Let me tell you about a girl named Dana, my PFL. For those of you not in the know, PFL stands for "person for life". We used to call each other TAFL, "three amigos for life" (which included my sister), but our relationship has evolved.
Dana Jamie Severin and I have known each other since the beginning. Our Mama's were pregnant together and our dads are incredibly close. Our brothers are the same age and are super close as well. For as long as I can remember, Dana has been a second sister to me.
In elementary school, we never had any classes together. Boy was I jealous of Mr. White, her kindergarten teacher. I made some awesome friends, but all I wanted was to be in class with Dana. We had enough playdates to make up for it, though. We made sure of it.
In third grade, Dana showed up to school with two casts on her feet. She walks on her tippy toes, and this was meant to correct the problem. She still walks the same; the casts did nothing. Anyway, I thought her green and pink casts were so cool as she clunked down the hallways. That was the beginning of me wanting to do everything she did. Even now, I find myself copying the things she does. For example, one day Dana comes home with Adidas slides. I told her that they were heinous. Two months later, I bought myself a pair of Adidas slides. She changed my mind, what can I say? I obviously have to be just like her. I cannot tell you how much of the same makeup and clothing we have. The list would be long and overwhelming.
In middle school, we ended up in two different friendship circles. However, we still managed to be together as much as possible. Our love of art, food and Shondaland just continued to grow the older we became. The summer going into eighth grade, we went to three different camps together. These included Viking Cooking Camp, Beachwood Day Camp and Beechmont Tennis Camp. Being that neither of us are athletically gifted; tennis camp was a hot mess. At least it was only a week long.
One day at Beachwood Day Camp, I threw up and couldn’t go on the field trip. My mom didn’t believe me (I threw up a LOT), but Dana and my sister had my back. They always have. My mom used to think that Dana was lying for me and we were in on it together. I guess we kind of were. The two of us never liked to leave home. Dana came home from sixth-grade camp, and I always made myself throw up in the school nurses office (it’s a talent). My mom knew we were scheming. She told me I was absolutely not allowed to come home from sixth-grade camp, knowing I'd try to pull a Dana.
Side note: in eighth grade we took track together and competed in the long jump (we were terrible). We told our coach that we had wheezing problems and were incapable of running the track. We got away with it, like always. You must understand how funny this is. I’m not even 5 feet tall fully grown – and we were LONG JUMPING. We're classy ladies, we didn't want to overexert ourselves and long-jump was the best way to work around the system.
Another athletic attempt we threw ourselves into was high school tennis. It was necessary we be doubles partners. We knew we were terrible and just wanted the sport to look good on our college resumés. Again, we schemed the system and begged the coaches to add a Varsity B team (because seniors aren't allowed to be on JV). We won a singular match during our three year run on the tennis team. I was captain, she was co-captain. We bribed the group with brownies. No one was amused we our antics (other than us, of course).
Carrying on, we really loved going to our school nurses. We befriended them in elementary, middle and high school. As a result of our school nurse kinship, the two of us became co-presidents of SADD (students against destructive decisions). Look us up; we were on the news wearing the same outfit. Yes, it was planned. Dana was actually put in charge of the nurse's office one day and was allowed to send sick students home. The real question is, why did the school nurse allow two 17-year-old girls to have that kind of power? God knows, but it was a BLAST. I can go on and on with stories and adventures, but you get the picture.
Now, the two of us are different as well. I like to ramble and talk her ear off while she just sits there and listens (or hits me for my ridiculous behavior). She keeps me in check and calls me out when necessary. She’s been there to calm me down more times than I can count. I’m shocked she hasn't killed me yet.
And don’t get me started on our excessive spending. Everyone who knows me also knows that I need my own financial advisor. Dana is the same way, and we love to joke about it. The best day is when “we come into some money” — especially when we don’t actually need it. Of course, this only fuels us to buy more makeup and skincare products — that we don't need. She also knows my most embarrassing secrets. I can come to her with anything and know that I won’t be judged for my psychobabble.
Dana likes to keep to herself. I always ask her to open up to me, and she does sometimes - but that’s just not who she is. She likes to listen and help rather than let others know what she’s going through. I find it to be an impressive personality trait because I physically cannot keep my mouth shut. I blow up her phone on a regular basis until I get a least a single text back from her letting me know she’s still alive. It isn’t the norm, but it works for us. She loves to tell me how my crazy spastic messages brighten up her day as she nurses the sick back to health. I like to think she's my personal therapist.
Another side note: Dana is the president of her nursing school at Miami University. She is one of the smartest women I know and never ceases to amaze me with her talents. She tells me she refuses to be my doctor though; I’m too dramatic. Go figure.
Once we graduate from college, the two of us plan to live together. This has been a long time coming and something I am beyond excited for. No more blowing up her phone and anxiously awaiting her response, I get to bother her daily while she’s in the next room. Honestly, good luck to her.
We both realize that family comes first. We are also permanent members of each other’s family. She used to call my parents mom and dad so casually; no one batted an eye. Nothing makes me happier than traveling to Aruba and spending an entire week on an island with the Severins. There is just some sort of connection that we have as a group that cannot be beat. The way we laugh together is unlike anything else.
As I’m typing this, I texted her to tell her about it. I scroll back up to see when the last time she responded was (because she’s a terrible texter—gotta love her for it) and I get a text from her saying “Hi, let me respond to all of those things.” It’s the story of our life. Another nickname I have for her (that I’ve decided she loves to hate) is Snowflake. The girl hates to tan, so she’s white as snow. She also shows up 30 minutes late or says she’ll be there and doesn’t show up. So, that’s where flake comes in. We started telling her to show up 30 minutes early because that way, she’ll end up on time.
Here's another little something you should know about Dana Jamie: Her stories will leave you on the ground crying-laughing. No one tells a regular tale funnier than Dana. I don’t know how she does it. Ask her to tell you about all of the times she’s been scammed or has been hit by a car in a parking lot. It will kill you, I guarantee it.
Another unbelievable quality she has is her drive to help others. If she does something to upset you, it is not intentional. She just wants to please everyone and make the world happy. She goes out of her way to help people, sometimes a little too far out of the way (which I yell at her for because she needs to take care of herself first). There is no one else I know that is completely selfless in that way, wanting to be the first to take charge and fix a problematic situation. As a result of her thirst to help others, she loves with all of her heart, something I can relate to. That is probably why we’re such good friends.
We like to keep each other in line. And by we, I mean mostly her reprimanding me. Now, when I’m an emotional wreck, and I call Dana to calm me down, some may say she’s just telling me what I want to hear. I disagree with that statement. If she believes what I’m doing and thinking is harmful to myself, she’ll be the first person to snap me back to reality. She knows the way my mind works because her’s runs in similar directions. We both love to over-analyze situations, and we love to love. She’s here for me when others don’t want to listen, even when I’m annoying as hell. Our friendship is truly something special and irreplaceable.
Dana Jamie, thank you for being my person, for keeping me sane (well, as sane as I can possibly be) and telling me when I'm wrong. Thank you for being my cheerleader and making me feel confident in myself when I'm at my lowest. I cannot wait for what this world throws at us as we conquer life together. I wouldn't be the same without you, and I am so blessed to have you as a PFL. Loving you forever and always, my Snowflake.