1. When I spent the whole day in my tiny, ill-equipped kitchen in Squirrel Hill making an absurd Oscar Party spread for my friends and then didn’t even have time to shower before they showed up, rendering me the sweatiest, most sad-looking hostess there ever was.
2. When my parents moved me out of said apartment and argued for at least 30 minutes about which pizza place within a 2-block radius we should eat lunch in.
3. When my dad parked super far away from my graduation ceremony and it was pouring down rain and I was in 3-inch Target heels. I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever worn 3-inch Target heels, but they are the epitome of hard-to-walk-in. So I took them off and walked to my graduation barefoot through Oakland in the rain.
4. When the University of Pittsburgh stuck me in an arena with 4,000 of my closest pals and tried to make me feel special and sentimental and smart. I enjoyed the gesture and the strange cape I had to wear.
5. When, coincidentally, my best friend from kindergarten sat directly behind me during my college graduation ceremony and didn’t outwardly acknowledge my presence. (It’s a long story that sounds more self-pitying than humorous, when I really intend it to be the other way around, so let’s just skip it).
6. When Jack showed up at my graduation picnic with flowers. They were in a glass vase full of water, but they were still awkwardly stuck together with twine. It was the most fitting bouquet of flowers in history.
7. When I crossed the finish line at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon and people I didn’t know cheered and high-fived me, and a bored-looking man handed me a medal without really paying attention, and someone gave me a tarp to wear and I didn’t understand why but I wore it anyway. No one I knew was there to witness it, but it was probably my proudest moment.
8. When John Green was at a park up the street from where I live in order to assist with the film adaptation of his book, and I couldn’t actually go up to him and talk to him because I was trying to control an excited 70-pound golden retriever, so I just stared at him from several feet away. He met my glance a few times and didn’t say, “Please leave now, you creep,” so I consider the encounter a success.
9. When we took my dog to my grandparents’ house in the rural outskirts of Baltimore, and she befriended a toad through a window. (She was inside, the toad was outside). Toad came back every night to stare at my dog through the window. My grandfather said that after we came home (and took Sunny with us), Toad showed up a few more times, looking for her.
10. When, after many tears and swear words were shed because of traffic on the way there, Jack and I finally made it to the Mumford and Sons show at Star Lake. And we had to stand way up in the back because Jack doesn’t like crowds. (He doesn’t like a lot of things, but a good number of them can be summed up with “crowds.”) And Marcus Mumford said, “For those of you in the back, we see you, and we love you.” And I had enough beer and adrenaline in me at that point to make that statement seem heartfelt, so I quietly told Marcus Mumford that I loved him, too.