I’m already laughing and all I’ve written is “Dear Chris”. This isn’t good. It’s great! We’ve been best friends for fifteen years and I’ve never called you “Dear” before. I might have to try it out in person when I see you this weekend.
I don’t really know what to say to you that I don’t already say every day. That being said, I’d like to dedicate most of this letter to memories I have of our friendship. Moments that I remember, that you may or may not.
I’ll start at the beginning. I swear we were in Grade 5 – not Grade 4, like you seem to remember – when we became best friends. It was one of the winter months and you were wearing a a blue Toronto Maple Leafs jacket.
Am I creeping you out yet?
We were sitting and talking at recess about the Leafs and other stuff and when the bell rang, you said to me, “Wow, we have so much in common, but have never really talked to each other before.” Or something along those lines.
And then I remember you walking in the direction of the portables outside, rather than lining up to go inside. This means we were in Grade 5. That’s what I remember, at least.
Do you remember in Grade 8, when the entire grade went on a ski trip and we decided not to go? Instead, I came to your house and we played hockey in the basement and some video games?
Best decision ever. Skiing is the worst. I think we both learned that the painful way the year before. At least I did.
Remember the sleepovers we had at your house? I remember one time, we woke up in the morning and your mom came downstairs and immediately said we smelled up the place and turned on a fan and opened windows.
I look back and laugh because my mom always did/does the same thing whenever she entered my room in the morning.
I remember the breakfasts after those sleepovers, too. One time, we had leftover pizza and you were still learning how to use the microwave to heat things up. I assumed it was easy, but somehow you made pressing three buttons a really difficult task.
I also remember the pancakes your mom made for us and how it was the first time I ever saw someone put chocolate sauce on their pancakes. I didn’t know such a thing could be done! Not that I’ve ever done it, but it was a new experience.
Do you remember all those Wednesdays I would come to your house after school? The incredible pizza and salad dinners from that pizza place. You know the one.
Fun fact: For the longest time I thought the caesar salad from that restaurant was actually made by your mom. It was always in a big bowl by the time we got to the table, I never knew it was ordered along with the pizza.
It was the best salad I ever had. It still is.
Remember in Grade 9 when we started high school and lost each other for an entire year? It felt weird. And then we found each other again in Grade 10 and awkwardly stood around in the hallway before class because that’s what everyone insisted on doing.
Do you remember our first year at different universities? We had never been further apart, geographically, but I don’t think we had ever been closer as friends.
The long chats we had on MSN in the middle of the night really helped me through that year. I’m glad they continued throughout university, with my wonky webcam even being put to use for the days we felt like video chatting without actually talking to each other.
Remember when you came to visit for a weekend in first year? You arrived on a Friday and I think left Saturday night. After you left, I went to the cafeteria to buy a sub. I was in the middle of ordering and then my phone rang. It was you.
You had gotten lost, already. You got on the wrong ramp and were asking me for directions, as if I knew. I had printed out directions for you and just said to follow those, knowing full well you were already off course.
Sorry! You eventually found your way back to your school, though!
Remember those years we played softball on the same team? And that time we had a tournament all day and went to McDonald’s for lunch? Remember when we were too old to play in the grubby play place, but got in there anyways and got stuck in the netting?
Remember your sister having to enter the play place for the finish to come get us out because we were laughing to hard to untangle?
I remember. I know you remember.
When we went back to school in the fall and had to write about our summer, I included that story in the assignment. I wish I kept it.
Remember the last day of Grade 6 when we went to McDonald’s for lunch and got ice cream cones for dessert? There is a picture of me looking down at the cone with such happiness. Every time I have an ice cream on a cone, I remember that picture.
Remember that time we went skating with two of my friends from school and your toe went numb for a couple of hours? I’m sorry for occupying the heater in the washroom while you tried holding your toe up to it. I secretly couldn’t stop laughing.
This next moment, I know you remember for sure. I still feel bad about it.
You needed to download the latest version of MSN, because at that point, we weren’t texting each other yet, even though we texted everyone else. You downloaded MSN and for some reason it wiped out all of the songs you had downloaded. I think there were thousands?
I’m sorry about that.
Remember blaring “That Don’t Impress Me Much” in your car for absolutely no reason? We went a solid two months where those five words were the first things we’d say in response to the other.
“Yoooo did you see the Leafs game?”
“Yeah, that don’t impress me much.”
Comedy gold. At the top of the list of our comedy collection is that time we did an improv skit about constipated cats. Laughing about backed up felines is one of the funniest moments of my life. My cheeks hurt so much.
Remember that overnight trip to the woods in Grade 7? We both got sick on one of the last days and stayed back at the cabin while almost everyone else went to tackle the high ropes course?
If I’m being honest, I wanted nothing to do with that high ropes course, so I’m glad being sick was an excuse for me.
And lastly, remember all of those times we have debated what colour my hair is? I say dark brown, you say black. I still have no clue who’s correct. (I think that rhymed). I don’t think we’ll agree until the day I go bald.
I look around and I realize that a lot of my friends have faded away over the years. People I sat with at lunch, or played with at recess (shout-out to the Grade 8 soccer crew), and even people I said I would never lose touch with.
They’ve faded away, but for the last 15 years, you’ve remained as my best friend and the person I can go to whenever I want to wait 40 minutes, 24 hours, or 7-10 business days for a reply to a text. I appreciate it!
It’s amazing to me that even though you are six months older, you consider me to be the older brother in our friendship. Meanwhile, I’ve always thought of you as the older brother. Mainly because you are actually older. And taller. But mainly older.
But it is just like us to both want to be the younger brother of the friendship and never actually come to an agreement on who is.
I’m so glad you’ve started your own blog on WordPress to share your writing! You say that I inspired you to do it, but really, your writing inspires me. I’m secretly jealous that your blog was great right from the first post.
My life would be a lot different and a lot scarier without a friend like you. Thanks for putting up with me and my oddities.
Alright, this is too much sap. I gotta save some stuff for future occasions, like our first dinner at the retirement home in
50 10 years.
I’m going to wrap this up now. If you remember our typical webcam sign-off, I ask you to do that right now.
You forget, don’t you?
It was the one where we both pretended to high-five the webcam repeatedly until you typed out, “You hang up”, and then I would and you’d get mad at me for actually calling your bluff.
We’re ridiculous. You know that, right? Like Bert and Ernie. You’re Bert because, well, you know.
Anyways, that’s it. See ya Saturday.
With brown hair and a you-just-defeated-me-in-video-games-again stare,
The Other Paul