Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't Step on this ode to Nichole

She's my best friend: and she asked for it, so she got it. This is a long one, so if you're bored at work, get ready. This post will be entirely dedicated to Nichole Roche (and it's not pronounced like you'd think from the title, it's a soft "C")
...however, when asked in the 4th grade how to say her last name correctly, she would quickly reply with a response that would prompt you to believe she was the descendent of some pastry, or famous chocolate: "for your information, it's pronounced roh-SHAY." She would even insert an accent above the "e" when she wrote her name. (She has since now ceased this habit).
Clearly, our parents both decided we should go through the dreaded "straight-across-the-forehead bang stage" simultaneously, maybe to soften the ridicule. I still don't know why they did this to us. And I still don't know why she's squinting so forcefully.

Anyways, if you don't personally know Nichole (a) it's your loss, but (b) there are some pretty funny memories I have of this girl. So let me start with a disclaimer here: Although many of the little anecdotes will ensue laughter at the expense of Nichole, she is my oldest friend (BFF for 20 years...sandbox love doesn't die, people.) And I can say with all honesty that she is the most genuine, honest, loyal, down to earth person/friend/human being that I have ever known in my entire 24 years on this planet. If you were stranded on a highway in the middle of nowhere, Nichole would be the one that would willingingly drag her ass out of bed at any hour to come get you, and probably swing by Wendy's on the way home to get you food. With that having been said, meet Nichole:

Nichole...thugging it out with Bogey

As far back as I can remember, besides golf, soccer, basketball, basically every single sport she has ever tried (and excelled in), Nichole's other main hobby in life was to find different ways to slowly torture and/or annoy me.

Exhibit A: She would play the "not touching game," where she would position herself on the arm of my chair, with her fingers waving in front of my face like tiny chinese torture devices...but I could do nothing because, as mentioned before, she was "not touching me." This would go on for what seemed like hours.

Exhibit B: When this did not sufficiently annoy me, she would physically slap me upside the head with the force of an Andy Roddick tennis serve, wait for a reaction (ANY reaction), smile the widest, most angelic grin you've ever seen, and with a hint of demonic playfulness in her high-pitched voice, claim: "What? I didn't do anything. WHAT?"

As you can see from this next photo, this "game"  permeated into other aspects of our childhood, and unfortunately the "slaps" were not restricted to the use of hands alone:

Here she is, literally caught in the act, winding up to smack me with her racquet. (and no, it's not a coincidence, she did hit me; I remember because I cried like a pansy for the better part of an hour--and it wasn't because I was dressed like that).

I'll tell you later (maybe) about how she's developed into an amazing woman (as I was writing this she called to tell me she finished her last exam and her first year of law school! WOO!) But first, my favorite memory of Nichole in childhood was this:

One fateful day we both frolicked in the ocean at the Breakers, only to soon realize that we were plagued with the WORST case of sea lice known to man. Our family's remedy was to just douse ourselves in calamine lotion and not scratch. However, Nichole had other remedies...

Nichole used to live down the street from me, so I decided that as a rational 8 year old, we should suffer together in an environment with tons of Disney movies. Well, imagine my surprise when I entered the Roche household, and all I could hear was Nichole's SCREAMING. I couldn't understand where it came from, then all of a sudden, the image before me was much like Christian Bale, flying through the air as Batman at the speed of light with that winged cape;

....Only this batman was ass-naked, covered in bug bites and calamine lotion, and was running through the hall with a towel behind her screaming at the top of her lungs. My remedy was calamine lotion (and to remain fully clothed); my best friend found that "cool air whooshing over her body" worked best for her. To each his own. That image will forever be burned in my head.

But those were the days when we were young and stupid...right? That was then, this is now:


This was at Halloween Horror Nights in 2008. It ended up being very chilly at night, and we knew when we entered Islands of Adventure at around 3 that we probably shouldn't go on any "wet" rides. At least, that's what the normal theme parkers did---even the stereotypical Asian tourists with the huge cameras and Disney ponchos didn't go on the flume/wet rides. But wait! who is that poor soul on the Popeye Barge ride....?

Yes. That is Nichole. all by herself. on the water ride. Call her silly, but we'll just call it a testament to her dedication to riding EVERY ride in Islands of Adventure since there were no lines.
I guess what you can say about Nichole is that she's a gal who sticks to her guns. Even against adversity. And even when you are, in fact, agreeing with her, and YOU, even, are actually sticking to HER guns, as well. Enter New Years 2008:
At Slainte, the pub she worked at/frequented while we were both in between college and grad school/law school.

Let me set the stage for you: It's New Years, Nichole, Lizzy and Jimmy (Nichole's parents) and I have set up shop at Slainte "Slahn-chuh" (which is "Cheers!" in Gaelic, for those who are uncultured) ...For the record, whenever Nichole pronounced the name of this pub I thought she was saying "Cilantro," so up until we actually entered the pub I assumed it was some kind of Spanish restaurant that specialized in dishes that featured cilantro.

Anywho, Nichole knows all of the bartenders so we continue to receive free drinks/shots/jagerbombs...etc. Somehow, at some point, Lizzy tells Nichole that she's leaving, I'm assuming it's around 1:30 (Lizzy can party). This brief conversation gets taken WAY out of proportion, which leaves Nichole bawling in my arms outside of Slainte at 2 AM repeating:

"I'm not f*cking  going home, Court! I'm not, I'm just not!"
Concerned, I try to calm her down "It's cool Nik, we'll just go to another bar"
Rationally, her response was: "NO! ffff*ck you Court, I'mm NOT goingg home"Again, I try to reason with Mrs. Captain Morgan: "I know, we're not going home, let's go to a different bar, really its going to be okay"
This conversation repeats itself for a good five minutes, with a couple 4-letter words I decided best to leave out.

At this point, there has been a creepy older man who has been trying to strike my fancy for the better part of the evening, and in an even creepier turn of events, this pervy middle-aged school teacher "shining white knight" decides to pull up in his Jetta and offer us a ride to the bar. Nichole, instantly taking him up on his offer, (since this is not creepy AT ALL), literally swan dives into his backseat and demands he take us to Cucina in Palm Beach. (Slainte is in Lake Worth, Cucina is about 20 min away on the the creepy math here, people). I can't let her get in alone, so I hop into the peterass wagon and we head to Cucina.
I know this wasn't the smartest thing either of us have ever done, but we're both still here so let's not dwell on my poor judgment. Luckily I was a little inebriated, because I have no idea what we talked about for 20 minutes in transit, but apparently he deemed Nichole "a real pain in the ass." (how rude.)

...In the end, we made it to Cucina, and then to Bradley's. and then back to Nichole's at around 6 AM. An eventful and successful New Years'.

It has become a common habit of my buddy for life to weep when she gets a little saucy, and I've come to embrace the messages left on my voicemail at 3 am, usually from the floor of bar bathroom from the bottom of her heart. Maybe she needs advice, or just a distraction from vomiting. Either way it makes me happy I'm on her mind.

I could go on for pages and pages about this girl. But if you take one look in my house, you will notice that Lisa actually loves Nichole more than she loves me. No really, there are more pictures of Nichole in some rooms than myself (which is hard to believe if you know my mother). Nichole has always had my back, and to prove this statement she has literally threatened every boyfriend I've had in one way or another (even the 225 wide receiver from Kent). For all intents and purposes, she is more like my sistah from another mistah than a best friend, because I think it's more meaningful that way.
"Rufus, Brint, and Meekus were like brothers to me. And when I say brother, I don't mean, like, an actual brother, but I mean it like the way black people use it. Which is more meaningful I think." Zoolander anyone? (Movie Mondays for you...oops. there it is.)

Nik, you know I could go on for hours about you, but unfortunately, I think after page 10 people might stop reading. but here is your dedication, and I love you. And here is the final picture to prove it:

Nichole = EPIC, in so many ways. I'm proud to be your friend.

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