Pizza, Skunks and Big Ideas

We promised that this blog would celebrate friendship in all its forms. And so, Ariane and I thought we would start by sharing our own story. Why? The first reason is that it was the most obvious place to start and also the easiest since we could interview and edit ourselves! Haha! The other reason is that our story is not particularly extravagant or unique - it does show however that everyone has something to share.  Finally, we hope that this post further reinforces the notion that you can make friends in sooooo many ways - including at work.

So get out there, meet new people, make friends! We’ll be right there with you.

***This is also the perfect timing in our text for a gratuitous plug for our next event… where you can make friends! Tea and Knitting is coming up and we’d love for you to join us. There are only 12 spots available - 5 of which are taken already. Don’t miss out!***  

Also, last note before you can stalk us from the comfort of your screen (no judgement, we love to do so ourselves!): We’d love to share your experience next. Celebrate a relationship you cherish. Leave us a comment below and we’ll be in touch! Friends since elementary school or a new book club pal, it all contributes to the beauty of what we celebrate: friendship.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy. 

How did you meet?

L-A: Ariane and I both work at the Communications Directorate of the University of Ottawa. Ariane is a Graphic Designer and I am a Communications Advisor.

A: Yep! At work. 

How long have you known each other?

L-A: We met in April 2014, when I started working at the Communications Directorate. 

A: Almost 3 years…. It feels like much longer!

What is the first thing you remember about this person? 

L-A: I don’t exactly remember the first time I met Ariane, and even less so when we became friends. That being said, I do remember her before we were friends. She shared an office with the administrative assistant for our unit. I would frequently enter their office for professionnal reasons, but I would also regularly stop by for my daily salutation. Every time, I had a story to share (as per usual!) and I could very well see that Ariane listened to what I was saying, but she never said anything. So I would leave… 

Eventually, our shyness dissipated somewhat and we spoke to each other. I don’t exactly remember. Maybe Ariane will remember… 

A: It was a Friday, end of day, and I was talking with two colleagues before leaving for the week-end. Leslie-Anne had started working with us not long before and she entered the office we were seated in, full of energy, and entered in our conversation. She was so full of life and not at all shy. I remember she wanted to know who in our office was single because she thought she was an excellent matchmaker! Despite this encounter, it took a while for us to become friends. Maybe if I had spoken earlier rather than just listen to her stories, we would have become friends sooner. 

What was your first impression of the other person?

L-A: Every time I left their office, I told myself that I knew she was listening (it didn’t bother me at all… I have a tendency to favorably welcome any audience I can get!) and I thought she looked very kind. 

Also, we worked on common projects. My projects would often come on short notice and Ariane was assigned to do the work. Everybody loved Ariane’s designs. This made my life much easier at work. And so, already, I loved Ariane!

So - first impression: kind, a little shy, and very talented. 

A: In addition to my first memory of Leslie-Anne, I also remember a lunch hour where Leslie-Anne, other colleagues and myself were seated in the conference room. She had talked the entire time and she had asked a million questions to everybody. I was very intrigued by this little woman full of energy. 

First impression: Not at all shy, definitely talkative and very hard worker. 

What is the other person’s biggest quirk? 

L-A: Ariane is very undecisive until she becomes VERY decisive. It all depends on the question. 

A: Leslie-Anne always laughs at her own jokes. She laughs A LOT at her own jokes! Hahahaha! It is quite funny when it happens.

Fondest memory with the other person? 

L-A: We were talking about this earlier in the car today. In fact, it’s quite fantastic - we have many memorable moments together. I wouldn’t know where to begin if I were to choose one above all the others. I immediately think of carpooling and the many hours we spoke of a million things, shopping sprees for vintage dishware, intense laughs, preparing my 30th birthday party last spring. Wow! There are really many to choose from. 

A: There are many. Overtime at work where we ended up ordering pizza, our random Red Lobster date to eat garlic shrimp and their biscuits (don’t judge!), the many times we laughed to tears in the car, our vintage dishware shopping sprees. I agree. There are many. 

If you had to describe the other person in one word what would it be? Why? 

L-A: This is a tough one. Many adjectives come to mind. I think I will have to go with “delightful”. Ariane’s simplicity, presence and talent make her a delight to be around. I always look forward to it. No matter our respective moods, it always just works. That’s something I immensely appreciate. 

A: I would describe Leslie-Anne as being “bold”. When she wants something, she goes to get it. When she has a project, she’s all in. I do not know anybody who has more ambition than she does. She is very impressive and a source of inspiration for me. 

If you had to describe your friendship in one word, what would it be?  Why? 

L-A: Definitely simple. We like each other’s company. There’s no expectations or unsaid messages. We are friends. That’s all. I love it. 

A: I don’t like answering questions with only one word. It is too difficult and I am too undecisive. Let’s compromise and go for 2 words: “not complicated”. I hate drama - unless it’s in Gilmore Girls - so I appreciate that my friendship with Leslie-Anne is so relaxed despite our many projects together. 

Do you have an activity in common? If so, what is it? 

L-A: For starters, we carpool to and from work every day!  Also, we launched Deux à Deux together last year. These two things create a lot of commonalities! 

A: A lot of time in the car: carpooling, dish delivery, shopping sprees. Time in the car always causes us to have great conversation.

Were you always close? If not, what was the catalyst for your friendship? 

L-A: We were definitely not always close. In fact for the first year and half, we only occasionally spoke despite working in the same unit. 

We became closer when our colleague and my right (and left) arm at work, Christine, left on maternity leave. Ariane was my new set of arms. We spent much more time together from then on. Our strictly work conversations eventually took a life of their own when I started house hunting with my husband. Ariane’s dad is a real estate agent and Ariane LOVES to house hunt. This became the basis of our conversations and the rest is history! 

A: No. When Leslie-Anne started working in my unit at the University, we didn’t really talk. We became friends when I replaced a colleague who worked closely with Leslie-Anne during her maternity leave. It wasn’t too long that our meetings became longer to discuss random little things.

AH! I had forgotten about the house hunting episode. Definitely house hunting. In fact, I take a bit of credit for Leslie-Anne and Brent’s castle. 

What did the last text message from the other person on your phone say?

L-A: Easy! One of us wrote: "7:50?” to which the other responded “ok!”. That’s the life of carpoolers! haha! 

A: Yep, and to think we used to leave at 7:15. I rubbed off on you way too much.

Are you hugging or no hugging friends? 

L-A: Definitely no hugging. I bet the few times we did hug I looked really awkward. 

A: No hugging. I feel like we never hugged. Did we ever hug?

How many pictures of each other do you have on your cell phones?

L-A: Probably a few. But not that many. We take a lot of pictures for Deux à Deux but not of ourselves. 

A: Hmmm… not that many. Only the fancy one from our Deux à Deux photoshoot. We tend to take pictures of dishes - many pictures of dishes. 

What makes your friendship work? 

L-A: Ariane understands my brain and when we are together nothing is complicated. So we just go with it. If we don’t agree with each other, we shrug our shoulders and say we don’t agree and move on to the next topic. 

A: We don’t complicate things. We have many projects. We understand each other.

When did you realize you were friends? 

L-A: It took a long time! I knew we were “work” friends but with my friend issues and everything, I didn’t know if the mutual appreciation extended beyond the scope of work. When Ariane stayed late with me at the office and we decided to have pizza together, I knew our friendship was cemented forever! 

A: I never really stopped to think about it but I guess that I realized we were really friends when Leslie-Anne was frequently offering rides back home with her and her husband despite that it was a really long detour! Thanks Brent! 

Did you ever stop to think whether or not you were friends? When? 

L-A: At first, I was so scared of developing a one-sided friendship that I constantly questioned our friendship - not because there was anything wrong but because I didn’t want to be disappointed. And then, when it became clear we were friends, I never questioned again. It’s just a given. 

A: No, not really. It just happened that way.

What makes you believe you are friends?

L-A: Everything. We share moments of laughter, silence, frustration. If we haven’t spoken in a while (yes - that happens on occasion due to vacations and all!), we just pick up where we left off. 

A: I always feel kind of excited to finish my day’s work to get in the car and talk, laugh or complain. Also, moments of silence aren’t awkward anymore which is the true sign of a good friendship.

Do you ever doubt about your friendship? Why? 

L-A: Nope! I did all the doubting before we were even friends. 

A: No.

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done together? 

L-A: Crazy? Launch a business and buy a few thousand dollars worth of inventory in less than 3 months. Crazy enough? 

We have been known to have occasional outings at McDonald’s or Red Lobster… what?!? Those biscuits are to-die for. 

A: Start a business in a few hours, buy A LOT of vintage dishes, register for 2 wedding shows...all this in a few months. I think that’s a little crazy.

If you could wish one thing for your friend, what would you wish? 

L-A: That she could live off of her freelance work and get to express herself in whatever form she wanted. 

A: For her to conquer the world and live in a castle by the water. 

What is your friend’s best quality? 

L-A: Her creative drive. There is never a dull moment in Ariane’s life. She fuels it with many interests - whether it be in her Hallowe’en costumes, classes she takes, calligraphy she learns, freelancing.

A: Her passion for learning. Leslie-Anne has a wealth of knowledge and is always eager to learn more. I could’ve said her ambition again but I feel like I’ve covered that in my previous answers.

If you could undertake one project together, what would it be? 

L-A: If we could make our business huge one day, I have no doubt that we would go down that path together. No doubt. 

A: I think we already are and hopefully it grows into the amazing dream business we have in our minds.

If you could travel together to one location for a week - a) where would it be? b) would you survive the week? 

L-A: I think it would have to be a big city of some kind. That way, we could alternate between the types of activities to suit both of our preferences. I think we would definitely survive the week, though I am pretty sure we wouldn’t spend every waking moment together. 

A: Oh! It’s tough to choose. I think that we would go to New York. We would definitely survive the week because we would have a few breaks from each other in the morning and the evening. L-A would wake up much earlier than me and I would go to bed much later than Leslie-Anne! Haha!

Do you know what to do to make your friend angry? 

L-A: Not really though I know what makes her angry. I guess I could try… ???

A: Yep. Show up really late to a dinner party. HA!

Do you know what to do to make your friend laugh to tears? 

L-A: No, actually! Our funniest moments together have been completely random. 

A: There’s no specific thing. So many random things make us laugh to tears.

What is the strangest thing your friend has ever said to you? 

L-A: I am pretty sure Ariane will say that she finds it strange that I like the smell of skunk…but I don’t know if she’s ever said anything that I think is strange. After all, I am the queen of saying strange things so, by my standards, nothing she could say would be strange. 

A: She likes the smell of skunk. Ew. 

Generally, how do you feel about the concept of a best friend or BFF? 

L-A: I used to think that they were a necessity of life and that I was a loser for not having one. Now, I realize that I don’t need a “best friend” to have people I profoundly care about and who feel the same about me. I have made my peace. 

A: I am lucky to have a few friendships that go way back. However, I do think that the concept of a BFF is exaggerated, especially on TV. Who can really label someone as their best friends for all of their life? 

Quel est votre plus grand point de divergence?

L-A: Our religious beliefs are fundamentally different. As a pastor’s daughter, I grew up in churches whereas Ariane visits churches only for their architecture!

A: Excel. She loves it and I hate it. Our beliefs are quite different when it comes to religion as well but we just respect each other in that.

In what ways are you alike? 

L-A: We both overflow with ideas, a positive “why not?” attitude. So, when we are together, projects start happening and the next steps kind of just line up. 

A: We are both very positive and happy people. We are also big dreamers and idea machines. We don’t like to settle.

Tell me something few people know about your friend.

L-A: Ariane is someone who self-identifies as being shy, but she has an audacity and curiosity like no other. She has the courage to always try new things, to go to classes, workshops, information sessions on her own knowing that whe will know nobody in the room. 

A: Oh boy. Leslie-Anne has no secrets. Everyone knows she’s amazing. Hopefully she does too.

What is something you wish everybody knew about your friend?

L-A: That she’s the best. I am ready to tell anybody who will listen! 

A: That she is one of the most inspiring people I know. If you have a project, she will be your biggest cheerleader!