There are people that never meet their best friend. They go through their whole lives searching for that missing piece. There are a fortunate few that find their soulmate, the one person they can always count on to be there for them. Then there's me. Through sheer luck, I have achieved the impossible: I have FOUR best friends. I would do anything for these people, including introducing them to each other so they can see how cool the other ones are. C'mon! Let's meet my nakama! I'm going to do these introductions in chronological order.
The first day Josh and I hung out, he taught me how to play guitar and got me hooked on the Beatles. Fifteen years and thousands (millions?) of laughs later, he still remains my hetero life-mate. To this day, you KNOW I think you're cool if I introduce you to Josh. (I call this “passing the Josh test”.) We've been though a lot together over the years. We lived together for a while, which was pretty cool. I puked in his car once. We've played long games of Egyptian Ratscrew and short games of chess. (We're talking 4 MOVES short here, people. Needless to say, I don't like playing chess with him any more.) We've had heated discussions about religion or politics that quickly dissolved into giggling over random quotations from Blazing Saddles. He's fought more than his fair share of demons and has won every battle. He's a true gentleman and one hell of a bass player. He truly is awesome.
FUN FACT: I think Josh only taught me three songs on the guitar before I took the lessons into my own hands. The first song he taught me was "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles. I still have the piece of paper he wrote the chords on.
They say you never forget your first, and Betsey is no exception. We met online back in 2002, but we didn't actually meet in real life until July 4th, 2003. We watched the fireworks, then I snuck into her room and we made some fireworks of our own. She started visiting me at my parents' house after that. She took care of me one night after I had been very sick all day. I remember coming back from the bathroom, lying down on the couch, and resting my head in her lap. She said that this was the first time she realized she loved me. After a few months of having a long-distance relationship, we decided to move in together. We lived in a little camper up on the hill. We didn't have anything, but it didn't matter. We had each other. Things didn't last because we had problems with communication like most young couples do. We broke up and went six and a half years before we talked to each other again. She found me on Facebook earlier this year, and it felt like old times again, but BETTER. I even got to do something I had wanted to do all those years ago: I asked her to marry me. She said yes!
FUN FACT: In the fifteen years that Josh and I have known each other, we have only had girlfriends at the same time twice: seven years ago and the present day. Betsey was my girlfriend both times.
I remember when I first met Brittney online a few years ago. She was the stereotypical grungy 16-year-old who liked to get drunk all the time. We used to have these long-ass phone conversations about philosophy and music and stuff like that. It was like she gave me the intellectual stimulation I needed at the time. I lost contact with her for a while, and when I found her again, she was a whole new person. She cut her hair really short. (She's still cute, though!) She had given up drinking to excess and become more focused on the future. She flew through her college classes, found a place of her own, and became the smart, funny, and happy person I always knew she could be. She helps me stay positive and focused. Every time I say that I'm feeling down and discouraged, she tells me I'm a FUCKING TIGER!!! She's the only person on this list that I haven't actually met in real life. I'm trying my best to get her more integrated into the gang, and it seems to be working.
FUN FACT: Brittney actually hitchhiked from Ohio to California and back a few years ago. That automatically makes her a badass in my book. Now, if she could only get over her fear of West Virginia...
Not many friendships start with cookie dough, but my friendship with Alberta did. I put an extra scoop of it in her Frosty one day at work, and we started talking after that. We never got to the dating phase, but she was my Valentine that year. She was another friend that I lost contact with for a while. (Gotta love second chances!) Her reappearance this year indirectly got me out of a year and a half of Hell. We actually dated for a little while after this, but it didn't last. I guess she didn't feel as strongly for me as I did for her. Even though it was hard at first, we remained good friends. (We kinda had to, because we both work at the same place now.) She's had a long streak of bad luck with guys, but she's finally found a really awesome guy that will treat her right. Who, you may ask? Well, let's just say she passed the Josh test with flying colors.
FUN FACT: I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think her favorite food is mayonnaise. She eats it on everything: chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fries, pizza...
Each person in my little group has something special to offer: Josh is the brains of the operation, Betsey is the motherly instinct, Brittney is the voice of reason, and Alberta is the sense of wide-eyed wonder. I'm not sure what I bring to the table. I like to think of myself as the glue, the catalyst, the one person that brings everyone together. (I might be overstating things, though.) I can only imagine the day the five of us will actually be together at the same time and place. It will be the happiest day of my life.