There is a lot to be said about best friends. They are there when no one else is. They are the ones who ask what’s wrong because they sense it, not because you complain. They are the ones you party with, but can also have a serious conversation with. You can talk about farting, and bad sex, and insecurities, and doctor visits, and family issues, and money, and everything that you won’t talk about at work. You can argue and get over it. You can be socially awkward to the point of passing out from embarrassment, you can make dumb mistakes, and they don’t judge, they just help you through it. I have one of those friends, and her name is Cristi.
I met Cristi at our day job. The minute she started, I was like, whoa – she’s gorgeous! I wanted to introduce myself, but we were in different departments. She worked call center and I was a systems administrator fixing servers. A junior tech had called me in for help with her computer. I wasn’t supposed to, but in spite of the potential that I would be yelled at, I jumped at the chance. When he told me the problem, I immediately dismissed him to find the notes I had already sent on fixing the issue. I could have walked him through the problem, but I wanted that window to introduce myself. It was a total dick move, and an excellent decision.
You see, Cristi has a personality that is genuine. I could immediately tell that she wasn’t fake, she was amazing. Our relationship took off from that first support call. I invited her to my softball team where we both excelled at playing bad and getting drunk together. Not long after we mostly enjoyed a float trip together and the adventures continued from there. I totally helped her land her boyfriend, Brandon! (Okay, that’s really an exaggeration as I was a pain in the ass.) Needless to say we hit it off and in many ways it feels like we are just getting started!
Cristi is amazing on so many levels. Like her boyfriend, Brandon, she loves animals. Her passion goes beyond the sappy love of a cute animal pic (though, there is some of that too) she has also donated her time to support animal shelters, as well as fostering pets in need. I can also say that she loves people too, especially when they don’t talk to her. (I highly recommend not talking to her in the morning. Shhh.)
She’s not just a pretty face. (Okay, she’s strikingly pretty, but that’s stating the obvious!) I really respect how hard she works. That may sound silly, but she’s the type of person that is always early to work and often staying late. She taught herself that, which makes it even more impressive! Cristi put herself through college and I watched her quickly work her way up from call center agent to being an insurance underwriter in an incredibly complicated field. There are a lot of brains, hard work, and common sense behind her fun loving attitude. It’s why I respect her opinion so much and appreciate her input on my life, and my writing.
Cristi is not a nerd. Just the opposite, she has very little interest in fantasy or science fiction or superheroes or, well, you get the idea. In spite of this, not only has she read my first book multiple times, she has critiqued and contributed to Buried in Angst and Drowning in Angst. Even beyond that, Cristi volunteers her time to be my spokesmodel at conventions. Let me emphasize that she volunteers to help promote my book by rocking the chainmail bikini. I couldn’t possibly afford the modeling she does, and nor does she ever ask for recompense. It always blows people away that she’s beautiful, approachable, but is also involved. I’ve sold a lot of books because of her efforts. But more important, we’ve connected with a lot of people. And, we have fun. We get drunk at cons like professionals. We not only enjoy the adventure, we try to be a part of it!
We are an interesting pair that make a lot of heads turn, and it cracks us up. We go out to a nice dinner and the 20 year age difference brings us great looks of surprise. She’s a head taller, I’m short and pudgy, so she’s obviously not my daughter. We have great chemistry, like close friends do. I don’t know how many times we’ve been asked if we are something else. It makes me feel bad for those asking, for what they are missing in their lives. You see, we are something else, Cristi and I are a great team!
I tease her that I’m her “backup”. If her parents, or besties, or boyfriend, can’t be there for whatever reason, I can often fill in the blank. At the same time, she supports me without question. Cristi is amazing! I couldn’t ask for a better friend, or a better teammate. She has been a force in making my books what they are, and an influence in making my life better, and I’m eternally grateful!