A Letter To My Person For Life

A Letter To My Person For Life

“If I murdered someone, she's the person I'd call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She's my person.” -- Cristina Yang
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Sydney Friedman

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Became My Sister

Love is thicker than blood.
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Sis,

There are friends. Then, there are best friends.

According to "Grey’s Anatomy’s" Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang, they're your person. The one who, “if I murdered someone, I’d call you to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor.” You’re so much more to me than any of those titles can express.

As I’ve matured throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that good friends with good hearts serve an incredibly important purpose in our lives, going above and beyond what we give them credit and appreciation for.

The family we choose. You’re one of those.

The day we met, I knew that you were going to play an important role in my life. What I had no idea of was that you would join the cast of my life with a starring role.

First, I need to say thank you. Thank you for always coming to my locker to check in before class during high school. Thank you for letting me control the music on road trips. Thank you for sharing your family with me, and addressing my family as if you were born into it.

Thank you for patiently listening to the physical embodiment of a broken record when I complain about the same boy I’ve loved since senior year. Thank you for tagging along on every doctor’s appointment, grocery run, and trip to the post office, just because you know that I hate doing things alone.

Thank you for not thinking twice before dialing when I text you “please call me.” Thank you for never saying no to a coffee date. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my better half.

We don't share the same genetic makeup, but after all the sleepovers, heart-to-heart conversations, shopping until our bank accounts cry, and swapping clothes so often that we don’t know what belongs to whom, how could I not consider you family? We have shared some my fondest memories together, and I wouldn’t want them to feature anyone but you.

You’ve been with me on my best days, and loved me on my worst. You know how to make me laugh when all I want to do is crawl into a hole and die.

Picturing sitting in my car with you in the passenger seat makes me long for summer, where we spend three months together doing all of our favorite things. You’ve seen me naked, done my makeup, and warned me before making a poor decision. Being away from you for extended periods of time makes me feel incomplete.

You are a piece of me that I am not quite whole without. You taught me that blood doesn’t make a family; love does.

You know me better than I know myself, which is both amazing and terrifying. You make me realize I’m enough for this world, and that means more to me than I know how to express in the limited words that make up the English language.

You remind me that I am more than my mistakes, and you keep me grounded when I spiral out of control. You’ve helped me carry my burdens along with your own, even when the universe comes down on you full force, way harder than you deserve.

You’re the one I come to for the truth if I think my new dress makes me look fat, and I know you’ll be honest. I trust you with my whole heart. You know the gory details about every boy I’ve ever crushed on, every professor who was an absolute jerk, and every fight I’ve had with my mom.

I wouldn’t make it in this life without someone who already understands and listens to every thought going through my head and each thing I seriously over think, even when you know, though you don’t say, it won’t matter in a week.

With all these affectionate things being said, don’t forget our fights. The few we’ve had were very real. We still don’t see eye to eye on some events of the past, but I never told my mom about it because there was no need to make her choose a side between me and her “second daughter.

We have learned to move forward, because the love we have for each other overwhelmingly outweighs any disagreement we’ve had, and always will.

Through all the tears and laughs, I don’t think that anything the world has to offer could seriously come between us. You go to a different school than me now, and college has rudely gotten in the way of our routine of spending every waking moment together.

Since we met, we’ve grown separately without growing apart. Neither of us are the same person we used to be all those years ago. Even so, we’ve pushed each other to our limits and you’ve given me the courage to keep going and do things that make me happy.

We lean on each other when it’s been a bad day and all we want to do is to snuggle and indulge in whichever show the other is currently watching unceasingly and unabashedly for comfort (it’s the little things). Having you as my co-pilot on this crazy ride called life has been frustrating, exciting, slightly concerning, absolutely insane, and something I don’t know how I would live without, and I don’t intend to find out.

I’ll conclude this letter with a quote from every basic, white girl’s favorite musical, “I don’t know if I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

Love you forever,

Your sis

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10 Struggles Of Having A Best Friend Of The Opposite Gender

If you've got a best friend of the opposite gender, then welcome to the best place to reminisce over these hardships your relationship has endured.

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I have many friendships. But one of the ones I cherish the most is my friendship with my guy best friend. There isn't much to our friendship, just the occasional name-calling and our mutual love for the McDonald's drive-thru, but that's what makes it so special: the simplicity of it all.

If you're like me, a girl with a guy best friend, then you know the constant struggles that arise with keeping these friendships. Honestly, it almost isn't worth the hassle - just kidding, sort of. Here I am today to address all of these issues, letting you know that you aren't alone, there are others out there just like you who have to explain to the waiter that he's gonna need to split that check because we are NOT together.

1. Everyone thinks you are dating

just friends

This is the most prominent issue for all male/female friendships, so let's just cut to the chase: we aren't.

2. Your significant others get very jealous

what?

Every friendship has gone through this - whether it is a platonic male/female friendship or a friendship between those of the same gender. Simply put, being in a situation where your friend's significant other doesn't like or trust you, sucks. It happens, and usually, in the end, one relationship gets the split.

3. They don't understand girl code

harry potter

My guy best friend will never know how astounding it was when Jessica got stingy about who could use her makeup or why it isn't okay for Madison to talk to Claire's ex.

4. We don't eat the same amounts of food

friends

I can't hang out with you for more than two days at a time, because a when a guy eats five meals a day (two of those meals being McDonald's) he loses 3 pounds and when I do it I go up a dress size.

5. Shopping is probably out

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I can't seem to figure out why he doesn't like spending hours walking around the mall and bouncing ideas back and forth about what colors make my eyes pop the most. Men are so confusing.

6. Sleepovers are a big no (in high school, at least)

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Now that we're in college, sometimes I fall asleep at his dorm or vice versa and it's no big deal. However, back in high school, we weren't exactly having slumber parties and braiding each other's hair.

7. When we're together in public, potential suitors think I'm taken

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Since I never get hit on in public, I assume it has to be because I'm always with my male best friend and guys think that we are an item. This has to be why. Case closed.

8. No wardrobe swapping

dancing

I buy my sweatshirts in XL and only in grey and black so he actually has worn those before, but that is the exception, not the rule.

9. He doesn't understand why I have to put on makeup

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What if my ex is at Target? That's reason enough.

10.  Splitting checks at restaurants is a hassle

eating

We eat out. A lot. And most servers automatically assume that we're on one check. That's fine, really. But we're both paying with a card and my Venmo balance is at zero so now we are at an awkward impasse where I have to explain to you that he's not buying me breakfast. I know, I know, chivalry is dead.

Next to come, all the reasons why having a best friend of the opposite gender is a great experience. If I can manage to come up with more than two reasons...

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