As we grow and change, the friendships of our past can be an ephemeral thing. Some come and go as quickly as the semester changes, your location changes, and even for reasons we may not understand. In my menagerie of failed friendships (we all have a few), I’ve had relationships falter because of distance and companions say goodbye because we simply lacked the chemistry we once had. Despite the amount of people who pass in and out of our lives like waves, there are a few that latch onto us in a sea of change and come along for the ride. Sometimes the sound of the ocean says, “I’m here. As you grow, I grow. As you change, I’ll embrace it. That’s what good friends are for.”
Kelley is one of those friends.
Kelley, a military daughter, and I met in middle school and stayed close until mid-high school. It was only several years into our friendship when the service pinpointed her family, said “it’s time to go,” picked them up, and dropped them off in Fort Collins, Colorado — 2,100 miles away. You always say “we’ll stay in touch,” but the minutia of our lives can quickly become stifled over the phone and become a task to report. Social media naturally evolves into the black curtain that masks the illusion that you’ve stayed abreast of each other’s lives but really you have no idea who that person is anymore, just where they took their engagement photos or what they ate for lunch.
Kelley is not one of those friends.
She was my stand-in date for when my first high school boyfriend dumped me days before homecoming. She was one of the first people I contacted when I called off my engagement. Kelley was there to patch up the holes, watch me heal and tell me to keep thriving—from 2,100 miles away. So we planned a reunion. It had been nearly six whole years since I saw her last—what changes after six whole years?
Now while our friendship was the very best detail of the entire reunion, I’ve learned a few things about throwing the ultimate best friend’s weekend.
I’m a firm believer that your environment can enhance your mood. When welcoming new guests, I love to clean my space and bring in colors they love to make my home feel more like theirs. In this case, I resorted to a colorful Kate Spade table setting and a handmade floral centerpiece (which I’ll be explaining in a future post).
The Element of Surprise
Ahh, the surprise—the true pièce de résistance of our first day together. I wanted to recreate that feeling of getting ready for my homecoming (yea, yea… the time I got dumped) in my own apartment. Knowing the Houston humidity would come as a shock to Kelley’s thick beautiful tresses, booking with Pageboy was a natural must. Pageboy, an app where you can book a stylist on-demand to come give you the ultimate blowout anywhere in Houston, undoubtedly impressed Kelley to no end. (My fandom for this lifesaver continues here.) Our stylist, Xandro, gave her vivacious, controlled curls, which set the tone for our night out. The best part about Pageboy was nurturing the idea that we were way more fabulous than we actually are. How many times will I ever get to tell someone “Get dressed because I’ve hired a personal stylist to come give you a makeover?” Never. Thank you Pageboy for helping me pull the wildcard. (Download it here.)
When playing host, find the surprise that best fits your friend or captures a moment
Overcome the Idea of Perfection
Hurricane Rita and Kelley both had the conviction of visiting Houston for the first time. Thankfully, Rita got a little deterred and slowed into a manageable tropical storm but we had no idea what would come of Kelley’s trip. Would she be stranded in Texas with no flights out? Would I be forced to raft her around town in my tiny Hyundai Tiburon? We made the best of the wet weather by taking advantage of geography (my apartment is less than a mile away from the largest mall in Texas), playing with my adorable corgi, and falling asleep to romantic comedies. Even bad situations can quickly mold into the best situations when you’re in good company.
Celebrate the Past and Future
Over what was probably too many glasses of champagne, a magic occurred that can only be described as time travel. We laughed about old crushes and quoted old memories while instantaneously celebrating new careers and accomplishments. We toasted to the girls we were, the women we became, and women we’d evolve into in years to come.
So what changed after six whole years? Everything and nothing all at once. When you have a solid friendship, the details of that person’s life may change but the fundamental elements for your natural attraction and appreciation for their life is even amplified.
A special thank you to Pageboy for helping me pull off the perfect girl’s weekend with bestie blowouts! And thank you to Kelley for, well, being a phenomenal best friend.