Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: BFF

My best friend Jenny and I met in the 4th grade.  I remember that day so vividly.  It was in the morning and our teacher, Mrs. Reault announced to the class that we have a new student transferring from another nearby elementary school.  I'm not quite sure why Jenny transferred because there were only 3 elementary schools in the small college town we lived and each of them were probably just a few blocks away from one another.  But it turned out good for me because Jenny was Chinese!  The only other Chinese girl in our school. 

Mrs. Reault asked me to take Jenny outside into the hallway and get to know her for about 10 or 15 minutes and then reintroduce her to the class.  You see, Jenny was quiet and shy.  And who wouldn't be when they're the center of attention infront of complete strangers at the age of 10.  I believe Mrs. Reault thought Jenny didn't speak much English because she didn't speak much...period, and since we both spoke Chinese, it was easier for me to get to know her.  So into the hallway we went and being the shy little girl I was, it was quite an awkward 15 minutes.  I asked her a question, she'd answer it in one word.  And sadly, I didn't have much to report to the class.  But our classmates didn't seem to care because everyone just went onto their merry way and Mrs. Reault started her day teaching.

It wasn't until recess and lunch, Jenny and I started to hang out and got to know each other a little better.  Despite the fact that we were both Chinese, we actually spoke English to eachother and I was surprised to find that she had no accent, and her English was perfect.  It was the start of a beautiful friendship that lasts until this day.  A friendship 20 years in the making.

Jenny and I only lived in the same town for a little over 2 years.  After 6th grade, my family moved to Seattle because my dad graduated a little earlier than her dad in the Ph.D program since my dad was a little older.  After her dad graduated, she went off to Missourri, then graduated from college and lived in New Jersey, then moved Cincinatti, and went off to law school in Boston but now reside in New York City.  She's a big time lawyer now and during these 18 years or so that we've been physically apart, we have written countless pages of hand written letters to one another pre-email days.  And now, we email almost every other day. 

I'm not sure what the right formula was for Jenny and I to have kept in touch for so long.  Because I know I've lost touch with many people in my life, but Jenny and I will always be there for one another.  Both Jenny and I are extremely loyal people who value friendships as much as we do our families.  And I think we both hold on to that very first day we met as little girls, in a small town where we felt so different from the rest of the kids there.  We are not remotely as similar to one another as some of my girl friends that I have here in Seattle.  Actually, we are very different and we have different outlooks on life.  But what's best about our friendship is that life in the past 20 years has taken us to so many different places.  We've been through countless ups and downs, but we've never judged one another.  The unconditional love I feel from my family is felt from her as well, and I truly think of her as a sister.  In fact, I believe we're blood sisters and we've performed some blood sister ritual long distance (I was in Seattle, she was in Pullman and at a certain time we agreed to poke our fingers and put our blood on a piece of paper and mail it to one another), but she refuses to remember this!  We'll just leave it at....she's a sister from another motha! 

My visit with Chris to NYC in 2007...Chris met Jenny for the first time
Jenny and me at my wedding


  1. I love this story! It reminds me of my BFF that I met in 1st grade. Her name is Tram and she left our school after 4th grade to go to a school across town. We met back up in 7th grade and were inseparable. Some of my best memories were sleepovers at Tram's house. Even after we separated again in HS and college, we still kept in touch-same as you and Jenny-through letters! When we see each other now it's like we are back in middle school and pick up right where we left off. I think that's such a sign that people are meant to be friends for life! Thanks for bringing back my own memories to smile about!

  2. What a sweet story Cindi--how blessed are you to have a wonderful friendship. This story made me smile and think of my best friend Christine who lives all the way in Switzerland :)

  3. Pamela - Thank you for sharing your friendship story. Isn't it interesting how we just connect with some people and don't with others? I think Jenny and I are so different but somehow, we're the same. It's weird!

    Jadan - WOW...Switzerland is a long ways!!! I'm sure Christine is lucky to have you across the other side of the world. She'll be happy to know that the story made you smile...and for her.

  4. That is soo sweet and beautiful!

  5. This is so sweet. I *wish* I was as good about keeping up with old friends. My closest friends live in NYC, and I'm *terrible* about staying in regular contact. What a truly special friendship and an inspiring testament to the both of you for maintaining the closeness despite the distance.

  6. Awww, this is a beautiful post. I'm amazed that the two of you have kept the friendship going for so long - since elementary school! My elementary school friends and i drifted apart as we reached high school. And then the same happened in highschool - my high school friends and i drifted apart as we went to uni/college/work. Now, i have friends i met at uni and i don't think we will be drifting apart anytime soon!
    You two are so lucky to have found each other :-)

  7. Oh my gosh. My best friend is called Jenny too! (There's really no shortage of Chinese girls named Jenny.) And we're separated by lost of distance.

    I'm having one of those eerie moments where the story someone else describes is so similar.

  8. Aw this is such a beautiful story! Your friendship is amazing! I wish I could say I've stayed close with friends from my childhood. But really I'm only friends with them on fb. What you have with Jenny is a treasure!


  9. Such a lovely story Cindi! :-) It reminds me of my girlhood friendships that have spanned years. My BFF Heather and I used to snail mail each other letters over the course of 17 years...I have kept every single one and filed them away in chronological order. It will be a treasure trove one day for my great-great-great-great grandchildren to read! :-)

  10. A - Thank you so much!

    Cat - It's not easy that's for sure, to keep contact for so long but I def can't do it to everyone. Just Jenny!! :)

    Jen - Aww that's great you have freinds now that you can see going through life with you and lasting for a long time. A lot of times the people I meet now are associates or acquintances and it usually don't last.

    Aki - Haha that is very eery. Maybe you're my twin? You're also doing accounting right? :)

    Lori - Haha FB is a great way to still keep in touch with people we grew up with. Some people refuse to do that but I love it!

    GinaBean - WOW...I wished I kept our letters but I think if I were to read back, I'd be sooo embarrassed. Most of it was about boys I think. Haha.

  11. Having great girlfriends is the best! I have three brothers and no sisters so I have always relied on my girlfriends to me my "sisters". I would die without them!