Graphic User Interfaces for Life.

I've been thinking about the importance of friendships a lot lately. I think that companionship is an extremely important thing to be good at in life, and maybe that's because I'm terrible at being alone. When people ask me what my worst fear is or what I think Hell is, I always respond with "being alone for the rest of my life." That used to be in regards to romance. Some days, it still is, but it's expanded way beyond that recently.

For as long as I can remember, I've had this terrible habit of making my entire life about The Boy. Whatever boy I was in love with at that point in my life, he was all that mattered. I used to think that was something really wonderful about me. I was kind of an idiot. I still can be, but that's not the point.

The thing is, though, that at the end of the day, the most important person in my life thus far has been my best friend, "John Hamm." I met her under really odd circumstances in my basement when I was 14 and we've been through and survived everything life has thrown at us up to this point together. There have been amazing years where we have talked every single day. There was a good year and a half when we didn't talk at all. I still referred to her as my best friend throughout that whole time, and I wish I could say that it was because I knew we would be okay, but I think it was more that I refused to accept that we might not be. (That's an entirely different self-reflection point.) Luckily, we made it through that, too.



Our friendship survived - even thrived - throughout college, and when we both lived in Europe. It survived us living together (just barely) and now, it's surviving as we're both settling into our lives in different states. Granted, we're only a few hours away from one another, but she lives a busy city life full of law school, and I live a quiet country life full of bookshops and small town crowds. Our scenes aren't exactly the same anymore.

By many standards, John Hamm and I should have faded away a long time ago. We should have graduated college, found boyfriends or husbands, moved to new places, started new lives, and referred to each other as "My best friend when I was in college." I mean, that's how these things usually go, right?

But we haven't.

See, the thing is that while I was always making my life about The Boy, and when John Hamm was feeling hurt about the fact that I couldn't seem to understand that, she never abandoned me. She put up with my bullshit and even pointed it out to me, because she knows she's the one person who can say that to me, and I'll listen.

Boys have come and gone. Boys will keep coming and going. One day, maybe, a boy might even stick around, and that will be a wonderful day. I still want that, because I'm human and a Jane Austen fan who loves romantic comedies. I'm never going to stop wanting that.

To be honest, though, I'm at a point where now my biggest fear is being without my best friend. Not having a best friend at all.

And John Hamm and I will continue to go through our own hills and valleys with one another. Some months, we'll talk every day and it will be great, but let's face it: We're at the beginning of our adult lives and things will only keep getting more and more insane and busy and full of other people, and maybe one day one of us will get married and have children (human or non-) and things will become even more packed with chaos. Our lives will be all about schedules and deadlines and sticky little fingers covered in mystery substances.

I hope to still call her my best friend throughout all of that. After all, we all need someone to turn to when the boys are driving us nuts and even when they're making us feel wonderful. We need that person to tell us "Hey, look at your priorities. Hit the brakes for a second and just check your route before you make a really wrong turn down a one-way street." I'm actually lucky enough to say that I've got a few of those in my life, which might mean that I'm a little more screwed up than I should be.

I guess what all of this rambling is supposed to say is that friends are important and I hope you all have a "John Hamm." I hope you all have that person in your life to talk to and go through it all with. Romance is really important, and it is a wonderful thing to be cherished and sought after. Best friends, though, are a whole different type of relationship and they take just as much care and passion as romance does.

That's why John Hamm and I make a point to meet for lunch one Sunday a month halfway between our respective cities and spend a whole day together with one another. This past time around, we got to talking about this very subject, and when I got home, I texted her to tell her how much I appreciate her:

Me: <insert long heartfelt speech here about how much I love her>

JH: Haha, thank you. :) I know we're good. I love you too.

Me: Call me whenever, okay?

JH: Ok. Same goes for you.

Me: Thanks. We're forever.

JH: I know. We're GUIs.

JH: Good...

JH: Autocorrect win...

Me: I was about to ask what that meant.

JH: No. I mean it, Emelie. We are graphic user interfaces.

Me: Until the end of time. :)

JH: :)

And I really mean that, Duckies. I really, really mean that.

And Then I Played LIFE and Became a Drug-Addicted Superstar with a Killing Problem.

So, here it is, FINALLY. My Game of Life Story. If you missed the past two posts, go check them out, but here's a basic recap: When I play the Game of Life, I make everyone write their "Life" story during the game. It usually turns out hilarious. Especially when wine is involved.

I was also a blue dude for this game, so get ready.

Meet Emelio, duckies.

Coming from nothing, I got a part-time job as a nude model on campus to pay my way through college. Through this lucrative career, I met many exciting friends. They took my innocence in many ways and eventually convinced me to blow all my earnings on a trip to Miami Beach. This was serendipitous, however, because it was here that I was discovered my MTV and was reborn a star!

I became an auto-tuned sensation, just like Ricky Martin! I was livin' la vida loca!!

One day, though, my driver got lost while we were on tour, and I missed a huge concert. Rumors spread that I was dead - or even on drugs! My reputation was destroyed! So, I had my driver killed.

Some say that I was drunk on power (but not alcohol, and that's the important part!), but the media knows nothing. Gerald deserved it!!

Anyway, I was checked into rehab.

Somehow, they found many illegal substances in my system. I WAS FRAMED! I SWEAR!

After my time at "High Today, Not Tomorrow" I went on an anti-drug tour and gained my stardom back. It was exhausting (especially without cocaine).

But then... came the day... of the Flat Tire.

Because of the withdrawals I was experiencing from being falsely accused of using drugs, I couldn't handle the stress... so... I killed the new driver.

While hiding the body, I met a woman who offered to help. Clearly, she was the woman of my dreams. They say that you know someone truly loves you when they help you hide dead bodies without questions, right?

Her name was Penelope and she had hair like Cher. I married her on the spot, since we were in a church cemetery anyway.

Things headed south again soon, though... While booking our honeymoon, the travel agent, Frances, stole my identity! I'll admit to being drunk/high at the time and essentially just giving her my salary. This was not wise since I was living a comfortable life with a 90k salary... and Frances was making only 30k.

Due to this dramatic change in finances, Penelope decided it was time to buy a house in the country and start leading a more quiet life.

Then we had a baby! We named him Henry!

Things were really starting to turn around! Being a family man was the greatest thing in the world for me! In fact, I impregnated Penelope again almost immediately after Henry was born! Since Penelope was so fertile, we named our new baby girl Myrtle. Get it?

When little Myrtle was born, we too the family for a charming picnic. I signed some autographs, but trouble arose when I saw my old dealer!

So, I packed the whole family up and took us to Mount Rushmore. Obviously.

The trip was so romantic in Penelope's eyes that we got pregnant AGAIN! Jesus was born! Now that I was a father 3 times over, I thought I should learn CPR. So I did.

Penelope wanted to travel more, so we went on an African Safari for our 1 year anniversary. We still had Frances as our travel agent... Some say that this was not wise, but my sponsor was trying to get me to practice forgiveness, so...

On this trip, I wrote my memoirs, which topped the charts! People found my story to be extremely moving and full of hope. Not only was the book a huge success, but it brought light to Frances' crimes and I got my salary back!

Finally, life was exactly how it should be! We didn't let it get to us, though. We still had our family game nights, went hiking, helped the homeless, built better mouse traps, climbed Mount Everest, invented a new toy that made millions.... I even continued writing and wrote the Great American Novel (critics say) and won the Pulitzer Prize! As if that wasn't enough, I ended up finding the solution to pollution, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and now I'm in retirement, but I managed to open a Health Food Chain in order to promote a better lifestyle for everyone.

Stay classy, my friends, and never give up!