I had just moved to Los Angeles and their worldliness and friendship fascinated me. Rachel and I were fast friends, eventually living together in a long, skinny, apartment in a trendy neighborhood. Rachel was one of the first Jewish people I ever met, and I felt sophisticated and enlightened just being around her. She and Nora and their group of friends shaped my early view of Los Angeles girl-friendships.
Nora's upbringing was the opposite of mine. She spent her childhood in a fancy Manhattan apartment with a doorman. Her parents were artistic and liberal. She grew up aware of modern artists and couture designers. For all of these reasons, I was wildly intimidated by her.
Despite our mutual relationship with Rachel, Nora and I were never really on the same page. For her whole life she'd been around a wide diversity of people, different skin colors and different belief systems. Except for someone like me: small town, conservative. It's safe to say that Nora and I both made assumptions about the other that weren't exactly correct.
In 2008, Rachel, Nora, and I, along with a forth friend, started a book club after several glasses of wine and lively discussion at my birthday dinner. Almost every month for the past three years, we've gotten together and hashed out opinions. Immediately I realized that I had been wrong, so wrong, about Nora. She can be intellectually intimidating, sure, but we are alike in many ways. We like the same books, we swoon over the same beauty products, we even share an offbeat sense of humor.
We are both, at heart, writers.
For over a year Nora and I have been getting together on our own, sometimes writing but most of the time talking. We know lots about each other and somehow very little. We can talk for hours, and eat bad food, and it's never boring.
This week Nora is moving from her cozy West Hollywood apartment (just behind my waxist, a stone's throw from where I delivered my babies) to New York City. The move is a long time coming, she's wanted this for years.
It took me a long time to make solid girlfriends in Los Angeles. It's a tricky place to navigate relationships and the girl rules are different here. I hate that one of the few that has become so dear to me is leaving. Our differences opened up a new world and made me unafraid to ask questions about faith and childhood, our similarities taught me to let go of certain stereotypes, both the ones I belong to and the ones I judge.
I wish Nora and her husband the best of luck on the east coast. I don't feel like I'm losing one of my few LA girlfriends just as we were becoming so close. Promise.