Happy Birthday, MrsCKugs!
Though it is a few days early. I wanted to spread some birthday love to my partner in crime, Les. I thought a great way to do it was by telling a few stories about our friendship and how we met.
Les and I met back in 2006, and she hated me. I don’t take offense to this now, because when it came to our job at the time, she hated anyone that was new. It also didn’t help that I didn’t show up on the first day I was scheduled to come in. I had a horrible cold and didn’t sleep at all the night before, so I was given the weekend to heal up which was extremely generous. I would be temping at a medical office, and unbeknownst to me, I was not the first temp that the office had received. I apparently was the last of a couple of doozies.
I started that job as I do all of my jobs, really quiet and suspiciously sweet. I like to understand the playing field to know what is acceptable and what is not. I was not aware at the time that Les hated me, because she was really nice to me. The ice began to break over the next month and a half. I remember her rolling into the parking lot on Halloween that year blaring “Thriller,” and thinking I might be able to hang with this girl. There were a few boundaries crossed that day that opened up a lot of possibilities for our impending friendship. Later that same day, we had a coworker who was precious and a bit off that dressed up as a gypsy. I sat between this woman and Les. I remember at one point looking over at Les and seeing her holding a stick of about five highlighters that she had connected together and slowly and strategically moving them around me. Our neighbor got up to do something else allowing me to ask what in the world Les was doing. She replied simply that she was attempting to touch her fake mole, which prompted me to immediately fall out. As icebreaking as that event was, our friendship did not become official until about late November when during a reflective moment on the job I asked, “You know what I really want to hear right now?” Les replied, “The Chipmunks Christmas Album?” My response was “Yes, that’s exactly what I want to hear right now.” We’ve been tight ever since then, fully embracing and rejoicing in the fact that we are both extremely random.
I think it was my birthday party that December that she really became comfortable with me. She loved me, yes, but I don’t think she was ready to let everything out. I had invited a few friends over and made baked spaghetti for everyone. We all enjoyed the She-Ra ice cream cake I had made for myself, furthering Les’s impression of my nerdyness. After food we played the DVD Scene It game, where Les ended up beating the hell out of my little brother Eddie with a pillow as she screamed “Eat the cake, Anna Mae!” In all fairness she was answering a question. She was just very exuberant about it. She felt bad about it later, but I told her Eddie was used to it being around his pseudo sisters and me. It was good times.
Our friendship grew and grew from there. We introduced each other to our nerdy favorites. Les created actual race cards for us to throw down. Me being white, I didn’t have to throw mine down as much, but I am half Swedish. Anytime I would tell people I’m an ABBA fan, I got to throw it down so no one would question me. Les got a lot more use out of hers. I am happy to tell you, Les, that I still have it. It is in my important papers file right next to my social security card.
We were both voracious readers and shared books all of the time. That is definitely one of the biggest things I miss about being in close proximity with Les. I remember when the seventh Harry Potter book came out. We both had preordered it at the local book store. They had a midnight release party to which we were drafted into houses and spent most of the time playing Uno in one of the isles with the Disney Princess deck I just purchased while the book store randomly engaged the patrons with shouts of “Gryffindors say Hey!” or whatever house they were trying to rouse. Thank god it was a Friday and neither of us had to work the next day. We went home and got what sleep we could manage. Les drove out the next day where we alternated between outside and inside to read with no interruptions.
Les was going to school in these days and I would often let her come over to do her school work and steal our Wi-Fi. I think a part of her loved it just as much to see my mother, who she adored. I will never forget the first time she came over and met my mother. Les and I were working at my dining room table, she doing schoolwork and I uploading CD’s. My mom comes out with a traditional Swedish snack of buttered hard bread and cheese on a tray with plastic food gloves on. See, my mother, who is the sweetest person in the world, is a retired lunch lady. One thing she took from her lunchin’ days is sanitation. She takes that seriously, regardless how I take every opportunity to make fun of her for it. When me mum came in with the offering, I could see Les’s eyes fall onto the food, then the gloves, and then to my mother. She took the food and my mom left. As soon as my mom was gone, Les looked at me and stated very seriously, “I love your, Mom.” The Lady has that effect.
We would continue this friendship with long serious talks, mutual introductions to Doctor Who and Twilight, and just flat out fun. There were plenty of shopping runs to other bigger cities, movie runs, and quite a few near death experiences. Our weekend trip to Chicago nearly encompasses all of that. There was the time my windshield wipers decided to stop working in the middle of a torrential downpour on the interstate. I didn’t think we were going to make it out of that one. Thanks to some healthy application of Rain-X we were able to make it back home, ignoring the fact that we had to take an alternate route back home that led us through Elwood, and I made Les lay down in the back seat until we were well out of city limits. Elwood isn’t exactly known for its love of the African American race. I can laugh about it now, but I was scared to death for her at the time. I realize I overacted, but I loved her and didn’t want her to get hurt.
We have definitely had some good times. Crazy office Christmas parties, crushes on boys, and slight stalker tendencies towards some of the boys. Sorry, Jeff, it was before you. We will always have those crazy work stories that I can’t even tell here. Even though I know I wouldn’t be giving any specific patient information away, the HIPAA laws scare the crap out of me. I remember the time you got stuck in that ditch on the way to my house. I remember the time you flipped off this jerk driver on our way to see Hot Fuzz and the jackass behind him thought you were flipping him off and chased us down for like four and a half miles in the country. I absolutely and fondly remember you randomly busting out of in “No One” by Alicia Keys. I still can’t help, but think about you when that song comes on. Remember those times we would get into trouble for singing “White Lines” at the checkout desk? Good times. I guess I should take the opportunity to thank you for introducing me to Fubar, it’s changed my life.
I was honored to be there for your graduation. I was honored to be there at your wedding. But most of all, I am honored to be your friend. I hope this post made you smile, Les. I wish you the Happiest of Birthdays this Wednesday. To my fellow Geeky Girl readers and family show this awesome lady some love this Wednesday and know that just as Les and I embraced each other for our geeky tendencies with love and open arms we are here to do the same for you. Happy Birthday, Les!