Although I am not particularly keen on keeping track of my belongings (Clare can attest that our weekend mantra in college was frequently “Where is my phone/coat/dignity?”), I have actually managed to hold onto every gift that Lindsay ever bestowed upon me over the years.
My very favorite bit of all of my Lindsay Swag is actually the card that came to my doorstep, tucked in a Fed Ex parcel, Christmas 2009--the year I “made my debut.” The importance of the box’s contents pales in comparison to the value I have derived from the pithy message attached to it. The note read: “Congratulations and welcome to society! I love you and whatever person you become.” (If you must know, the gift was the ever-venerated Olsen Twin’s Coffee Table Book Influence--an impossibly impeccable choice.)
This note was short (unlike Lindsay) but fabulously witty, sweet (like Lindsay), and reading it for the first time made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside and like a superstar on the outside (like Lindsay). I read the subtext of her message loud and clear: Dear Anne, I forgive you for not being born an Olsen and like/appreciate you anyways. Love (despite the odds), Lindsay.
I tacked the card to my mirror, and there it has stayed, a constant reminder of the thoughtful friend and “woman of society” that Lindsay was.
As I have navigated the ups and downs of the past year, trying my hand at “becoming” a “person” of sorts in the so-called real world, I have found constant comfort and inspiration in knowing that, despite my mistakes, Lindsay would accept and love “whatever person” I am becoming.
If it is true what they say-- that to have friends, you must be a friend--it makes perfect sense that so many people grew to love and cherish Lindsay in her short time here. Her generous friendship required no pretention or prerequisites--it was her ultimate act of gift-giving.
The rules were simple: Come as you are. Check your pretense at the door. Have a pierogi. Have two pierogis. And a chocolate chip pancake, whydontcha? Be what you will be. (Whatever person that may be!) I will love you anyways.
As heartbroken as I am that I did not get the chance to watch Lindsay become the dazzling person she would have been, I cherish the gift that was our time together and am comforted by the knowledge that so many people, whatever kinds of people they may be, were irreversibly changed for the better thanks to her presence. (And her presents, of course.)
I want to truly thank all those who have found a way to honor Lindsay in their lives. I am humbled by your accomplishments and know she would have been wowed as well!