I want to wish a happy birthday to my best friend Rain, who is neither a weather phenomenon nor a Korean pop sensation (although really, she could be if she’d just put a little more effort into it).
I’ve been friends with Rain for almost fourteen years now*, and she can still surprise me by doing something unexpectedly and inexplicably awesome. Like, for instance, not just buying me a cake for my birthday, but sitting outside in the cold with me and eating it so I didn’t have to finish it by myself. I — like many humans, I’d guess — would never even think to do something like that, but then I’m neither as tenacious with my friendships nor as thoughtful.
Rain is one of the first friends I made outside of work after I moved to San Francisco, and that kind of ruined things. See, I’d never been out here for any length of time, so I just assumed that things on the west coast worked differently. I thought I’d been somehow moved up to some higher circle, where everyone was inordinately hip and smart and effortlessly funny, and people were true to their word, and everyone would be unjustifiably kind to you without expecting anything in return. Of course, I eventually learned that there was nothing inherently special about San Francisco; I’d just moved out here and almost immediately met someone exceptional. I can say without exaggeration that Rain’s friendship is about 95% of what makes the bay area not just “the place I live,” but “home.” (The other 5% is just because the katsu curry rice around here is really good).
So happy birthday!
* She was, of course, 16.