I was tagged, y'all!

I was flattered when the clever and very charming Harmzie tagged me for Wellington Road's first meme. But it sure wasn’t as easy as I hoped.

Here are the rules:
•Open your first photo folder.
•Scroll down to the 10th photo. Or, you know, just pick a photo.
•Post that photo and story on your blog.
•Tag five (or more) friends to do the same.

After college, I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I worked for a restaurant company. After a couple of years, I was transferred to Chicago’s northern suburbs, to open a new store. This photo (it really is the 10th photo in my first photo folder) was taken around the time the store opened. Not long after, I had an epiphany, and I quit restaurant work.

Aren't they enthusiastic? Except for Amy, who looks absolutely terrified.

Those six months in the suburbs weren’t a total loss. I got to move to Chicagoland, and I hired and trained lots of people. And two of them, Mike (above, on the right) and Amy (above, second from left), became my best friends.

One day, while I was still doing time in the suburbs, Mike and I made plans to go into the city. We were going to get tattoos. But I chickened out. So I left a message on Mike’s answering machine. About tattoos. But, oops, I forgot Mike was still living with his parents. And I guess they weren't too happy to find out about his tattoo, on the answering machine (yeah, Mike wasn't a chicken).

I had big city dreams. I was so eager to get out of the suburbs, and I think maybe Mike was eager to get out of his parents’ house. He forgave me for getting him in trouble, and we found a small flat in the city. We turned into flatmates. Mike was like a combination of Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen (okay, he was more like Tim Allen). And he had nice friends.

After a while, Mike got a Golden Retriever puppy. Who doesn't love a puppy! And he got me hooked on Star Trek: The Next Generation. And years later, when Mike got married, his wedding was really fun. I went to his bachelor party in Vegas, baby! And I got to be a bridesmaid. I loved my dress, and we ate great food, and he even let me bring Amy as my date. And I think his parents were totally over the tattoo. Sort of.

A few years after the wedding, in my bridesmaid's dress. Believe me, by San Francisco standards, I was not that weird. Really.

Amy moved into the city just after I did. In our early twenties, we spent quite a few nights on the town. We were always looking for a better, hipper place than the last one. And for some reason, we were always on foot. I guess we had not heard about taxis. Sometimes we spent more time walking around than actually being anywhere.

Amy had worked in retail, and she was able to find couture on the sale rack. And she would share her favourite and best clothes with me. She would say, it looks better on you anyway. She always asked questions that made me feel knowledgeable and cool. We double-dated, um, more than once. And she was maternal and domestic and a bit Martha Stewart. Like when I called in, she would polish my silver jewellery for me. And to unwind after work, she would clean house. No wonder her place was always so tidy.

When I moved across the country, Amy realized that it was the end of a chapter. She dropped everything to help me drive my car to San Francisco. She was the Thelma to my Louise.

Thelma and Louise, on their road trip to San Francisco

Over the years, I have kept in touch with Mike and Amy. But I still miss them. These photos makes me want to, you know, turn back time. Because if you live in Chicago, San Francisco and Wellington are pretty much the same damn thing.

Tag! You're it.
Feel free to ignore me if you don’t want to play along. If I didn’t tag you, and you want to tell a story, go on. Don’t be shy.

Christina from Musings of an Amerikiwi. She takes beautiful photos. And Christina's was the first expat in NZ blog that I found. I lurked, and then a few years later, I found out that she went to high school with my cousin. It really is a small world!

Sarah from Chez Lee. She has so many good ideas. And I know she has some great photos.

And the other Sarah, from Secret World of a Housewife, because she makes me want to seize the day.

Aliceson from Feet Off the Table, because she is awesome and insightful.

Darsden from Ramblings About Why. She might have some funny for us. No pressure!


darsden said...

OMGosh I have been tagged..Oh MY I will have to see what I can come up with... I mean pick that 10th one..LOL

I enjoyed your meme, love the visit of your friends but sad that you no longer are around them. It does happen life does change. But, I am like you I tried my best to keep up with all my old friends... and it's wonderful to reflect on all the great times we had. Also, reflect on the life changes and experiences good and bad. It makes us who we are.

Excellent post, thank you for sharing :-)

Unknown said...

Golly! I love being tagged!! Let's hope my 10th photo isn't naughty??!!Actually, it won't be..anyway, rambling now. Thank you for tagging me - I shall go and look at my photos immediately! Sarah x

From AA to NZ said...

Great post.
Blog on ... but maybe not in that dress.

harmzie said...

Wonderful story. Wonderful. I love how every picture tells a story!

Aliceson said...

I love these easy photo tags. Much more fun than coming up with 10 of x,y or z. Thank you!

I love that you were able to wear your bridesmaid dress again. My BFF (I've never been a bridesmaid) has a closetful that will never see the light of day ever again, which for some of them, is a good thing.

Christina said...

Oooh, this is right up my alley. It'll break my blog dry spell too... Really enjoyed your story. Finding friends like that is a rare thing. (Thanks for the photo compliment by the way :)

Anonymous said...

The fluidity of your writing is lovely , insightful and soothing. It is a treat for me to read-a piece of dark chocolate as a healthy and relished treat. Thank You!

Anonymous said...

I've read this post of yours before, and I am reading it again now and I'm standing in my kitchen, crying. I miss you so much, Jules.