Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Beeeeest Friend

Mere babes back in 2007.

Mere babes back in 2007.

Hopefully you read that title as being a drawn out, multi-syllabic rendering of “best” and not as pronounced like “beast.”

This week, one of my most favorite people on the face of the earth, Miss Katie Booker, has packed up all her things, left her wildly successful job and will move 3,000 miles across the country back home to California. I am equal parts happy for her and sad for me. This occasion seems like a monumental opportunity to wax poetic publicly about how much I love her and how better my life is by having her in it. I am lucky enough that there are several people I can say this about, but….none of them are moving this week.

I’ll always remember Bid Day 2005 when we all nervously milled around at Theta, trying to meet each other and not say anything stupid. Somehow it turned out that Katie and I were the only two living on South Campus and I became her official chauffeur of the new member ed process. Those 10-minute rides to and from the house forged our friendship for everything that followed: adventures, fun nights out, becoming real adults and dealing with sadness and disappointment. We went from being within spitting distance of each other in our tiny bedroom at the house, to a 30 minute train ride from NJ to NYC, to a 4 hour bus ride from Boston to NYC. We’ve always made it work and don’t let more than a couple months pass between seeing each other. Now it’s a cross-country flight, but I’m happy to have someone to visit in San Francisco.  Continue reading

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When Your Childhood Home Is Sold, You Will Feel Sad

I had a big post planned about how traumatizing the sale of our house is. It’s been stressing me out for weeks; I blame the recent discovery of several grays on it. However, I couldn’t find any quality digital photos of dear old 65 Wellington. This confirms what I’ve suspected for a while: our real home now is down the Shore. We’re beach people and that’s just where we feel best. Still, our North Jersey home was a wonderful place to grow up and I’ll miss it a lot.

One of my character flaws has quite a bit to do with several of my quirks. I tend to anthropomorphize everything. This causes me to still maintain a teddy bear at the age of 27. I worry that I’d upset him if I stopped sleeping with him. This is probably why I spent some time last weekend sifting through a Rubbermaid container of Barbies. I probably felt bad throwing them out after I outgrew them, so they went to Toy Purgatory in our attic for 18 years. For this reason, I’ve always thought of our house as the sixth member of our family. It’s seen us through 25 years of Christmases, birthdays, first days of school, play dates, graduation parties and even fights. I worry that after we move out on Tuesday it will feel just as sad as we  do. I genuinely believe it’s going to miss us. Continue reading

Maybe Zach Braff was Right (but I still think Garden State sucks)

For the record, I still dislike this movie.

Way back when, a friend dragged me along to see ‘Garden State.’ As a happy, well-adjusted college student in 2004, it really rubbed me the wrong way. I had never grappled with struggle or sadness and had nothing but pride for my home state. Even now, I still don’t really understand what Zach Braff’s character’s upbringing had been like.  He hosted Saturday Night and, in his monologue, called Garden State his “love letter to New Jersey,” which I still don’t understand. Had such a love letter come to me in the mail, I’d return to sender. What I found so offensive about it was that he used the state’s official nickname as the title, as if to speak for all New Jersey’s residents. Little did I know what name-usurping, stereotyping train wreck was coming next. But I digress.

For a while, Garden State became one of those “statement” movies – you know, people would casually toss it into their list of favorites to show how deep, intellectual and edgy they were. For months after its debut, people plastered quotes from it all over their (about to seriously date myself here) AIM profiles and away messages. However, one stuck out at me as being profoundly sad. A grammar school friend whose parents had divorced when we were in college used it and even though we weren’t close anymore, it made me so sad that this snippet of dialogue spoke to her so much when we had shared such happy childhoods. I never really understood the concept of it until recently, faced with the loss of a parent and the prospect of our home being up for sale. Continue reading