Lindsey: I can tell you my exact outfit, because it was actually a cause for concern.
Annie: It was! My mom was like, “Who is that? What is she wearing?”
Lindsey: I had these four-inch-high, cherry-red Jessica Simpson heels. I wore them with a black skirt and a black-and-white striped top, and red lipstick. It was not necessarily an appropriate outfit for an 11-year-old to be wearing, but I did look great.
Annie: In freshman year of high school, we did this thing called “Odyssey of the Mind,” which is a very cool problem-solving competition. Lindsey’s brother did it, and her mom wanted her to join too. So her mom pushed her to join the team that I was on. I was so mad about it.
Lindsey: Annie cried when she found out.
Annie: [Odyssey of the Mind was] a little bit of an escape from high-school social hierarchy. At the time, I thought, Oh no! It’s not going to be that escape anymore, because [Lindsey’s joining]. But that’s how we became best friends.
Lindsey: I remember the time where I realized, Oh, okay, Annie is going to be my best friend forever. I had some trouble with an eating disorder when I was 15, 16, and I had to go away for a while. Annie dropped off this trash can that she had decorated called the “Bucket-o-Fun.” It was filled with trinkets and board games and things to entertain me while I was in the hospital. I still have it in my room.
Beck: How did your friendship evolve after high school?
Lindsey: Annie went to school in Scotland. She went to St. Andrews. I went to the University of Oklahoma. We couldn’t have had more different college experiences or been farther away from each other. But my favorite moments in college were when I was staying up late doing homework and Annie was waking up early. We talked every single day via Facebook Messenger.
Annie: I remember being kind of surprised that it was so natural to [keep in touch]. In college, I had the insight that this was the first relationship I ever had where I knew it was going to be forever. To this day, we still talk at least every other day.
Beck: You’ve now grown up to be a Democrat, Annie, and a Republican, Lindsey, and you both consider yourselves to be feminists. How did your friendship evolve along with your values, and what role did the other person play in shaping or challenging your worldview?
Annie: I was always interested in politics. My parents are Democrats, so I was always a Democrat. I wouldn’t say it was a part of my identity, but it was a given. I was a Democrat; that’s who I was. And when I was a junior in high school, I remember reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg—which is problematic, but whatever—and having my first taste of Oh, this is feminism!
I don’t want to put words in her mouth, but I think for Lindsey, being a Republican was a family thing. Lindsey’s father was a Republican. Her parents met working at the RNC. It’s a really sentimental thing.