Monday, April 04, 2005

Liz and Me

I've mentioned Liz several times by now. At the moment, she is all that I really think about. So I decided to write down just a little bit of what I've been thinking.

I don’t remember meeting Liz. I know that it was sometime during my first year of college, but I don’t know if it was first semester or second, or who introduced us, or in what kind of setting. When I think back, it simply seems like she was always there. Since we were both friends with a lot of the AEPi boys, particularly the sophomores, it makes the most sense that we met at AEPi. But we also lived in the same dorm, so we could have met there, too. Either way, we met, and became friendly, and it was pretty common for us to walk to or from AEPi together, particularly on the weekends.

It wasn’t until sophomore year that Liz and I became close. By that time, there was a whole group of girls who could often be found at AEPi – mostly because we were all dating one of the brothers, and friends with many of the others – and we became gal pals and drinking buddies. When they had a guys’ night, we would convene for a girls’ night. Of course, we developed individual friendships as well. For Liz and me, we bonded first because we were the most Jewish and because we both loved to read. Everything just took off from there. In some ways, we were nothing alike, and in others, we were exactly the same. We both liked historical fiction, particularly about England, and classical music, and held similar views on the importance of family. We were both romantics. She was graceful and poised and had a magical ability to always look perfect and perfectly natural at the same time. I was still very much a tomboy, awkward and pretty much fashion-impaired. Liz taught me to overcome my distrust of strange substances like nail polish. Somehow, Liz made it possible for me to feel girly and feminine, while still being ‘one of the guys’.

That’s pretty much the beauty of Liz. Liz not only sees the best in everyone around her, but she makes them see themselves through her eyes. She does it naturally and effortlessly. It’s simply part of who she is.

We grew even closer during the second half of sophomore year, as we were both trying to get over very painful break-ups. Being the romantics that we are, being dumped was excruciating for both of us, even though we’d both been dumped for different reasons. We would meet for coffee in the campus bakery, commiserate, console each other, and make the other one laugh. When one was blue, the other would remind them how fabulous she was, and how someone even better will come along, who can appreciate such a fabulous woman. Someone smart enough not to throw such a woman away. (No offense, Moose) The time would come for us to go to class, and we would look at our watches, look at each other, and decide to stay exactly where we were. We could sit in that bakery and talk for hours.

Liz was in the School of Architecture, which was located directly across the street from Hillel. Since I worked at Hillel (Yeah, I know. Big shock.), it was very normal for me to grab a coffee to go, and stop by Liz’s studio on my way. She would stop whatever she was doing, and we’d just talk, until it became obvious that I was very, very late for work. She would show me whatever her current project was, and explain the concept behind it. Sometimes she would show me how she was making the incredible model that she was working on. Liz’s projects were always incredible. Everything about Liz is incredible.

When I think about Liz, my mind becomes overwhelmed with memories of just spending time together, enjoying each other’s company. Or of the many, many times Liz would help me out of a fashion crisis, either by coming over to sift through my wardrobe, or letting me raid hers. Or by doing my hair and make-up when I had a formal or semi-formal or date party. When I think of my college years, Liz is there, in any given memory. Silly, serious, happy, sad, thoughtful…she’s simply a part of my life now, and a part of me.

I can’t really describe her better than Tabitha did. Liz is everything that is generous and good. She’s gentle, but no pushover. Cultured and sophisticated, but never pretentious or snobby. Incredibly smart, but never intimidating. Beautiful, but never in a false, ostentatious kind of way. Funny, but never obnoxious. Romantic and idealistic, but not naive. She’s genuinely sweet and caring. The kind of person who makes chocolate chip cookies, simply because she knows that you’re going to stop by, who drops everything because you need a hug. She’s never too busy for a friend. She’s one of the most amazing people that I’ve ever known, and I mean that whole-heartedly. She’s beautiful, inside and out.

And I thank Hashem for bringing her into my life. I don’t want to imagine what life would be, or will be, like without her.

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