In mid-December, we enjoyed a wonderful weekend visit from our dear, dear friends, Andrea and Andreas.  Yes, we mostly like them because their names match way worse than ours.

I’m kidding.  Andrea was my very first work mentor, way, way back when Ebay was the darling of the dot com boom and we were selling data centers full of million dollar babies.  I’m all about selling a few big, expensive things versus hundreds of little cheapies.  I just made it out when big hardware went out of fashion and was replaced by disposable paper plates.

Back in the day, I clicked with Andrea immediately.  Not only did we share the matchy-matchy name connection, but we also both had been named after our mothers.  Our lifetime friendship deal was sealed the day we discovered we had the same birthday.

When their kids were little, I babysat on occasion.  I established myself as the Queen of Orange Cows (also known as root beer floats with orange soda)… a trick at perpetual infamy I’d picked-up from my own babysitter.

One day three-year-old Maddy came to visit us at work.  I remember her big blue eyes and her Cindy Brady hair.  At some point, it was just the two of us in a sea of cubicles overlooking Great America Parkway.  She took one look at me and asked, “Do you have money?”

“Of course!  What’re you thinking?”

She takes me by the hand and leads me to the big vending machine in the break room.  “Lemon Heads, please.”

And a bond was forged forever.  I love reflecting back on twenty-something-me.  Did I think, “Hmmm, I should ask your mom?”  No.  Did I pause to consider whether little hard candies were a good idea?  Negative.  Did I regard her health, her teeth, whether to stall or redirect or talk her into a better choice?  Absolutely not.  If I’d been in food service I’d have been one of those server dingbats that loudly proclaims, “Who wants soda and dessert?” Then cluelessly misreads the parental dagger eyes and wonders why my tip is so low.

Today some college kid refilled Jacob’s “special drink” Shirley Temple without even asking.  Despite it being in his favor, even Jake proclaimed it “bad service.”  Winning.

One of my favorite Maddy stories is when I dropped some coins into the hot tub for her to dive down and retrieve… she loved swimming.  But she was so little she just floated to the top.  And no, I didn’t abide by her request when she told me to “Hold her down” so she could reach them.  Appears I had a thimble of common sense.

So anyway, the kids have grown-up and gone off to college and we enjoyed a lovely day and a half with Andrea and Andreas.  We had a late lunch in AG and then a feisty game of Connect Four and Battleship at the coffee shop.  Andrea and Jake both share a competitive streak and an intimidating game face.  Later that evening, we walked the Avila promenade and enjoyed a nice sunset dinner over wine and several rounds of hangman.  As an onlooker, I especially appreciated how far Nate got with the name “Bob,” and how long it took for him to recognize the answer when faced with __ A T E.

Over dinner we got to hear about Andreas’ job as Dean of Athletics at a Junior College on the Peninsula.  He told us about the various sports and curricula he overseas, including dance.  Knowing his esteemed background as a soccer coach and the fact that he’s at least 6’3″, I pressed him on dance.  So, “What kinds of dance?”

He lists them confidently… “Modern, creative, tap, jazz, ballet…”

And with impeccable timing and a poker face, Jake asks, “Line?”

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