My friend Stephanie

I got to chat last night with my friend Stephanie for about 8 minutes and all at once I remembered how much I miss the heck out of her.

She’s in the far off land of Springfield, Ill. raising the cutest baby girl west of everywhere, and loving her husband and working and whatnot. And I’m here in Chicagoland balancing two jobs, and trying not to eat too many french fires.

And because of those things, we hardly ever get to talk anymore.

The two of met in grad school, and bonded over our mutual love of blonde highlights. We clicked incredibly well for two people trying to find friends in an insanely competitive group of journalists.

And that friendship was solidified like the marble steps in the capital building once we started our Wednesday night dinners. It was a tradition that began as a response to the depressing Illinois winter and the exhaustion we endured from chasing around Gov. Blagojevich. At the time, I was on a diet, so it was the only day of the week I let myself drink soda. (Sweet, sweet soda, how I love thee).

Anyway, I always (always) wanted to go to Olive Garden, but sometimes I’d let her choose the place. Wherever we ended up, the evening turned into a magical night of friendship.

I miss those Wednesday night dinners with all my blonde soul.

Lucky for me, we’ve been able to stay in pretty good touch over the years (wow, years. with an s. crazy).  And I could tell from our 8 minutes of amiga bliss last night that we’ll continue to be friends for a long time.

My favorite part was that after she said she still keeps up with me on Facebook and my blog, she asked what only true friends can — tell about all the stuff you don’t post on the Internet. And I spewed out as much as I could before we had to say good-bye.

And, I’m making a promise to myself now that I will see her and her beautiful daughter in person soon. Because good friends like Stephanie are hard too find, and when you meet one, you have to hang on for dear life.

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