I met @AshleyCFord on the Internet and it led to one of the most joyful and life-changing friendships I have ever had. Some reasons she is a true slayer:
  1. She gives good email
    Ashley and I fell in love over email. Long, dare I say pseudo-romantic emails that in my mind resemble Edna St. Vincent Millay sent with her Vassar pals, about everything from our believed grandmothers to mean girls to green tea. She has a way with words that is inspiring, heartfelt and laugh out loud funny.
  2. She always knows just what to say
    I've called her crying from at least 3 countries and she always says something simple, sincere and powerful. Before we ever met face to face my cousin Jesse OD'd and died. I wrote Ashley a one sentence email explaining why I had been absent and she sent back a video of her at her desk: "some things require real words, Lena."
  3. She is smart but she isn't a show off
    No one knows more about more stuff than Ashley, but she just busts it out all casual like. What!? You are well versed in both the history of American poetry AND obscure Disney shows!?
  4. From the minute we met, we knew
    Ashley bravely travelled to NYC just to see her new internet friend (me!) People said we were crazy but when we saw each other we just hugged and hugged and laughed and hugged some more. The weekend was full of, in no particular order, these things: talking, journaling, French toast, church in Harlem, two parties where we told our origin story to any stranger willing to listen, fried chicken, grilled cheese, cuddling on an air mattress.
  5. She knows how to forgive
    Not just her friends or her enemies. It's elegant and beautiful. But make no mistake she will scare the shit out of some bitches on the Internet for you.
  6. She is willing to try something new
    Case in point: Passover with my family.
  7. Everyone loves her
    Seriously, everyone. She's the Meryl Streep of friends.
  8. She passed the @jennikonner test
    Love me, love my partner and vice versa. Jenni immediately went "oh yes that's a great one."
  9. She helped me come to terms with my sexual assault
    And the public backlash. Not a hilarious bullet point, just a super real one. I straight couldn't have gotten through that without her. I thought I had dealt with a lot that Ashley showed me was still unexamined. Ashley has a huge capacity for nurturing others through traumas old and new. If she wasn't such a good writer I bet she'd be a therapist.
  10. She can command a room
    On my Seattle book tour stop, Ashley had a church of a thousand people in tears as she shared an essay about her grandma Billie Coles. I was weeping in the front row and my sister was gasping "oh my G-d." It's rare to see power like that in action.
  11. She curses
    A bunch😜😜😜