I could tell she was courting me. The constant compliments about my accessories. The invitations to lectures at the library. The birthday card on my desk with an offer to buy me a celebratory bourbon. In hindsight, it seems so obvious that we were destined to be more than co-workers. If I had made a list of qualities I desire in a friend (willingness to participate in impromptu dance parties, commitment to late-night snacking, tendency to get into spirited arguments while drunk, equal interest in classic literature and celebrity gossip), Lavanya would have met all of them. I just didn't know it yet.
These days, she freely admits that she actively pursued me for friendship, just as I admit I sort of had to be wooed. It's a story we tell -- interrupting each other, adding little details -- like any cute couple recounting their origin myth. Because just like romantic relationships, so many friendships begin with one person pursuing the other. And I'm here to tell you it's not desperate or weird. It's smart.