Happy Birthday Elisabeth! aka "I like cheesy beans!"

(From Left to Right) Elisabeth, Christen, and Mary, 1st grade. (I have no idea what Mary is up to these days, but she was a nice girl.) We wore this exact outfit every day for 8 years. Should explain my aversion to plaid and polyester… and why I don’t think the “schoolgirl fantasy” is hot.

Well, look who’s 30! My BFF and partner in crime for 24 years: Elisabeth (aka Lili, Biff and several other names that we shall not mention here). I love this girl like a fat kid loves cake and I am so glad that distance and time and all of the craziness of life has brought us closer together over the years.

There are so many memories associated with this fine woman, but on the advice of counsel I will refrain from sharing some of them here. We don’t need to add “co-defendants” to the list.

Elisabeth and I met in the first grade at St. Joseph’s Elementary School and she knew a lot of the kids in our class from kindergarten, but she was nice and I think she tried to show me how to do flips on the monkey bars. Clumsy Christen stuck with the swings, thanks.

Elisabeth is an excellent driver…and she should be considering she’s been driving cars since she was 12. She coerced a very innocent moi into being her co-pilot/look-out while we took the nanny’s car for joyrides in Woodside. The two girls wearing the plaid uniforms and driving around in the hoopty on Stockbridge? Yeah, that was us.

Elisabeth is an excellent dancer (and kind of starting to sound like Rain Man here). We honed our booty-shakin’ skills in her room, playing the same Janet Jackson and Dee-Lite tapes over and over again. Our Contempo Casuals outfits (with matching scrunchies, natch) gave these white girls from suburbia little extra somethin’ I think.

Elisabeth took me on a whirlwind adventure in New York City and introduced me to one of the great loves of my life: Anthropologie. (I would reject her attempts to set me up with one of the great loves of her life: the gin and tonic.) We drank, ate, shopped, and danced our way through Manhattan during the summer of 2000 and it remains one of my favorite vacations.

Elisabeth called me from France on my birthday to make sure the scarf she sent arrived in time. It did, and it’s fabulous and I still wear it, bitches. Same goes for the pink clutch she got me a few years later.

Elisabeth encourages me to blatantly – perhaps inappropriately? – hit on her family friends. I’m pretty sure this is for her own amusement, but who doesn’t love a good train wreck? Call me boys. Mama’s back on the West Coast.

Elisabeth bravely asked me to be her maid of honor when she married Nick two years ago this week (Happy Anniversary, Kids!), knowing this would mean I would get up in public and talk about her. In front of her Nana and Papa. With a glass of alcohol in my hand. She still talks to me regularly so I guess we’re cool.

Elisabeth is just flat-out brilliant. Ace Latin in junior high? Sure! Double major from Bryn Mawr? No problem! Acupuncture and Chinese medicine? Yeah, she’ll just finish up that program while getting ready to give birth to her firstborn, the beautiful Juno Constance. But the thing is, she doesn’t talk about this stuff or mention it or act like it’s extraordinary. See why it’s hard to hate her?

Sweet Girl, I could go on and on and tell lots of stories. Aside from the adventures in grand theft auto I kept them pretty tame here on the off chance your family stumbles upon this. I hope your day brings much joy and happiness as you have a new member of the family to join the party. The next year is going to be great and I look forward to more adventures, bottles of wine and shopping. My God, the shopping… Bisous!

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