top of page

Entry Date: 1-24-2022 - Friends are the best - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Today is the birthday of two old and dear friends. Ladies, I’m thinking of you today and I hope you are both well.

Mondays are my favorite days. They are the beginning of things. They represent something new and all the possibility of something new. I love this feeling. People often look at me like I am an odd person when I share my love of Mondays, but whatever. I think we can all gain a little perspective on what is important to us by examining our love or dread for certain days.

I don’t know that I really dread any particular day. Certain times of the week are tough, though. I usually have a brief period of lament on Sundays when I realize that the weekend is coming to an end, soon, but then I remember that I get to start all over the next day. So again, yay Monday.


I am trying to remember the first time I met Christina, who has a birthday today. I was in high school and probably met her at a party in Paradise Valley or at a show. Christina was something of a celebrity to us, in a way, because her mother was heavily involved in the music business here in town and had a few bands she was managing who were getting some national and international attention. Like everybody else, I thought this was cool, but I never wanted my friendship with Christina to be about that.

I’ve always tried to just treat people as people. Sure, what you do for a job or a talent you have may be super cool, but at the end of the day, we are all just trying to survive, love, be happy, and avoid bullshit. This philosophy has served me well and I’d like to think it was a reason why Christina and I always had a pretty genuine relationship.

Just after high school, I started spending more time with her as she was dating a friend of mine and our tribes were getting more and more intermingled. I began dating one of Christina’s best friends in 1989 and I’m not sure if she approved at first, or not. I remember this one moment at a party when my girlfriend’s ex was around and I made a not so nice comment in front of Christina and she said, “Now I know what the D on your hat stands for. Dick!” Then she walked away.

I just laughed, but that stuck with me for a long time. At some point I got a Detroit Tigers hat somewhere and wore it for years, even though I had zero allegiance to the Tigers. I always liked the D on the cap, though, especially after Christina showed me it’s true meaning. “D for dick” is something I said many times to people who were upset with me in those days as I would point to my hat.

When Christina met and eventually married Alex, we got even closer. Alex and I hit it off and we spent a lot of time together during their rather brief marriage. I will always feel grateful to Christina for that friendship and I’m also glad I was able to be there for both of them through some very tough times. While they didn’t last, I like to think that my friendship with each of them may have helped them get through their bitter divorce a little more peacefully.

Perhaps, as usual, I am giving myself too much credit. As I look back, it was bitter. Christina and I would have really long conversations that would frustrate us both. Me because she wanted to hear something I simply couldn’t tell her and her because of the same thing, probably. Not long after that situation, Christina’s brother Dana was killed in a really questionable car accident, and it was one of the toughest things I experienced in my young life. Dana was the first friend of mine who had lost their life in this type of accident, and it was hard. I hate what it did to their family and our family of friends. I miss him a lot and I know Christina does, too.

Over the years, Christina and I have not been as close as I would like, but I do think of her often.


It is also my friend Lydia’s birthday today. She was my boss at the non-profit I worked at for about a year, I think, in the early 2000s. I loved working for Lydia because she was a good boss, maybe the first really good boss I ever had other than my Aunt Julie up until that point. Lydia had a really interesting background, and she even was on a locally produced soap opera for awhile in Tucson. I thought, and still think, that is so cool.

During our time working together, she taught me a lot about the hiring process by including me in the interviews we were doing for new members of our team. I was a team leader, at the time, and she was instrumental in helping me take the next step in my own professional growth. She taught me that if you have a red flag with someone, even a tiny one, you can’t hire them.

That was a tough one, but I have held it close to my heart ever since. I remember a young lady who came in for an interview who seemed like a perfect fit for our team. Her energy was amazing, and she would have died for the kids, I’m sure. We were doing sexual violence prevention and I’d already been doing it for about four years, I think. I knew what kind of person could last in the job and she seemed like that person.

But there was a red flag and Lydia looked at me after the interview and we didn’t even have to really say anything. We were both a little heartbroken, but we knew we couldn’t hire her. In her enthusiasm, the young lady shared just a bit too much information, but it was the kind of information that we knew would not allow her to last long in the role. Somebody out there got a great employee, though, I am certain.

When Lydia announced she was leaving our agency, it was my turn to be heartbroken. I loved working for her, and we had become friends. She put up with my juvenile jokes, too. At some point, she disclosed to me two things I’m sure she regrets to this day. One was her fear of clowns and the other was her fear and revulsion for all things made of Styrofoam.

If I found a good clown picture anywhere, I would put it somewhere in her office, usually on the back of her office door since it was rarely shut. I would wait days, at times, for that shriek. It was always followed by a laugh and a “Tom!” We would do subtle things, too. Like when we had a drink that was in Styrofoam cup, we might say, “Lydia, can you hand me my drink?”

It’s the little things.

When Lydia left for her new job, we threw her a party. Our team, which was about 15 people at that point, wanted to make sure she knew that we loved her, so we got her a cake. What most of the team didn’t know is that there were two cakes. A real one and one that was made of Styrofoam that I frosted and decorated nicely. When the big moment arrived, we asked Lydia to say a few words and cut her cake. The speech was wonderful, and we were all moved. Then her nightmare began.

If you’ve ever tried to cut Styrofoam with a relatively dull knife, you know what she experienced. If you have a crippling fear of touching Styrofoam, it makes it even worse. I’m pretty sure she thought about smearing frosting across my face that day and not in a nice way. I’m glad we can still laugh about it now, though, and again, I hope Lydia or Lyd Vicious as I once put on a guest list, is having a wonderful day.

See you tomorrow.

24 views0 comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page