Next up of my 31 people(s) is Brittany Jo Perrotta. Brittany and I have been friends for 4-ish years and she is one of the quirkiest and endearingly weirdest people I know. We worked together at MC (fast forward 5 years after graduating from MC, I got to go back and work there!). We were Resident Directors (you’ll get to hear more about RDs and RD life soon). We worked together for a almost a whole year before we decided to be real friends. We are both pretty outspoken and everyone thought we hated each other because we argued a lot. We decided it was kind of silly that we weren’t “real” friends since our life stages were exactly the same (30, single, adults living with college kids, etc.) In the beginning of our “real” friendship, a convo like this went down and people could no longer doubt our friendship.
Me: “Let’s hang out.”
Brit: “Okay, wanna get tattoos?”
Friends who get tatted together stay together! (We also got another tattoo together right before she moved away from me last May.)
Hers is the tiny care bear heart (that has nothing to do with care bears, I just like calling it that) and mine is the dove. Brittany is a gem though. She’s hilarious. Really, go read her blog, you will laugh your butt off – http://coffeeandpuppies.blogspot.com/. And let’s pause for a moment to talk about the formation of Brittany’s blog. Brit decided she wanted to take up writing. Instead of asking her friend who is a long time blogger (me) how to go about doing this, she just picks up her computer and types blog.com. It was a terrible site, and then she wanted me to fix it. I made her switch to a site I could work with, got her set up, and every other day or so she’d send me a template and say, “make my blog look like this.” I’m proud to say she can now install her own templates and keeps the hilarious posts coming.
She’s about as real as a person can get. Being friends with her has taught me many things, but one of my favorite things she’s taught me is how to fight and that fighting with friends is okay. As you know, I grew up in crazyland. Fighting was prevalent, but usually resulted in people leaving, quitting, or giving up. Brit and I fought a lot, but it was good fighting. She taught me what it meant to fight well, that confrontation is good and doesn’t always result in giving up, and that friendships can become stronger because of it. Her friendship taught me that it’s okay to say that hard things. Brittany was the first person I was able to talk to face to face about a sin struggle I’d always allowed to trap me with shame. She wasn’t shocked or disappointed like I thought she’d be. She loved me exactly the same and wanted me to experience freedom as much as I wanted to experience freedom. And THAT was freeing!
Brittany’s family is as hilarious and awesome as she is. She’s a twin. Her dad’s name is Joe. She and her sister carry the middle name Jo. And she has a cousin named Joey. Half of her family are South Carolinian southerners and the other half are Pennsylvanian Italians. Her parents are the most generous people I know. Brittany and Abby (twin sister) always bring random assortments of people home with them for holidays. Her mom makes us all Christmas stockings and Easter baskets AND buys any girls who are there for Christmas matching pajamas. Her dad makes everyone feel welcome and cooks us breakfast every morning. The southern side insists you eat the yummy food they cook. The Italian side kisses you on the cheek and tells you to come to Pennsylvania soon. They’re loud and hilarious and amazing.
Brit is also crazy smart. She’s a seminary graduate and working on another masters degree. She has a heart for the nations, the marginalized, and the forgotten. Brittany is a pro and making displaced people feel placed. She’s an includer to the max. If you don’t have friends, she wants to help you find them. If you don’t have a church, she’ll take you to hers until you find your place. If you don’t have a family, you’re now part of hers. If you don’t know Jesus, she’s going to tell you about Him. If you’re stuck in sin, she’s going to love you through it. If you have no desire to love Jesus, she’s still going to love you and offer you everything she has. If you don’t have a car or wreck yours in New Orleans (hey, I did that), she’s going to make sure you have rides places and let you use hers anytime you need it. She’s also an excellent cook and randomly has a cooking school certificate. Make her cook for you! She forgets to use this skill.
She was my everyday life friend through one of the hardest, if not the hardest, seasons I’ve ever lived through. She was there when I found out me dad was sick. She let me use her car to drive to Arkansas to visit him multiple times when he was in and out of the hospital (mine didn’t have AC at the time). She was there when I made terrible choices because I was mad that my dad was going to die and she loved me through every moment. She even forced me (aka showed up at my apartment) to make me let her meet a guy I knew I shouldn’t have been dating and tried to keep it a secret. She wasn’t even on campus when I found out my dad died, but was there lightning speed fast when all I could do was text her and say that he was gone. She stayed with me the rest of the day. I spent many night in her apartment even though mine was just across the parking lot because I didn’t want to be alone.
She was there when I FREAKED out because I didn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas since my dad was gone. She helped me buy a plane ticket to come stay with her family for Christmas and took me home with her for every holiday after that. When I didn’t think even Jesus could heal my grief, she pushed me to try. I finally felt relief in the midst of grief because of the routine of spending time with Jesus, and then I wrecked my car! I panicked again because I wasn’t going to have the healing routine to cling to, but she got up with MY schedule every morning and took us both to Starbucks. She made me write and process and think of all the things I learned because of my dad’s life. She made me proactively plan for every holiday so I wouldn’t panic and snowball. She helped me and Allison (pictured above with us) plan a Father’s Day meal with all of our dad’s favorite things (Brit was also there with Allison every moment of her journey when she lost her dad shortly before I lost mine).
We freak out about life and next steps a lot together. We complain about boys and the lack of their presence in our lives often. We went on many 10 hour road trips to South Carolina. We watched A LOT of Netflix. We fought a lot. We laughed a lot. I cried a lot and she listened a lot (she doesn’t cry much). Like I said, she’s a gem. She’s a servant. She’s vulnerable and transparent. She loves Jesus with all of her heart. She loves her people fiercely. She fights well. She never gives up on people. She pushes everyone to Jesus. She’s my family. She tells people that if I got to chose who my sisters were they would be her and Taylor Swift (hence the picture she gave me above that I’ll never get rid of). I’m sad we don’t live in the same place anymore, but I’m thankful that we get to google chat almost every day and solve all of our, and the world’s, problems.
This is part of my 31 People(s) I Love series. I’ll be writing about 31 people/peoples that I adore! Click here if you would like a list of all the posts in this series.