Joanie is my freshman roommate from college. I'm not sure you could have put two more opposite girls in the same dorm room…but somehow it worked. We are so very different, and yet have just clicked since day one. When I transferred to Iowa and decided to rush, Joanie (the anti-sorority girl) sent me her mom's chocolate chip banana bread in the mail with a note that said, "Good luck with Rush and I hope you get into a good house. I love that we are so different but still such good friends."
Don't "aww" just yet – this is also the girl who has never hesitated to put me in my place 🙂 Once when I was acting particularly spoiled, Joanie said to me, "I feel like someday you will sit on a throne and just tell people, 'bring me things'." 🙂 I guess you could say I return the favor. At breakfast when she was visiting, vegetarian Joanie didn't want part of a friend's pancake on what had been the bacon plate. While other friends at the table looked for a different spare plate, I told her to "frickin' quit whining and get over it". Ah, friendship.
Despite our sarcasm, I do love this girl. Have you ever met someone who is just good at EVERYTHING and in general, makes you want to be a better person? That is totally and completely what Joanie is and has always been to me. The girl with her dry humor and quirky sense of style makes her own clothes, her own jewelry, is a cross-country runner, paints, plays in the orchestra, writes her own songs, plays the guitar, cuts hair, and so much more. Joanie has spent time abroad in Ghana, and recent years in DC, working in an AIDS shelter for
women. Treat yourself and check out her amazing photography from her adventures.
In sharp contrast to her many talents, Joanie was handed me – a flighty roommate from CR who chatted on the cell or IM constantly, often decided not to attend classes, and is still to this day trying to decide what she wants to do with her life. (I've long since given up on trying to measure up to her and I am totally okay with that). 🙂
Today, Joans is impossible to keep in close contact with, since she takes forever to answer emails or facebook messages. (It will be at least a month before she checks my blog and reads this). I am terrible about phonecalls, or checking voicemail more than a couple times a week. I don't get to see her very often (this month was the first time in almost two years), and we certainly aren't what you would call "great" at keeping in touch, but she still means so much to me. I know for a fact that I have gotten so much more out of our friendship than I have given back.
To Joanie: Thank you. Not only for putting up with the less-talented, fashion-princess, often shallow and ditzy girl you were assigned to live with six years ago, but for being my dear friend to this day.