Anne is definitely a strange person. She’s weird, loud, and a little bit crazy, but somehow that combination ends up creating a friend who just knows how to have a good time. She takes all the energy she’s bundled up, and turns it into a distraction from overthinking the little problems in life. The sleepovers were where her abilities in misdirection shined brightest. Anne’s house hosted many truth or dare circles, tv show marathons, and even–that one time–a horror movie set. There never seemed to be a shortage of ice cream and there was always at least one entertaining dispute between Anne and her brother. Ah, those were the days.
J: How did we meet?
A: I think the first time we met, you were hanging out with the popular kids. We pulled you away from them because we thought you were cool and wanted you to hang out with us. What was left of the OG Buddy Club which was me, Carina, Kellie, and Caroline. You were the first member of the Buddy Club that wasn’t part of the OGs.
J: What were you like as a third grader?
A: Annoying. Soooo annoying. And weird. Definitely cringey too. I was the type of kid that your parents forced you to hang out with and then you forgot to stop hanging out with them.
(Cue studio audience laughter)
A: What? It’s true though!
J: Then how do you see yourself now?
A: Still annoying, weird and cringey, but in a better way? I guess I am more intentional with those qualities since it’s more socially mainstream, and I use those to bond with my friends. I definitely know how to have friends without my mom forcing people to talk to me.
A: I know how to read social cues! *sarcastically* I’m not down on myself at all. But seriously, I’ve [kind of] “matured” and I know how to treat my friends the right way. I’ve learned how to be a better friend from my friends. But not you though.
J: (Laughing) Oh, why do you hurt me like this?
J: Has high school changed your social life?
A: I’ve definitely developed a new type of friend group. Our elementary school friend group was like the Island of Misfit Toys: total outsiders with an extra emo phase. I was emo, EVERYONE WAS GOING THROUGH IT. I mean 5SOS [Five Seconds of Summer aka “punk band”] is all I need to describe that part of my life. High school is pretty different though. Nobody really thinks about friend groups or cliques as much as they used to. We just exist and share the same space. Technically I’m a jock since most of my friends are athletes, but about ninety percent of the school plays some sort of sport, so I’m actually normal now.
J: How has our friendship affected your personality?
A: *sarcastically* Well, you are like the light at the end of the tunnel…
A: During those emo days your humor and dad jokes always lightened up the mood. If I wanted to be witty and really tried, I think I could because of our friendship. You taught me to have a good sense of humor and made me feel ok about being more comfortable around friends. You’re the chill dad who just helps everyone relax and have a good time. Important life lesson: relax. Wow, I feel like this project is really just to boost your ego.
J: Yup. Totally. I mean hanging out with my friends while they praise me? It’s the dream.
J: Do you think friendships impact personality traits?
A: Yes. When you are around people that often, it’s hard for you to not get influenced. You can see it in physical ways: you adapt to their language and way of speaking and sometimes even the clothes they wear. Clothing-wise my friends tell me what not to wear, but outfits do reflect some part of who you are. You adopt some of the same qualities because that’s who you want to be. I wouldn’t be friends with a mean person because, you know, I don’t want to be mean. If I had no friends whatsoever I would be *jokingly* just as depressed, but have the personality of an actual potato. I would be a blank slate. No personality.
J: Well, what about insane people?
A: But they still have friends. [in the head]
J: Going back to the clothing topic, how would you describe your style:
A: Third grade me was kiddish, leggings, skirts My Little Pony, and Justice [brand clothes]. During my emo phase, it was the iconic look: band tees, black jeans, and black converse. Right now my style is “Basic Bitch with a Twist”, the twist being my catchphrase: “I’m not like other girls.”
J: What’s the most significant change between now and third grade?
A: Oof. That’s a tough question… I really have to think about this one. I mean, I guess I have more of a life now? Honestly, I think the biggest difference is I’m more outspoken. In third grade, I was really loud and I had no filter. I was constantly talking–well actually I still do that–but not to a lot of different people. I’ve evened out a bit and now I’m at a stage where I’m balanced. I’ve gone from too little to too much and now I think I’m the right amount of being out of my shell. I’m normal.