Forgive me, my readers, for this column is going to get a little sappy. You see, an end of an era happened last week, and it's going to take me a while to get over the fact that it's officially over.
But I feel this story is better explained from the beginning.
So let's start it off: June, 2004. That's when I was hired at the Tribune Chronicle. I quickly made very good friends - like my future roommate Jennifer and Amy, for whom I will be the maid of honor in her wedding in three months. And actually, I am a bridesmaid in Jen's wedding coming up next year. (For anyone doing a count, Jennifer's wedding will be No. 8 in my bridesmaid book.)
These two girls I consider two of my closest friends in the world, but I've always been one of those girls who has formed close friendships with guys.
Enter Joe Simon.
Joe started working in sports that following fall, and I'm not going to lie, I thought he was hot. I was always excited the nights he worked because I got to look at the cute guy in sports all night.
But it wasn't just that. We clicked. Instantly, he and I became best friends, and yes, while I still think he's cute, it shifted from a potential guy I could "like" to a guy that I was going to be friends with for the rest of my life.
Then, in 2006, I moved into the sports department and our friendship turned into one of the most sacred bonds anyone could have in this life - the work marriage.
The work marriage is a very common thing. Yes, you have your spouse or significant other at home. But at work, there is that one person that you eat lunch with everyday, you pick up after each other, you help each other out in more ways than any other coworker and generally you call/text each other numerous times a day. You all know who yours are. Well, that's Joey and me.
And as of last Friday, after four years of being coworkers, partners in crime and having the best work marriage ever, Joe has moved on from the Tribune Chronicle. And I'm without my Tribune other half.
I feel lost. I have no one to remind to do his time sheet (which he forgot to do every other week), no one to yell at for being late on a consistent basis (he'll be late to his own funeral) and no one to sing songs to me that drive me up the wall. But what I miss the most: dinner time.
Out of the four nights a week we worked together, every one of those nights we decided together where to eat. OK, he decided where we eat because I am the most indecisive person in the world. Monday is always Subway. Tuesday depends, but it's usually Subway or some other cheaper option. Friday is known as "Pasta Friday," and Saturday is whatever we are in the mood for, but pizza wins a lot.
My first night of work without him, it took me two hours to decide where to eat, and even when I drove there, I changed my mind. I almost called him so he could just tell me where to go. I didn't go that far, but he got a good laugh about it when I told him.
For my first week without my work hubby, I thought it went pretty well. I didn't cry nearly as much as I thought I would and I've sent only five sappy text messages with frown-y faces, which is way under the mark I predicted.
But truly, I'm fine. I'm over-the-moon happy for my male BFF as he takes on a new challenge in his professional life. Yes, I cried - heck, I'm crying right now. He's still around the area and I get to see him at least once a week, but the fact that he isn't sitting at the desk across from me anymore still brings a tear to my eye. He's also not here to yell "Unsub" every time it is said on "Criminal Minds." Which is a lot by the way.
Will he be replaced? Never. Can I find someone else to make my food decisions for me? Hopefully. Will he replace me at his new place of employment? He better not. I don't care if I'm not his work wife any more, I'll still kick his butt.