45 Reasons I Love Collette, On Her Birthday

1. She fed my kids chicken korma, which I never would have dared to try, and they loved it, which opened the door to chicken curry once a week.

2. She fed Angus tuna, which he didn't like but ate out of fear, which amused me highly.

3. We like the same movies, and dislike the girl who interviews all the bands in the pre-show, and every time she's on we use the word 'sycophant' and giggle like idiots.

4. She has a nice rack.

5. She is honest. The kind of honest that can sting a bit at first but then becomes wholly refreshing and useful. When we were in Toronto to see Wicked we were staying at a friend's house and I came down after getting dressed for the show and said "does this necklace go with this dress?" She looked up from her magazine and said "yep" and I said "good, thanks". The friend's husband said "that sounded a little perfunctory", and I said "yes, but if it didn't go, she would have looked up and said 'nope'", and our other friends nodded in agreement.

6. She takes my kids or anyone else's into her house for a day or night or week-end effortlessly, while I have to psych myself up, make a dozen lists and meditate for two hours before I can do the same with kids that aren't mine.

7. When we sing the theme song to The Big Bang Theory, I know that we're both going to yell the second BANG and then look at each other and laugh.

8. When I invite people over for dinner and then get overwhelmed because I've planned to cook too many things that all have to be ready at the same time, she steps in and helps without making me feel like a loser.

9. She doesn't just say "we should get together" or "we should go out for someone's birthday" or "we should go to Toronto once a year or so and see a show". She gets that shit DONE.

10. She made me go ziplining and high-speed go-karting. Not in the sense of "forced me" but in the sense of "I wouldn't have done it if I didn't know her".

11. She thinks I have a nice rack.

12. Some people say they're going to lock their kids in the basement for their teenage years. Collette says she expects her kids to be living in her basement with her grandchildren by the end of their teenage years.

13. She reminds me frequently that my husband is a good man and I have a tendency to bitchiness, which is a good thing to remember.

14. She was the kind of friend that, when Matt went away and Angus fell down the stairs and I thought he broke his finger, said I could drop off baby Eve and take him to the hospital. Even better, she was the kind of friend that, when we got there, figured out that his finger wasn't broken and invited us in for dinner and Jello, which blew Angus's mind and was all he talked about for the next four days.

15. She was also the kind of friend that, when we had the massive power blackout in 2003 and Matt was away again, invited us over for a cold dinner and melting popsicles and tried really hard to get Angus to stay there for the night (even though she also had a baby), and gave me a flashlight to take home because the only one I had growled every time I used it.

16. She had her first kid ten months before I had my first kid, and was helpfully and hilariously and demystifyingly blunt about what I could expect from the process.

17. I hardly ever have to worry about being the drunkest girl at the party.

18. I can tell her anything.

19. She would scorn the label "intellectual", but she's smart in many ways that don't usually go together. She's intelligent and clever and witty and wise.

20. I had to interrupt this list because on Saturday she emailed "I'm bored. I'm coming over for drinks".

21. She's smart but her memory is so bad that I could put pretty much anything in this list and even if she had no memory of it happening, she wouldn't be 100% sure that I was making it up.

22. She understands my disproportionate and immoderate love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

23. When I was having a nervous breakdown over Angus being on the wait list for nursery school or any of the other million stupid things I had nervous breakdowns over, she was completely understanding and talked me down, even though she is emphatically not the nervous breakdown type.

24. She's the only one who I told to watch Hemlock Grove who actually watched it.

25. A four-hour car trip or a six-hour kitchen table drinking session - we never, ever run out of things to talk about.

26. She's a better cook than me, but she loves my cooking.

27. Sometimes we laugh so hard we actually fall out of our chairs.

28. She offered to come to Grandpa's funeral with me, just for support, even though she had never met him.

29. She came and took me and Angus out for the first time when he was six weeks old and I was a total mess. She didn't even say anything when I left the house in what I see now was basically a nightgown. We went to Carlingwood Mall and walked around and ate in the food court and her one-year-old looked enormous and ate real food and freaked me out and Angus slept the whole time and it was magical.

30. She called me and said "let's see the new Wes Craven movie", and I knew without asking that she actually meant the new Wes Anderson movie, BUT she will also see scary movies with me, as long as her friend from England isn't here, the one who when I met her practically the very first thing she said was "I hate scary movies" and THAT's why I STILL haven't seen The Conjuring, HMPH.

31. We watched The Cabin in the Woods together and thought all the same things about it and every now and then one of us whispers "take off your shirt" and we laugh until we fall out of our chairs.

32. When we went with our friends who were shopping for wedding dresses, the sales girls at Justina McCaffery on Sussex Drive were insufferably snotty and mannered. As we were driving away, we were talking about what we should have said to discompose them, and Collette's remark was so crude that all the other girls told their husbands and the husbands were suitably impressed, and I tried to tell Matt but I couldn't even make myself say it. (I've come a long way since then).

33. She is so relentlessly thrifty that she once bought (and wore) a secondhand maternity bathing suit. With horizontal orange stripes. And a neon green butt.

34. She is so relentlessly thrifty that when we did aquafit together after we'd had our first kids, she bought a white bathing suit from Wal Mart that went transparent in water and when she got out of the pool everyone could SEE her butt.

35. She made the absolute best comment on this post.

36. When we were at our first Pampered Chef party, the woman was demonstrating this 'fabulous' cheese grater that wouldn't leave you with that annoying little ungrateable piece at the end, and with outraged perplexed disbelief, Collette was like "morons! YOU JUST EAT IT."

37. When I was pregnant with my second and she was pregnant with her third and we'd see people we didn't know that well, they'd ask how we were doing, and no matter what I said, she'd say "and I've changed my mind!"

38. When we went ziplining and I was terrified and husbandless, she did every stage first and then told me exactly how to do it so I wouldn't look (as) stupid or die. This one should have gone after the first ziplining one, but then I would have had to renumber everything so just deal with it.

39. Angus was outright unashamedly in love with her from the ages of two to four, and she put up with him parking himself on her every time we were together and if we were at their house and he wanted to answer the phone, she let him.

40. She's a very confident driver. And she knows how to change windshield wipers. And build a fire.

41. She didn't have a good mother and yet she is a really, really good mother.

42. When Angus broke his leg on the Labour Day weekend when he was two and I was pregnant with Eve, she came to the hospital on the holiday Monday. She left her two kids with someone else. She brought a photo album with funny pictures to amuse Angus, who was still in traction. She brought doughnuts for the nurses so they would be nice to us (they were already being nice to us, but still). She sat with Angus so I could put my head down and freak out for half an hour. It's one of the most amazing things anyone has ever done for me.

43. She made Angus one of his favourite Batman capes. Yes. There were multiple Batman capes. And there was a hierarchy.

44. She gave me a first edition of Bel Canto.

45. At the risk of sounding like a cheesy Facebook meme (for which she will mock me), she has helped me live a happier, more truthful life.


StephLove said…
This sounds like a beautiful friendship. How did you meet?
Collette antaya said…
A thousand comments have run through my head to write here. I've typed and erased about twenty. Anything that I may have helped you with pales in comparison to the friend you have been to me, proven time and time again. I love you, Allison. I feel I have to add that I say that with no irony, sarcasm, and smart-alek-y-ness. I love you.
Pam said…
Great post for your amazing friend. She is all that and more. You both have great racks *jealous!*, wicked senses of humour and are awesome. Happy birthday Collette!
Ms. G said…
What a thoughtful post for your friend. I don't know Collette but I love her just for #12 and #2: )
Happy Birthday Collette!
clara said…
OMG I'm jallous. Everyone should have a a Collette. And an Allison! I'm glad you have each other.
clara said…
I have no idea why I misspelled jealous. I mean, I did it on purpose, but it's not like it looks cooler or anything. Like JELLLLLLLUS would make more sense. Sorry about that.
Laurel said…
Awesome tribute to an awesome friend! Everyone should do something like this for someone they love!

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