Just over fifteen years ago, I was introduced to Steph against my will - I later came to find she felt the same way. Those who know me know the stark terror I feel upon being forced to meet new people and my trepidation at meeting Steph was no different, particularly since Tom was forcing us on one another. If you asked him today, he would tell you it was because he knew we would get along, being the all-knowing, all-seeing demigod that he is. She and I both know he was sick of us and looking to foist us on one another and leave him out of it.
Through the years, our friendship has grown from passing poorly-encoded notes back and forth on 2nd-floor Chalmers to all-night Gin games while listening to OMD to her feebly trying to teach me to drive stick-shift (and consequently killing her alternator...). The repeated roadtrips to Gambier, the addictions to soccer & knitting & DMB, the trek cross-country (and the exploding Doritos outside of Denver). The MLS Cup from Hell (eventually) and the gazillions of hours spent late night on the phone.
Now she's happily ensconced in Sacramento with her hubby, pup and two slightly neurotic cats. We don't see each other nearly as much as we once did, but Steph - I love you to pieces and wish you the happiest of birthdays.