Beth Stebner
May 23, 2015 7:00 am

Welcome to Besties Week! We’re kicking off the release of our first HelloGiggles book, A Tale of Two Besties, with an epic celebration of friendship and stories about friendship. Read an excerpt of the book, buy a copy, catch us on our cross-country book tour, and share your photos from our events by tagging us @hellogiggles #ATaleofTwoBesties.

In the meantime, join the party right here. All week long, our contributors will be sharing stories, essays and odes to their very own partners-in-crime. Read, laugh, cry (because you’re laughing) and share with your bestie!

It was an improbably muggy day in mid-September in New York. The taxi horns blared along Sixth Ave., and I was already covered in toner from the copy machines. To add insult to injury, the humidity from that day made my (regrettable) bob and bangs frizz like a poodle in a sauna. This was my first real (read: non-internship) job out of college, at a New York City tabloid, and, coincidently, was the day we met.

You didn’t seem to care about the toner situation or the hair situation (a testament to your character) and looked rather nervous about this whole job situation and so, side by side, we learned how to become copy kids that day – learning that our college degrees didn’t mean much in the world of wacky crime stories, scandal-ridden celebrities and perp walks where our sole job was to run copies of newspaper pages from one frazzled editor to the next.

I was intrigued by you. In true Rory Gilmore form, you showed up to training with a novel (I sadly can’t remember which one, but I think it was maybe Faulkner?). It was stuffed in an H&M bag, and so I convinced you after our shift that I, too, needed to stop at H&M for some leggings. Because, 22.

We bonded over our mutual love of musical theater, books, New York, the fact that we’re both lefties, and that our names are eerily similar (Beth Lauren and Laurie Beth. I mean, the gods of friendship were smiling down on us or something).

Those were the early days of going out late, staying out even later, and ending mornings with greasy paninis from the local late night eatery in my tiny East Village studio. We’d go to too many shows and plays, drink too much, laugh too much, debate too much (for the record: I will never understand your obsession with The Walking Dead, but on the other hand, will be the first to binge watch the new “Wet Hot American Summer” show until my eyeballs fall out).

Somehow, the years marched inevitably onward like a million editors clamoring to get to their seats at Fashion Week. Without trying, we were kind of like the muppets Statler and Waldorf, the grumpy misanthropes who eschew everyone’s company but their own, and from the comfort of a balcony (this is not true, there were no balconies. We were poor and in our early twenties in New York, just fire escapes and Brooklyn rooftops). We passed mindless hours at the Post with our own running dialogue. Our friendship even won the attention of the paper’s persnickety Metro editor, who gave us the moniker Good Twin and Evil Twin. You know who’s who.

But then things got hard. We went through breakups, job changes, job loss, and a really hard situation with your family. I remember you asked me once if I would ever stop being your friend. I couldn’t comprehend it. As cliché as it sounded, I knew we were BFFs. I just didn’t know how to articulate it. So I think I sang some terrible power ballad (I’ve never been the socially appropriate one in this friendship) and that was that.

I’ve had a series of people who I’ve given the coveted “best” title to – my pre-school friend Maggie who won me over by letting me borrow her 96-box of Crayola crayons, my grade school pal Bethany, who introduced me to Pogs. There were high school buddies who helped me through even more bad hair decisions and boy conundrums, and of course, great friends from college and beyond that helped me expand my world. Everyone has a special place in my heart, just like pages in a book.

But I think our friendship transcends time (even though we’re approaching our 7-year friendship anniversary. Full disclosure: I haven’t gotten you anything yet. Nothing seems good enough).But you didn’t introduce me to Pogs or share your Crayons with me. You’ve shared your life, your family, your hopes and fears and unnatural obsession with musical theater and Bob Dylan.

And, four and a half years ago, we conspired to go last-minute to the Jon Stewart rally in Washington. We drove down in the wee hours of night, getting lost while singing the Wicked soundtrack at the top of our lungs. The next day, you were there when I met my soon-to-be-boyfriend, and now-fiancé, who coincidentally was parading around in a rubber Richard Nixon mask.

One thing I love about our friendship is how it’s like a kaleidoscope. If I haven’t heard of some cool new band or a hot new Broadway play, you send me a demo or haul me off to the Theater District. And trips to the bookstore are always a lengthy experience. We can talk about the most serious of topics one minute, then switch to quoting “Arrested Development” to each other minutes later. Nothing ever stagnates or stays the same. I hope that when we’re both in the same retirement home in 50 years, we’re still known as Good Twin and Evil Twin, though it’s hard to say who will be who.

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