I met Hilary in elementary school. She wasn’t in my circle of friends, but I liked her an awful lot (still do!).
Hilary was the type of girl that could be classified as weird, solely for the fact that she liked what she liked and didn’t care how that made her look. I can’t tell you how much I admired that.
I remember one time in particular, in Grade 6, we had a gym class outside in the field behind our school.
Some backstory: I started shaving my legs in Grade 5 because I thought it would make me cooler (ha, it did… for about a month). I had to figure out how to tell my step-mom about it, so I decided to grow out my leg hair, pretend I hadn’t shaved my legs before, and then ask my step-mom about how to shave my legs for the first time (for some reason I thought she’d be mad if she knew I’d done it already). Taking a page out of the Hilary Alteen book of “Do It ‘Cause You Like It”, I wore a skort to school while I was growing out the hair on my legs. It was a cute skort, dammit! I wanted to wear it, leg hair or not! But my friends weren’t long making me feel embarrassed for doing so.
ANYWAY, outside in the field, I noticed Hilary in her shorts, running around with her pals, leg hair majestically blowing in the wind, and I thought “God damn, I need confidence like that and I need friends like those.”
Hilary has grown into an amazing person, but she hasn’t lost that amazing eccentricity that makes her so adorably Hilary. She lives her life for her, not for ‘Likes’ on Facebook, not for followers on Instagram; she does what makes her happy because it makes her happy. She lives her life the way I wish I had the confidence to live mine.
Hilary, it’s been a long, long time. We didn’t speak much in our later school years, but I never stopped admiring you. You are an incredible person and I’m so delighted to see the person you’ve become.
late 14c., "death," from Middle French obit or directly from Latin obitus "death," noun use of past participle of obire "to die," literally "to go toward" (see obituary). In modern usage (since 1874) it is usually a clipped form of obituary, though it had the same meaning of "published death notice" 15c.-17c.
plural vitae, Latin, literally "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."
While recently watching Rex Murphy’s tribute to my late father, I was saddened that my father wasn’t able to hear Murphy’s wonderful words. I’ve decided to write pieces that are dedicated to telling the people in my life how great I think they are. I call them “Vituaries.”