So, in this week's episode of Book Jawn I cut out a long bit where Grace and I talked about our origin story. The episode was running long and it was only tangentially relevant to our topic (fandom). But relevance doesn't make it less important. The fact is, aside from my wife and my coworkers, Grace is one of my favorite people in the world. We spend a lot of time together, partially because we've both made this podcast a priority. It's been and awesome adventure and has been the mortar in the brick wall of our friendship.
Here's how we met:
Grace and I were both volunteers at a non-profit bookstore that took itself very seriously. I'd seen her email address on the listserv - it was a reference to an obscure wizard rock song - but I'd never met her in person. I'd seen her around and largely dismissed her as someone I wouldn't have anything in common with. I'm not proud of this, and I think it actually makes me a pretty shitty feminist, but I assumed that because Grace is young and really beautiful (not just my opinion, she is actually a model), that she'd be kind of superficial and that her political priorities would be different from mine.
We were staffing together on a pretty slow, unremarkable day and talking about mental health and anxiety and Grace said that when she was feeling anxious she tried to channel Katniss Everdeen. Which, actually, is a pretty badass coping mechanism. And actually made me realize how dismissive and shitty it was to make broad sweeping assumptions based on age or appearance.
And then we were just friends. It happened as easily as that. Grace was someone I was immediately comfortable around, and with whom I had a ton in common with. Later, she'd help me get my current job and we'd spend whole shifts giggling, nerding out over YA sci-fi, and having Taylor Swift dance parties.
So, now that you know the history, let me tell you a few of my favorite things about Grace.
- I am guilty of taking myself too seriously sometimes, especially where work things are concerned. I get really intense about this podcast and Grace is always around to remind me to kindly remove the stick from my ass and remember that this is a project that is supposed to be fun.
- Grace is one of the kindest people I know, actually. I think this is why so much weird shit happens to her, actually. She's patient where other people wouldn't be and is inclined to forgiveness and understanding to people she cares deeply for or feels empathy toward.
- Despite being young in years, my friend is really smart. Book smart and intuitive. Her life experience is a thing that has taught her a lot without erasing her humanity. And she's a quick learner and she adapts well to new skills and knowledge. She reads on a pretty analytical level, too. Which makes her one of my favorite people to discuss books with.
- Grace's enthusiasm is contagious. If I have an idea that I'm ambivalent about but she is into, I feel smarter for having come up with it, and stoked to make it happen. If she loves a book or movie or vlog, she talks it up until you love it almost as much as she does.
- You've already gotten this from the podcast, but Grace Gordon is a fucking laugh riot. She doesn't take herself too seriously, and she makes me laugh all the time.