olive garden

Seventeen and Traditions

BY ERICA

Note: In response to Allison’s most recent post, I freaking love Olive Garden and would eat there till the day I die, spending the day alone with her family (because she invited me to her house then promptly left to go to a concert with her other friends) was one of the best days I’ve ever had, and I too hate our friendship but continue it because I don’t want to break our 221-day Snapchat streak.

Anyway.

I turned seventeen on Friday.

It was quite surprising to see how many people were legitimately surprised that I was only turning seventeen and not eighteen. I had to go through the “wait?? what?? but I thought you were older!!” conversation at least five times in the past two weeks and I don’t even think some people have fully comprehended it yet. That’s right folks, your favorite VPSA senior is actually only seventeen.

Much like the past several years of my life, my birthday went according to tradition. I went to Disneyland, rode rides, ate food, and complained about the absurd amount of walking. We took pictures in the same spots, rode the same rides, ate at the same places, and watched the same shows. After seventeen years and twenty-something trips to Disneyland, everything seemed so heartwarmingly familiar.

After a whole day of traditions, I came home to my two rather new best friends who insisted on keeping me up and asking me about how my birthday went and telling me about all the libraries they’ve visited in the past six months. The amount of times people mentioned the word “camels” to me was both heartwarming and horrifying and the ratio of camel-related gifts to normal gifts was worrisome (I’m looking at you, camel-shaped cookie cutter), but after years of traditions it’s nice to have something new.

But if there’s one thing I’m thankful for,

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it’s that it’s not 2009 anymore.

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Apparently turning seventeen has impaired my ability to write posts of substance about anything so I apologize about my incomprehensible paragraph structures and hope this whole writer’s block will blow over soon.

Happy Birthweek

Allison.

DISCLAIMER: Every time I talk about Erica I sound helplessly in love with her, and I’ve just had to accept this. I apologize in advance for sounding like I’m ready to put a ring on Erica. I’m not. We’re just really good friends. (I would never marry someone who thinks Olive Garden is an acceptable form of Italian food).

Erica and I have known one another for less than a year, which is shocking, considering how much time we’ve committed to our friendship. We live thousands of miles away from one another and have only hung out in person three times, but I spend most of my class time texting her in between answering physics problems and scribbling down Latin notes. When we Skype, it usually turns into a two hour long conversation of laughing and coming up with ridiculous ideas about our future plans to see one another. Whenever we talk, I end up a little happier and a little less stressed than before. I know her better than some people I see on a regular basis. Something about living across the country has made us realize how special friendship truly is.

We started speaking two hundred and fifty five days ago because I couldn’t answer a question on our organic chemistry problem set so I messaged her on Instagram, hoping she could give me an answer, because I couldn’t fathom how benzene reacted with an organometallic ring.

But something about our personalities fell into perfect tandem nearly the minute we started talking. She understood my humor and her sarcasm perfectly complimented mine. She got on a plane few weeks after we started speaking and spent a week with my family. We ate mac and cheese, she went to the pet store with my brother, and she sat alone in a car while my step dad rambled on about hiking for nearly forty five minutes. So basically, she’s experienced the true nature of all my family has to offer yet she continues to speak to me, which shows both extreme loyalty and poor judgment on her part.

She’s the only person I’m okay with having an SAT score 10 points higher than mine. I’m not sure why God blessed me with her friendship, but I’m thankful every single day for it. (And even if I hated her, I can’t really get out of this friendship anymore. Our snapchat streak is 167% longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries, and that’s not something you can just let die.) Happy Birthday, Erica. Enjoy your meal at Olive Garden.