Day one of the sixth grade, and I am in "advisory" class. A sort of homeroom-type thing that was basically pointless. We pretty much sat and did nothing, watched Channel 1 News, and did nothing.
Mrs. Monteith called roll, and two voices answered when she said, "Tiffany."
The Other Tiffany and I stared at each other. "Uhhh…Tiffany B___," said the teacher, to clarify. We smiled. It was her name. My last name started with a D at the time, and came a moment or two later.
I don't remember our first conversation, but I remember that I knew right then I'd found the first kindred spirit I'd ever known.
Tiffany is not my best friend because we share the same first name, plus half a middle name. Neither is she my best friend because our birthdays both fall on the 22nd of their respective months. It's not because we called each other "Tibby" and "Tibbi", or that she and I had crushes on the same guys. It wasn't even because we both shared complete disdain for stapler-wielding morons. (You had to be there.)
I don't think it's even that she was always there. Even though we've lived two hours apart, or more, ever since halfway through 7th grade, we still stayed friends.
She's the one who made a point to visit when she was in town to see family. Every time. We'd get together and play "Guess Who?" Sometimes, we watched movies. Once, she helped me construct a candy castle I was making for art class.
We grew up sharing a day here, a day there, whenever we could. Sometimes, months would pass. We passed a fun little photo album/journal thing back and forth for years.
We never lost touch. Not really.
Not even when I dated the Most Horrible Person On the Planet (at least at the time), and was too busy for pretty much everyone. Not even when I was getting married, and planning to move 3000 miles away from home.
There have always been visits, phone calls, a few letters, and now – we have that blessing/curse called facebook! On top of it all, we now share a blood bond through faith in Jesus.
We've seen the best and the worst of each other – and discovered that even the worst brings some beauty into the world via a new life or a valuable lesson learned.
She is a gift. A wholesome, sweet, spicy, comfortable, smiling, gracious, precious gift. I cannot thank God enough for her.
I can honestly say that we have never even had a coolness between us, let alone a fight or a misunderstanding. At least, not that I can remember.
So, to conclude, I have no idea just why we are best friends, other than that it just couldn't be helped. This friendship just grew and blossomed so naturally out of that initial connection over our names into something very down-to-earth and real. It works. It fits.
I love her to death. And she's stuck with me. That's pretty much it.