Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5-25-11 Last Lunch (and a retrospective)

Today Vicki and I met up, just the two of us, for our Last Lunch. Usually held on Tuesday, we'd pushed it back thanks to some other commitments yesterday. Neither one of us is touchy-feeling or given to showing a whole lot of emotion, so it was without a lot of fanfare and I'm sure it helps that we know we'll see each other again on Friday for her going away party.

Still, I'm losing my friend. We'll always be a phone call away, but there won't be another summer of garage sale Fridays. I won't be able to call her up and decide on good seats for a concert at the Paramount. No more Starbucks gifts. We can't share a pot of coffee and surprise one another with cinnamon bun Krispy Kremes on the rare morning we're both in the office. And there will be no more weekly Tori Tuesday lunches at Los Dos.

She's moving to Arizona this weekend, packing up and trucking it all with the family in tow and the hard reality of it is, we may never see each other again. Sure, there's always the possibility, but knowing how way leads on to way, it's not likely.

It's funny, in that sad-wistful-teary kind of way, that our paths ever crossed in the first place. But there we both were in the same office after each one of us had endured a million twists of fate and time and place to get us there. I was the new girl, the one who knew how to navigate academia very well, but didn't have the first clue about office politics in a small, family-run operation. I spent a lot of those early days feeling very alone. But Vicki was always kind, even when she didn't know if she could trust me yet. And when we ended up working together on what turned out to be an all-consuming project together, we discovered as different as we were, there was a real kinship there.

I am so very grateful that Vicki came into my life. And I am so very sad that she has to go. I will miss her terribly.

So we met up one last time -- I managed to beat her there, which only happens maybe 10% of the time. Whoever gets there second has to wander through the place looking for the other. Our waitress came by and said, "You want the guacamole, right?" because we're nothing if not predictable about our table-side guacamole. She knows to use the whole lime and leave out the onions, even though she asks us every time just to make sure we haven't changed our tastes in the past 7 days. She knew it was our last time, so she gamely helped us take pictures.

Vicki adds the pepper, like she always does. And then we can dive in.

And by the time the main course arrives, we're already half way through it.

We split an entrée, most of the time a smothered burrito, but today, the chili rellano plate. And we go through bowls of their very hot salsa together. (See? Need a refill!)

At checkout, she handed me a mint, like she always does. And we said our goodbyes and "see you Fridays" and that was that.

And digging through the archives, here we are at the Christmas party last year.

At IHOP for breakfast in October:

At the Melissa Etheridge concert:

(inside joke)

and Jill will never be the same.

Vicki took this one of me in the giant sombrero and avoided getting in it. Just for the record, I did not pay her back on her birthday.

Never forget: BIG BALLS.

And bucket-sized to-go cups . . .

Every time I carry the infamous beaded fish bag, I will remember our garage sale escapades.

And we will always have the '09 Christmas party at the Reinicke's house, site of the infamous wiener mobile Christmas swap. (And more Starbucks for me!)

Hanging out at Nancy's pool party August '09 with Sammi

And way back before we'd discovered Los Dos, El Senor Sol! 

Sadly, we never took any pictures at our original lunch spot of On the Border. Wow, how far we've come, huh?

I love you Vicki. I will miss you something awful. 


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