The next Blue Rose Girl I met was Anna. Well, either Anna or Linda, but I'll start with Anna. Anna and Grace were friends from RISD, and she was living in Boston when I moved there. I probably met her before this, because by then I had lived in Boston for almost a year, but the first time I remember talking to her is when a group of us took a trip to the "Singing Beach" or Manchester by the Sea in late July or early August of 1999.
The group was a combination of my friends and Grace's friends, and I remember my two friends who had come were talking to Anna a bunch, while I was talking to some of Grace's other friends. My friends adored Anna ("That Anna girl is so cool!"), and on the way home it happened that Anna sat shotgun while I drove, and my friends dozed off in the backseat. Anna was working in the design department at Houghton Mifflin at the time, and had heard that I had just gotten a job in publishing (I had been offered the job at the time, but wasn't starting work until August 16), so she asked me about it and we talked about publishing and children's books and everything under the sun the hour or so ride back. I remember being struck at how thoughtful and interesting Anna was. I'm not sure how it happened exactly, but we started hanging out a whole lot more after that, both with Grace and without her.
I wish I could remember the gradual process of her becoming less of a "friend of a friend" to becoming just "friend" to me. Maybe it involved her clicking with my other friends who were on the trip, and all of us hanging out. But I remember that it seemed that Anna was so good-natured and up for anything. She's accompanied me on many outings with my friends throughout the years--a trip to Nantucket with my boyfriend at the time and his friends, a trip to the Cape with my coworker for a clambake (even though Anna was vegetarian), a James Bond theme party at a friend's apartment, a seventies Disco party at another friend's apartment, and on and on.
I think what's interesting is that I am no longer friends with those two women who came with me to the beach--they, too, were recent friends, and hang-out friends, but when our lives changed, our friendships faded away as well. But Anna, this "new" friend, this "friend of a friend" is now an old, dear friend I've known for over eight years. I know my friendship with Anna is lasting, and that we'll be friends forever.