One of the toughest things about starting a new job is making new friends. This was never easy for me to begin with, and adding a new job to the mix always ramped up the stress factor.
The one time I didn’t have an issue making new friends at a new job was when I joined Video To Go. From day one at VTG I felt like I had a friend, and her name was Ali. Well, her name is Alexis, but everyone called her Ali. One time I accidentally called her Alex, and it did not go well for me.
Anyways, since today is her birthday, I thought this was the right time to tell you more about my best buddy from my Video To Go days.
Ali was the first person at VTG that made me feel welcome. As she taught me how to close the store, she was the only co-worker who asked stuff about myself, about my family, what I liked, where I went to school, stuff like that.
It was nice to have someone actually seem interested in my hobbies and what not. Within a couple of days we were chatting online after work, before work, you name it. Sometimes we’d talk into the wee hours of the morning discussing movies, awards shows, and our beloved Red Sox.
Although Ali and I became fast work friends, it took a little while before she started hanging out with my friends and me. I could understand that, after all, we are pretty scary. But before you knew it, she was part of our Tuesday $5 Night Club. She would also occasionally join us for dollar pizza night at a place called Hajjars near VTG. This was also the place where we witnessed some terrible karaoke from some of our customers and even our fellow Video To Go co-workers.
Over the course of the next several years, many key moments in my life included Ali. There were some funny moments too. I still remember being on the phone with her when Janet Jackson flashed her boob during the Super Bowl halftime show.
I remember the wardrobe malfunction moment well, because all I could say on the phone was “Boobs, boobs.” I must have sounded like a complete idiot, and of course Ali didn’t understand what the heck I was rambling about.
I also remember the night I was working when she called me from her brother’s house and said “Duuuude, Madonna just totally made out with Britney Spears! It was awesome…” and then she snorted and laughed. I later found out why she sounded like she was out of it, and that explained a lot of things. Regardless, it was a funny call.
But perhaps my favorite moment came one Friday night when Ali was driving Laneit and me home. For some reason we started talking about the terrible 1987 Bill Cosby movie “Leonard Part 6.” Keep in mind this was back when everyone still thought Bill Cosby was a decent guy, so discussing his work was not unheard of. Anyways, as Laneit and I discussed the merits of “Leonard Part 6,” Ali said something along the lines of “I haven’t seen Part 6, or any of the other 5.” To say that Laneit and I were in tears from laughing, would be an understatement.
To say the least, Ali was one of the most important people in my life for a long time. She was a huge part of my twenties, and we saw each other through a bunch of stuff during those years. Starting in 2008, Ali and I hit a rough patch. I moved away from the Boston area, and we stopped talking for a number or reasons.
It took a long time, years in fact. But for about three years now, I’m happy to say Ali and I are friends again. I’m happy about that, because we do share a lot of history. A lot of stuff has changed since we first met way back in 2001, but I believe we’re both in good places now. So happy birthday Ali, and I hope you got the “Leonard Part 6” DVD I sent you.