"This is going to be a very long night," I remember thinking.
So the first thing I love about Yasmeen is she really is live-in-the-flesh one of those mysterious, sought-after, seductive entities, an "It Girl", who would never call herself that. But Yasmeen isn't meaningless or snobby and she's nice to everyone. Girls love her as much as guys do...
And oooooohhh the fun we've had...
She's one of those impossibly worldly-- (hah, I wrote 'wordy' first. That applies, too!)-- sophisticated girls you only meet in New York or Paris or London or, perhaps if you're truly lucky, in some oasis in the Gobi Desert because one of her fabulous friends (she's Saudi- so this is entirely probable) decided to throw a desert-themed party in a real, actual desert and you've now encountered one of those mysterious, international city girls you might have read about or seen in a music video but never truly in your heart of hearts thought existed.
They coudn't exist, you thought. One of those girls out of a Hemingway novel or a Fitzgerald short story from the 20s. We grow up and figure out James Bond or The Tooth Fairy could never really exist much as you might wish they did...
But Yasmeen is real. And I know it, because she's my friend and I've seen her laugh, held her hand when she cried, and tried with varying amounts of success to keep up with her international globe-trotting.
What it amounts to is she loves herself and her confidence and self-love inspire others to be themselves, too. And as one offshoot of all that since becoming her friend I've felt more and more comfortable wearing wacky, weird, wild outfits and just in general being my own weird myself.
Being around people who give themselves permission to try, to fail, to try again, to have fun, to risk... they somehow give you permission to do the same with your life. More than permission. They inspire you and they help you grow.
It girl or not, she's my It Girl-- cause that's the best kind of friend to have. We owe a debt to people who build us up, and I'll always feel I owe a lot to Yasmeen.