I know, objectively, that this is weird.
I love all the seasons. I love snow and ice and darkness at five o’clock. And I love the smell of defrosting earth and pale green spring and the first day you can go outside without wearing a jacket. And I love summer! I love summer especially when it’s really hot and you can lie around at the beach, but also when it’s really hot and you’re stuck in the city, but you can go out at night and never worry about getting cold. And of course, I love autumn. I love Halloween and falling leaves and school supplies and fall fashion. I love it! (This is getting too sweet, isn’t it?) Oh yeah, baby! Taste that treacly goodness!
But seriously. I love a cloudy day much like I love a really sad song. In part this is because cloudy, chilly days are the best both for working and for a lot of the things I really like to do for fun (like reading and vegging out inside). Plus, don’t tea and coffee taste so much better when it’s cold? (Then again, beer seems to taste a whole lot better when it’s hot… so there are definitely two sides to this.)
A few weeks ago I was talking to my friend Andy and he said “Have you ever thought that maybe you’re just a grass is greener sort of person?” I was indignant! (No, not really.) But I hope not. I hope I’m not that way. I like to think that I just like so many things I have trouble deciding which stuff I like best.
Not always, though. I was thinking about it and there’s at least one thing I’m SURE I like best. That thing is Patty, my very best friend.
She and I were talking about this yesterday. We had a great day going to a bunch of Value Villages and Kensington Market and to a diner for breakfast food even though it wasn’t breakfast time. (I feel about breakfast food as I do about Patty – that’s it’s definitely the best.) And while we were doing all this stuff, we talked a little bit about how funny and great it is that we’re still friends after all this time.
For a long time, I just figured that everyone had what we have. You hear people talk about it – about their “best friend” from grade school or high school or university or work – but is it really the same thing? I don’t know.
According to the mythology of our friendship, Patty and I met in kindergarten. She had a pink towel for nap time and I envied it and envied her.
And even though she’s the shy half of our duo, as the story goes, she approached me. She came right up to me in Mrs. Suriano’s Jr. Kindergarten classroom at St. Alphonsus and said “Hi! I’m Patty! Patty with an i or Patty with a y!” And so it began.
Now, this story is most likely not true. I mean, she did say that (about how one could spell her name with either the letter i or the letter y) but did she really approach me so confidently? I doubt it. Besides, we lived about two blocks apart and my mother often chatted with her grandmother when they ran into each other in the neighbourhood, so it’s far more likely that we met and even played together before kindergarten. That said, it’s a cute story and it’s part of our agreed-upon history, so we’re gonna keep it in the books, I think.
Anyway, at this point, Patty and I have now been friends for at least 23 years. And I can’t imagine anything that could possibly happen that would ruin it for us. I really can’t. We’ve had our ups and downs of course, particularly in elementary school when I skipped a grade and we found ourselves no longer in the same class. She was pissed and maybe rightly so. I made a lot of new friends in my new class and probably acted like a too-cool-for-school brat for awhile as a result. Had she done the same, I probably would have been irritated too, but we worked it out.
We were always friends, even through those brief periods when we weren’t that close, and as time passed our relationship just sort of knit together in a pretty tough way. I’m never worried about us in the way that I am with pretty much everyone else I know. I never wonder if I need to apologise or if we might be drifting apart or if we should be making more of an effort. She doesn’t either, she says. She’s just sure of everything. In her mind, she says, it’s like we’re family. Sisters, specifically. But I have a sister so for me, it’s not like that. I like my sister, but this is something different.
I don’t really know how to put it. Patty often expresses it in movie quotes. We’re like peas and carrots, she’ll say, a-la Gump. Or maybe, if the mood is right, she’ll say something about how I’d lie down in traffic for her (in a Good Will Hunting sort of way).
The truth about me is that I don’t think I’m ever 100% relaxed or myself unless I’m alone. But I’m almost there with Patty, and that seems like a big deal. We never run out of things to talk about, and even though in some cases we’ve been talking about the same stuff for YEARS (working over and over and over the same conversations, each of saying the same things and having the same ideas again and again) it’s never boring. And we don’t just talk about the good old days, which happens sometimes with old friends. We’re always talking about new stuff too. And even when we annoy each other, it’s no big deal. It’s the sort of minor irritation that passes so quickly you can hardly remember feeling it in the first place. Do other people have that? With anyone? I used to think so, but I don’t anymore. Some people do, I know. It’s not like I think we’re super unique or anything. But we are lucky. Really really lucky.
Patty reads the blah-og sometimes and she’s probably horrified and embarrassed right now. (Or crying… in which case, sorry P!) Maybe to lighten things up a little, I’ll tell you some of our respective nicknames over the years.
Patty (or Patricia, to be formal) has been called all of the following:
Patty on a Bun
Pee (or Pee Pee)
For my part, I’ve been called a lot of things too. These include:
and Pancake (in reference to having no breasts at the time … thanks 13 year old boys!)
We’ve had a few real fights. Not many. Less than 5, I’d say. There was the great “Fuck you Brian” sleep-talking incident of 1993, for example. At the time, it seemed serious, but we laugh about it now.
In the end, that’s the main thing about me and Patty. Sometimes, we laugh so much I think I’m going to die. Really. Like, I think I might actually pass out and die from laughter. I have other friends who I really like – some I love – and lots who are fun and funny and wonderful. But Patty is the only person I’ve ever laughed like that with. Ever. She’s the family I’d choose if I could.
Oh ew. Now this really is getting too sweet. I just wanted to write about some good stuff, you know?
And it’s cloudy, so I could.
Jenny (which is what everybody called me when I was little and Patty still calls me today)