Sonya, will you be my Valentine?

In light of V-Day, I dedicate this post to my best friend, Sonya (don’t cry, Sonitchka!), with whom I have already shared 15 years of Grade A friendship.

This is Sonya kickin' butt all over the globe.

It all began in Mr. DeLong’s 4th grade class. At 9 years old, we went on our first double date to see The Man in the Iron Mask, chaperoned by her mom who ate all the popcorn (don’t deny it, Sonya). We spent so many hours of our childhood playing Rummikub and Spit, eating McDonald’s sneakily behind the bushes in front of her apartment building, hanging out on street corners and at each other’s homes playing Mario on old-school Nintendo, having sleepovers, watching Pay-Per-View and eating the best Russian food at her house, and giggling about boys like any girl at that age. I also spent Hanukkahs with Sonya’s family and their Russian friends. Then on Christmas Day, we would go to our school field to make snow angels while singing Christmas carols. That is one of my all-time favorite memories of us.

When we got to high school, we still spent every waking hour together. We walked to school together every morning, until I could drive, then I would pick her up. Sometimes we’d stop in Starbucks for a slice of Lemon Loaf and a Caramel Frappucino, or at Finagle a Bagel for Lox. At lunch, we’d go to Sealey’s, a nearby diner, for tuna melts and turkey clubs until we decided it was too greasy and changed up our routine to include Virginia’s deli-sandwiches. For dessert, we’d pop by Eddie’s, a snack truck parked at our school, for ice cream. Sonya and I were obviously very health-conscious.

Without exaggeration, Sonya and I were attached at the hip throughout elementary, middle and high school. It was rare to see one of us without the other.

Unfortunately, college severed the invisible cord and we became individual beings, an inevitable part of growing up. While she stayed in Boston I went off to Ithaca (is Gorges), NY. We made new friends and new memories that didn’t include the other. Naturally, we grew apart a little bit even though we saw each other here and there. We reunited after college when she moved to New York City, and while it wasn’t the same as our childhood years–we were more health conscious, more mature, had jobs, and had our own friends–Sonya and I still share something untouchable.

A happy Sonya is a happy Emily.

Funny thing is, we are very different people. She’s clean, I’m messy. We have different interests and taste in men, and we view the world differently. Somehow, even though we agreed we could never be roommates because we would eat each other alive, we are still friends. What I love most about Sonya are her sense of humor and maturity. She’s very different from most people because she’s real and does this thing I call “craugh” where she laughs and cries at the same time. She doesn’t beat around the bush like I do, and she’s a fierce debater. We often bicker about stupid things like whether palm trees can grow indoors (she won this one), but we get over it and laugh about how ridiculously the other person behaved.

(circa 10th grade)

While I am showering Sonya with compliments, here’s another one: Sonya is a goddess in the kitchen (and probably in other rooms, if ya catch my drift…oh lala!). She can bake a mean apple crisp and stir up chicken fajita like nobody’s business. I haven’t had this in years, but I’m still reminded of it any time I see strawberries. In middle school, Sonya blended me the best strawberry milkshake in the world, one that I cannot recreate without her magic touch. Whoever she ends up with–somebody who will never be good enough for her according to my standards–will be one damned lucky fella.

Sonya, I know I can be difficult and say stupid things and date even stupider men, but I still hope you can be my Valentine…for the rest of my life!

LOVE YOU LIKE A FAT CHINESE KID LOVES DUMPLINGS (I’m talking about myself of course)!

Me and Sonya all grown up with the tip of our triangle, Jett. We are the Triumphant Trio.


(I had to come back and insert this video:)

14 Comments on “Sonya, will you be my Valentine?”

  1. SaptarshiC says:

    Ok… three things:
    1. How on earth did you two go on a double date with her mom attached?
    2. Palm trees grow indoors? Reeeally?
    3. What the heck is a chicken fajita?

    Other than that, happy V-day (or D-day as some say).

    • Emily He says:

      Hahaha! Great questions, all of them!

      1. Well, I guess you could say her mother was the 5th wheel who bought the popcorn and drove us kids there.
      2. Yes, I’ll admit it. Palm trees can grow indoors. I refused to believe it too, but Sonya’s parents have one in their house (a little one) so I lost this debate.
      3. Chicken fajitas is a DELICIOUS Mexican dish that looks like this:

      I should not have looked up a photo for you because now I’m dying for some. My stomach is growling. Oh well, Mexican’s pretty rare in China.


  2. Michael says:

    Warmest wishes and have a happy Valentine’s Day Emily.!!!

  3. James Ozmun says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Emily – and let’s not leave Jett out “Happy Valentine’s Day Jet”. Emily, it’s very refreshing to read about true, everlasting friendship. Awesome post -5 stars!

    • Emily He says:

      YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY JETT! May you also be my Valentine forever and ever!”

      Thanks so much for your nice comment James 🙂 Hope you have an extra special Valentine’s Day!

  4. Love the picture of you both in ‘Raincoats’ doing a Terry Richardson style thumbs up gurn to camera! Made me laugh much it did, I tell you….

    • Emily He says:

      I’m so glad it made you laugh! It made us laugh too. We were about 17 at the time.

      I clicked on your link. Obama is glowing and appears so youthful! Now he’s gray and wrinkly. Being the president sure is rough, especially on your hair and skin.

      • well, I have exactly the same problem… but I do try to moisturise daily… the same thing happened to Blair when he came to power. All smiles and an even hair colour… trying to run / ruin countries is a bit of a toughie on the looks….. I think Obama must moisturise!

  5. daterofboys says:

    So so so cute! So cute. Hearting this post. Hearting reading ’bout your friendship.
    Happy Friendship and Caring Day (as they call it on one of my kiddie channels)!!!

  6. Cafe23 says:

    AWWWWWWW you are SO SWEET!!!! =P
    Is she crying yet? haha

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