Point of View: Rare treasure: I’ve got a friend in family

By Amanda Earp
Copy desk chief

When you spend at least 20 hours a week working with the same group of people, you will eventually find out their likes, dislikes and random pieces of information about them.

The newsroom for the Lariat is the same way. For instance, being that I am a self-proclaimed chatty person, many of my colleagues know that one of my favorite things to eat are Texas Fries from Chili’s (bacon and cheese on French fries may be the best combination ever), I hate feet and I consider my cousin my best friend.

The first two fun facts being mentioned in the newsroom usually lead to me being made fun of by various people on the Lariat staff.

Apparently, I eat bacon cheese fries a little too much and my country accent comes out fairly strong when I scream “I hate feet!” after watching people take off their shoes to rub each other’s feet.

The last tidbit, more often than not, leads to a discussion on family members being considered a person’s best friend. Anytime I mention my best friend, it is generally followed by the statement, “You mean your cousin.”

Yes, yes I do mean my cousin. My cousin is 10 months older than me and we have been best friends my whole life, despite spending the majority of it living an hour and a half away from each other.

She would spend the whole summer at my house, we would talk on the phone for hours during the school year when we could not see each other and make frequent trips to each other’s homes on the weekend.

Since we have been best friends for such an extended period of time, she knows more about me than anyone else. Unlike someone who met their best friend in high school or college, we know each other’s past because we grew up together.

When exchanging stories we don’t have to digress to explain a situation or who a person is in the story like new friends would have to do.

My cousin is not the only person I’m close with in my family. Let’s say I was getting married tomorrow. The first three bridesmaids in my lineup with be three of my female cousins (the best friend being the maid of honor, of course).

This is not because I would feel obligated to put them there since they are family. It is because we are that close as a family.

I am a family-oriented person. When I say my family is the most important thing to me, I’m not kidding.

In fact, my family members are my favorite people to be around and spend time with. I love them because they are my family, but I like them because they are entertaining, interesting people.

Growing up, I thought all families were like mine. I thought everyone would pick a night playing poker with the family over watching a movie with a friend.

I’m realizing, however, that is not the case. My family enjoying each other’s company is an exception, not a rule.

Amanda Earp is a graduate student from New Waverly and the copy desk chief for the Lariat.