Today is a special day. It is the birthday of a lady who means so much to me. She has been one of my best friends for 13 years (though we are separated by a short distance).
Tuuli and I met on the first day of Frosh week at Bishop’s University in 1998. Fate had randomly assigned us to a group called Love Gravy and we’ve been close ever since! I won’t share the details of Frosh Week, suffice to say that we bonded over some fun, games and adult beverages.
She and I had an instant connection somehow and I think that it boils down to the fact that we are very similar personalities. We can both be very introspective while still having the ability to jump out of our skin and partake in ridiculous activities with no shame or inhibition. For example, Tuuli is a talented, eloquent poet who also does a wicked BackStreet Boys impression in man-drag… see?
My early memories of Tuuli always include one of the same activities: The key toss. Tuuli and I lived in separate buildings on campus during our first year. She lived on the third floor in the largest residence in the middle of campus, whereas I lived further in behind the dining hall. Whenever we were going out I would always meet Tuuli at her room so we could go together. Without a key, I couldn’t get in the building, so I would yell up to Tuuli’s room and she would toss her key down to me. Always prepared, she would seal the key in an envelope so that it wouldn’t get lost in the grass.
By the next year, the key toss was no longer necessary as we had moved into a house off campus (16 College). We had both become a part of Alpha Phi and were holding down the fort (sometimes literally) in the official sorority house. The house was old, sometimes creepy and very pastel, but we made it work and lived happily there until graduation.
Tuuli is very selfless and giving, always knowing just what will cheer you up when you are down. She is responsible for finding and gifting me two books that I remember fondly from my childhood that I couldn’t find, but that she just happened to own. She was notorious for writing the most wonderful letters and finding inspirational words that she would pass along when you were in need.
The thing about Tuuli is this: She was up for anything. Whether it was a quiet movie night in, a night with the Mormons, singing ‘Stand By Me’ acapella during an open mic night at the Lion, Reverse Hallowe’en, Office Chair Olympics, coming up with dance routines or plotting revenge on a Fraternity for stealing all of our underwear* – Tuuli committed to it 100%. Even through a rough patch in our friendship (where simply communicating with eachother would have resolved everything), Tuuli committed 100% to everything that we attempted together and I appreciated every minute of it.
Today, Tuuli lives in the GTA and works as a successful PR professional. I am desperately trying to convince her that she needs to move to Ottawa so that we can continue the Reverse Hallowe’en tradition (actually so that I can be closer to one of my dearest friends and sisters).
To say that I love Tuuli is not enough. I value her friendship and feel lucky to have her as a part of my life. She is someone that I look up to and cherish. I wish her all the best things in life because she truly deserves them.
And to Tuuli: I can’t wait to see you again as you are like a breath of fresh air in my life and I always feel better when you are around. To my sister and my friend – Happy Birthday! I wish that I was there to have “just one drink” with you.
*This actually happened. Darn those fraternity boys and their antics! We got revenge by decorating the outside of their house with tampons and feminine products. :)