My friend Audrey is awesome and kind and forgiving… and completely intolerant of people moving away from her.
She’s also intolerant of a particular shirt I own, but we’ll get to that later. The point is, she’s made reference several times to the fact that people who move away (and are therefore neither seen nor heard from again) are “dead to her.”
Not wishing to meet with this fate, I did what any rational person WHO IS AN EXCELLENT LONG-DISTANCE FRIEND would do.
I asked for references.
Yes, really. I asked two of my closest long distance friends* to text their honest impression of me as a LD friend vs local. No surprise, both said they heard from me more now than they did when they lived in the same zip code, went to the same school, or otherwise could have seen me anytime. I’m actually a shit local friend, truth be told.
So it was that we, armed with both references and Really Impressive cupcakes from the good bakery, set out—
Hang on, I need to explain the cupcake thing. Because Audrey was busy and didn’t have time to see me face-to-face and I was pretty sure if I just messaged her, “Hey I’m moving!” she’d write me off mentally and that would be it—so obviously I had to see her, right? “Dead to me” is pretty strong phrasing!
ME: (via messenger) Heeeeey… wanna hang out sometime soon? Like, the four of us? Something relaxed and not-at-all creepy
AUDREY: Uhh, Since you put it that way! LOL, heck yes!
AUDREY: Evan can make rootbeer!
ME: Ooh, yas plz!
ME: When are y’all available? Srsly need face time with your actual faces.
ME: … That was supposed to sound less creepy. I swear.
ME: I PROMISE I’M NOT PLANNING TO PEEL YOUR FACES OFF AND SEW THEM TOGETHER TO MAKE A NEW DICE BAG!
AUDREY: I’m waiting for Rick to post the Saturday meetup, so besides that we’re looking good.
ME: There’s a meetup this Saturday?
AUDREY: No, not this weekend. This weekend I’m doing other stuff and J’s wedding, the convention’s next weekend. I’m waiting to find out when he wants to do the meetup.
ME: Right. But also, let’s say hypothetically I had something to talk to you about that was time-sensitive and also wanted to discuss in person BEFORE three weeks from now. Would that be a “lunch/Starbucks date with Audrey” thing or a “sure, we can make time during the week” thing?
AUDREY: We typically can make some weeknight work.
ME: I mean, let’s say I got pregnant at your party or something, and since it clearly came from sitting on your toilet seat I wanted you to chip in for the (ahem) hoover fees.
AUDREY: Very sensitive way to put it, lol.
ME: It’s not THAT, obviously… everyone knows you get pregnant by drinking from the same cup
AUDREY: I mean, duh.
ME: But maybe talk to Evan and see what he says about a good time? And who drank out of my cup?
AUDREY: Sounds good. Is it urgent? Because we have a lot of adulting to do this weekend.
ME: Sooner is better? I promise we won’t take up a bunch of time and you don’t have to be adult about it.
AUDREY: Okay. Also, so I don’t have ridiculous anxiety, any hints?
ME: It’s all good. Everything’s good. I’m probably not even pregnant. And if I am, IT’S NOT EVAN’S. Nobody’s dying, or asking for kidneys or bone marrow or even blood. Or money.**
AUDREY: Did something happen at our house?
ME: I JUST TOLD YOU ABOUT THE TOILET SEAT, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT???
AUDREY: I just want to make sure there isn’t someone that shouldn’t be allowed to come over anymore.
ME: Wait, it was a CUP… nevermind, forget about the toilet.
AUDREY: It’s just that “I have something to tell you and I have to tell you soon but I can’t tell you what yet” is basically the WORST for my anxiety.
ME: WOULD IT HELP IF I TOLD YOU I’M COMING OVER TO SMASH CUPCAKES IN YOUR FACE?
AUDREY: Yes. That helps.
ME: Fine. It’s the cupcake thing. Can I still come over?
AUDREY: Absolutely. If there are no cupcakes I will be very upset.
ME: There will be cupcakes.
AUDREY: What kind of cupcakes?
ME: BITCH, THEY’RE THE FREE KIND.
ME: Don’t get all picky now.
It went on from there, but I won’t bother you with it. Because it got weird. Also, it veered away from cupcakes.
ME: So we’re going over to Audrey and Evan’s day after tomorrow.
ME: I’ve got my references lined up—
HIM: You were serious about that?
ME: (glares) … and we need to pick up cupcakes.
HIM: … Why?
ME: Because Audrey was freaking out so I need to smash a cupcake in her face.
ME: Also, we need to get her a giant tentacle dildo for the bathroom.
ME: It’s a whole thing. I told you, she was freaking out.
And now we’ve reached the thing about the shirt. Audrey holds a special hatred for shirts like this:
And I own two. Actually… I think I might own that one in pink. I own a slightly different one in orange. It doesn’t matter, she hates them both. I try not to wear them around her, and she tries not to say anything when I need to wear them around her because it’s a thousand degrees and a migraine is making me crazy-sensitive to temperature and things touching me. The day we went to see them?
HIM: (shouting upstairs) Honey, we need to go!
ME: I’m having a wardrobe crisis!
HIM: Whatever you’re wearing is fine, let’s just go!
ME: (coming to top of stairs) No, it’s not! Because I was going to wear my orange top, with the (gestures)
HIM: (wide-eyed) Nooooooooooo—Audrey hates that!
ME: Right? But I need to do laundry and hardly anything’s clean! Then I pulled this out of the closet… Audrey likes green, right?
HIM: Yeah, that’ll help her forget that you’re dead to her.
ME: I AM AN EXCELLENT LONG-DISTANCE FRIEND! I have references.
HIM: (glances at phone) And cupcakes if we hurry.
After all that stress and preparation, how could it not go well? Audrey claimed she’d “had a feeling” that we were getting together to tell them we were moving, cupcakes were consumed rather than smashed, and the men were truly horrified by the tentacle dildo. Which is happening, Audrey. Don’t think I’ve forgotten.
And, even though they don’t 100% believe we’ll be back—ever—we managed to make plans for some future adventures!
ME: … and Husband has already promised we can get a boat and come by river up to Minneapolis!
AUDREY: I like the look on his face there—
HIM: I said it was theoretically possible!
ME: Okay, well I didn’t marry you for you to fulfill none of my dreams, so get on board!
AUDREY & EVAN: (laugh)
ME: And that’s boat talk!
AUDREY: If you come up by boat you have to get us.
ME: Okay, are you serious?
ME: Would you want to go up or down?
AUDREY: (exchanges look with Evan, thinking) You can get us on the way up.
ME: Wait, no. ‘Cuz it’s not the same river.
EVAN: It’s fine, it goes—
ME: (to Husband) I don’t know geography.
HIM: It goes right along the border.
ME: Okay, so you’ll meet us.
AUDREY: And hold up a sign on the riverbank.
ME: You think you’re joking, but you’re gonna get a call one day and that’s happening. Whatever else you had planned? No.
AUDREY: Sorry, not coming to Grandma’s funeral!
ME: “I know I was supposed to come to your party and bring all these delicious treats, but…”
EVAN: In the river.
AUDREY: (mimes texting) I understand you want me to testify today, but I will be on a river adventure instead.
Best part? I’m 97% sure they still think I’m joking. But I’ve already shopped around for boats on the Mississippi available to rent for a couple of days.
You’d think the person who knows my history of cramming multiple tiny Christmas trees in the same room with my main Christmas tree (for maximum effect and so they don’t get lonely) would assume the crazier I sound the more serious I am.
* Shout out to Alexis and Al for going along with this, btw. Their glowing reviews of my response time and phone skills have soothed some ruffled feathers up here.
** This is not my usual policy, as evidenced by my liberal use of affiliate links, which she uses for most of her amazon orders—I have no problem asking for money, I just felt that on that day I could either give bad news or ask for money.