It all began 10 years ago. I was in a babysitting club at a gym near my hometown. While waiting for my mother to pick me up, I witnessed this kid with short hair, who looked my age. Without hesitating, I shortly went over to him to introduce myself and asked what his name was. "Alex," he responded.
Shortly, he told me he was moving to Robbinsville. A developing community located in Central Jersey, where I once called home. I'll never forget, after Alex said that, the excitement inside me rose. There was a house for sale in my neighborhood at the time. At that moment, I thought we would possibly be neighbors. We had a few short conversations after that. Momentarily, his brother came to pick him up. I then questioned his brother what part of the town they were migrating to. Unfortunately, it wasn't my neighborhood.
Three months later, school began. It was the start of fifth grade. I sat down at a lunch table with my friend Bryan. There he was, entering the cafeteria with a mutual friend. Despite meeting a few months prior, we introduced ourselves again. After that, I introduced Alex to my friend Bryan. And then, the friendship took off.
From our fun memories at Six Flags, the movies, each other's houses, to our unforgettable times at Montclair State University, in honor of his 20th birthday and almost a decade of friendship, here are my top favorite memories with Alex.
1. Attending a taping of "The Tonight Show"
In the 10 years, we have been friends, two places we never met at are the beach and the city. Finally, just a few weeks ago, we did something new. With a couple other friends, we met in the city and saw a taping of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." From the time we met outside Penn Station to when the show concluded and we had to vacate 30 Rock, there were no dull moments between us.
2. Going to Montclair State University
Although we might be on busy schedules and don't see each other as people might think we do, whenever we meet up at school, it's always a great time.
3. Our trips to Buffalo Wild Wings
What started as a father-son day with our friends eventually became a place where we would go to celebrate my birthday or as a last minute get together before him, I, and the rest of our friends head back to school
4. Riding roller coasters at Six Flags Great Adventure
Before I had a part-time job there, I was a season pass holder. So was Alex, along with the rest of our friends. Whether it was at hot summer day, sixth-grade field trip, or a weekend during Fright Fest, we never failed at getting our thrills up there. We even once rode The Great American Scream Machine(now the Green Lantern) six times in one day. Surprisingly, nobody got dizzy after doing that.
5. Our various trips to the movies
Although we haven't hung out at the movies together in a while, growing up, aside from Six Flags, this was one of our favorite places to hang out. The very first movie he and I saw together was Bolt at our friend Bryan's eleventh birthday party. Eventually, that lead to meeting up at the movies more and seeing many others.
6. Having sleepovers
We didn't have as many of these as you would think however, we did on certain occasions. Whether it was after a middle school dance, for somebody's birthday party, or just to hang out, whenever we had them, there was always great times and some competitive ones(aside from watching a movie or videos on Youtube, video games always served as the biggest entertainment source). Sadly, Mario Kart, Call of Duty, and Quake Live didn't keep us up all night as we hoped they would.
This was one of our more fancier dances considering, we actually had to dress fancy for it. It was also the only high school dance that each of us went to wearing blue (I was the only one wearing a different shade of the color).
For most people I graduated high school with, this was the hardest year of middle school. Despite the challenges, it brought one of the things everyone looked forward to, formal. A dance that is held at the end of the school year where all the eighth graders get dressed up and get ready to say goodbye to middle school as it usually falls a few days before graduation. For Alex and I, it was a special time since this was our first dance we got to hang out at with our entire friend group.
Both of us weren't planning on attending. And then we heard the news. He and I were nominated as kings of the court. So, after doing some thinking, our plans changed. What we thought wasn't going to be that great, turned out to be not so bad after all.
10. Going to Friendly's when we had half days in middle school
On a half day, when the bell rang and it was time to head home, middle schoolers flooded Friendly's. For many years, it became the hotspot for teens to meet their buddies for lunch, when they didn't have a full day of school. On a cold winter day in February 2010, it soon became our tradition. What started off as a place we met for lunch on a day off from school, became a place we would go and eat with the rest of our friends on the last day of school. From those moments spent laughing while waiting for our food, to the time one of our friends accidentally left his report card there, there is no doubt that Friendly's had an impact on us before Buffalo Wild Wings did.