Now that Dave and I live somewhat like over-packed nomads, we’ve learned to become each other’s best friend. And while we do have a wonderful marriage, I don’t necessarily mean that in the Hallmark kind of way. I mean that we live in a new location every August, and the pals we left behind the previous Spring are now relegated to online relationships. When we’re lucky, we run into our friends from previous seasons again, and when we’re really lucky we get the pleasure of playing together in a new place. But generally, goodbye isn’t ‘see you later’, it’s more like ‘stay in touch if you can, you made this season what it was, it was nice knowing you.’
Another side effect of our lifestyle and the fact that we grew up a nation apart, is that we don’t always know the friends from each other’s past. We tell our stories and draw pictures of our younger selves, but nothing is really as telling as meeting a character from the tales of your spouse’s younger days.
This weekend Dave played in the All-Star Game, along with a friend of his from his Junior hockey days in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Mike plays in Münich and is a title character in many of the chapters of Dave’s younger life. Mike was a friend of Dave’s during his first year away from home, the first year he flexed the muscles of his independence and realize his tolerance for alcohol was not what his over-inflated 17-year old ego thought it would be. They rode the bus for hours together across middle America, sharing a seat and goodness knows what else.
Mike and Dave have both come many miles (the figurative and literal kind) in the past 8 years. But being with Mike, hearing his versions of the same stories Dave tells and listening to the continued cry of “I just can’t believe Dave’s MARRIED!” was like looking back through time. I can see why he was friends with Mike, that kid is a constant gag reel, and I can imagine the trouble those two could get up to without a wife’s watchful eye. Although, I’m not sure I was the best chaperone seeing as I led the charge for our night to last until 7a.m.
Here’s to Mike, and all the Mikes of our past, that helped make us who we are and can rejoin us along the journey without missing a beat.