. I’ve been close to him for a quarter of my life, we’ve been through some serious stuff, so yeah, I’m keeping him around. He’s important. Dude also gives me rides to work, so that’s a plus, and we provide each other with talk therapy all the time. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that probably no one on this planet knows me better than he does.

He’s leaving from my place to go work out, and he’s burdened down with his gym bag, his street clothes, his keys, dude’s hands are completely full, and I exacerbate it by asking him to put the trash can outside the door for collection when he goes out cause now it’s full of litter and heavy. He complies without complaint, and rather than letting me get the door for him like a sane person, he struggles to open it with full hands AND step out of the way while opening it but there’s a stack of recycling in the way, and having a hell of a time. He hisses “OH COME ON” to himself to get the doorknob to turn.

“Careful,” I tell him, grinning, “you’re starting to sound like me.”

“I yell all the time,” he tells me dismissively as he walks outside, “only it’s usually at inanimate objects.” He pauses, and gets this really strange look on his face.

“…..What?”

He grins sheepishly and confesses, “I am a horrible person.”

“…And?”

“Well it occurred to me, you *could* say the same thing.”

We both bust up laughing. “Fuck you,” I tell him, and close the door.

He gets me.










Inappropriate Friends are the Best Friends

AKA: Things I Say That Apparently Only I Find Funny, Part Two

At my job, we go through a yearly review process called Focal. As a part of that, mid-year we do a baby Focal with our managers as a way to touch base with where we are, where we’re going, and how to get there.

I had the following conversation over work chat with my friend Jack:

Me: Can I list “was diagnosed with a terminal disease and successfully did NOT lose her shit” as a focal point?
*Organized
*Team-centric
*Dying

Jack: “Dying but upbeat! Until she dies.”
“Then no beat.”

Me: Areas for Improvement: Dancing.

Jack: Notable accomplishments: Swagger.

Me: Strengths: Pretending that any of your shit even matters, in the grand scheme.

Jack is one of my favorites because he goes with it and is even more horrible than I am.