Happy Birthday, #ThatJessMess !

The hashtag #ThatJessMess probably isn’t an existing thing already, but it should be. I have no doubt in my mind that Jessica will be famous one day – and no, I’m not kidding.

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This is still my favourite photo of us

About eight years ago, I sat next to some random punk-rock looking Asian girl with crazy spiked-up hair in my drama class. (I have NO idea why I was in drama class. I am the most awkward person on the planet, and I have stage fright). We introduced ourselves, and somehow in that conversation I mentioned that I look nothing like my family and that we’re always joking that I’m switched at birth or adopted. Jessica responded with “wow, you’re like the ugly duckling!” and awkwardly tried to cover that up with “Wait! No! You’ll be beautiful one day!” (like the ugly duckling). Off to a good start.

Later on in the school year, our drama class was assigned into groups to make modern-day reenactments of fairy tales. My group did Cinderella, and I was the Evil step-sister. In a scene that was supposed to be angry and dramatic – I stomped away and up the set of stairs at the side of the stage, and fell. Loudly. There was no pretending it was on purpose. The room went silent, and then I heard one person in the audience full-on burst into laughter. Jessica.

So basically, we were destined for a friendship* for years to come filled with concerts, junk food, random antics, inside jokes, and tattoos. As I’m writing this, I feel like our friendship story should have been written into a book that was later made into a cheesy teen movie. Maybe I’ll have to write that book one day ;P.  *She told me one time that her first impression of me was that I was probably a bitch and we wouldn’t become friends.

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This is what we looked like in high school, by the way.

Some of my favourite memories with Jessica:

  • Our school was attached to a leisure centre, and one time we broke into the ice rink. We were just wandering around inside, and found a random unsupervised table with hot chocolate and snacks – which we stole. Then we realized that we could just sneak into the ice rink as well. We didn’t have ice skates on, so we ran around, danced, and slid across the ice. Luckily we weren’t caught – because we also video taped the entire thing on my DSLR camera (and I wish I still had the footage!). Yes, this is what we amused ourselves with as teenagers. It’s better than drugs.
  • We drove to Banff for tattoos once. I got diamonds down the side of my ribs, and it says “Shine on you crazy diamond” like the Pink Floyd song. Jessica got a cool book tattoo on her thigh with lyrics from the song “Go” by Boys Like Girls. We made a whole day out of it. We went early and had lunch and wandered around Banff, got a bunch of candy from some candy store. We also almost thought we were stuck in Banff after momentarily being locked out of the parkade my car was in.
  • We got “Friday the 13th” tattoos one year at Human Kanvas. It was stampede time in Calgary – so we got up early and went to a stampede breakfast first, got our tattoos, and then went directly to the actual Calgary Stampede for the rest of the day.
  • Speaking of the Calgary Stampede: The first time we went together, between the heat and the rides, I felt sick. Jessica could tell, and she asked me “do you need to sit down? Do you need to have a drink of water?” My response? “I need a corn dog.”
  • Every time we go to the Calgary Stampede! We basically act like children rather than legal-drinking-aged adults. We don’t drink at Stampede. We go early, go on rides all day – taking breaks to eat deep fried anything for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then we stay for the outdoor concert. We’ve seen Lights, Mariana’s Trench, Hedley, Simple Plan, and so many other musicians on that Coke stage. Also, we are scared of different rides so we end up having to negotiate. “Okay, I’ll go on this ride, but then we have to go on this one.”
  • Drama class! I knew I always had at least one person who thought I was funny. And of course, Jessica was hilarious.
  • My mom’s wedding. Jessica and I were in charge of “decorations and props for photobooth style photos”. We bought random photo props – fake mustaches, hula skirts, big fake eye glasses etc. We also bought a pinata and filled it with flavoured condoms, candy, and cough drops (I had no idea this was a normal thing to do. I thought we were hilarious). When my mom found out about the pinata, she told me we had no time for that on the day of her wedding (what the heck, right?) So we had to do it the day before. We set it up at the playground near my house. My family and Jessica took turns being blindfolded and trying to break the thing open. The only child there was my little cousin Alicia (and yes, had the pinata happened the day of the wedding – we were fully prepared to confuse and mortify the parents of children because there were condoms in this pinata. We’re lovely people). It didn’t happen that way, but my mom was so confused and didn’t believe us that we bought the pinata at Wal-Mart. She didn’t know that you have to fill it yourself, so she thought Wal-Mart sold it like that.

I saw some meme about how a true friend makes your parents question your sexuality. My mom asked me one time if I was dating Jessica. Jessica laughed for a solid five minutes when I told her this. I’m fairly certain we would still be attached at the hip and getting into all kinds of weird shenanigans on a regular basis if she didn’t live in LA now. Sigh, she left us to chase her dreams. How rude. Though, I fully plan to visit (and she better come back here and visit, too!)

Anyway, I’m about certain Jessica is the only person who will read this far, so I can probably stop talking about her in the third person:

Jessica, Happy Birthday! I’m so stoked that you are in LA living and chasing your dreams and you definitely deserve for them all to come true. I am truly lucky to have you in my life. This feels weird, we are NEVER this sappy. But it’s true.  I hope your birthday is as awesome as you are. Now, we can go back to making fun of each other. Freak.

 

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