Lauren is 27. TWENTY-SEVEN! That means we've been good friends for NINE years. I clearly remember checking out her brand-spankin'-new Jeep Cherokee (which would become our second home in 2004) in the senior parking lot in 1997. Oy.

Our paths had crossed in high school (I remember saying a slightly awkward goodbye freshman (?) year when I learned she was moving back to Pennsylvania ... temporarily, it turned out) but we didn't become friends until senior year. We really had no choice -- we had five classes together that year. But luckily, we meshed insanely well. Ying and yang in some ways (approach to school work, for example), really similar in others, we became super close. I think my favorite senior year memory is the first time we hung out outside of school, at a game of some sort (football?), right after her breakup with Chap. What a DOUCHE.

Lauren and I would not be as close if we hadn't lived together after freshman year at Rutgers. And, of course, the quintessential Louis St. story is when the toilet was out of commission and both (her) Ben and I had to crap. Hilarity ensued. But I'll just leave out the deets this time, thankyouverymuch.

Between then and our latest stint as roommates in Rahway, we sang along to the Dixie Chicks as we drove to Smith, where the infamous haircuts took place; I watched her take in two animals with gender-identity issues and we even shared Ben issues. During the past nine years I have been shocked by her intelligence, her compassion and her belching.

Loving who? Loving Lauren M. Duffy, ya crazy biatch!

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