By Scott Hyatt
My best friend since college left New York City today. I know, friends come and go in every city, but New York City is different. Here, friends become family.
And it’s not like I can hop on a plane and go see my buddy over a weekend. He’s moving to Australia, which might as well be Mars. Since I typically make my weekend plans on Friday afternoon, I don’t see myself booking a cross-global flight to a country that is a future day ahead and a gazillion miles away.
But that’s not what is bothering me today. I’m disappointed because last month my best friend told me he is getting married and I won’t be his best man. The conversation went something like this.
ME: What do you mean I’m not the best man? We’ve been best friends since college. When you first moved to New York City, you crashed on my couch for three months. How can you give that away to another guy?
Wade: It’s not a competition. I shouldn’t have to choose between my two friends.
ME: So don’t get married.
Wade: (rolls eyes)
ME: Maybe you can have better men and I can be next to you. Does that work for you?
Wade: This isn’t a competition.
ME: Everything is a competition. Have you told him that he beat me out for the role?
Wade: (roll eyes) No. He doesn’t care enough about this. He is just happy for me that I am getting married.
ME: So if he doesn’t care about it, then let me be your best man. It means everything to me.
Wade: (roll eyes)
But here is the irony of this entire story and I promise you it is true. Two weeks ago, I was waiting for the elevator at work when I saw a guy who looked exactly like my best friend’s future best man. I hadn’t seen this guy in about a year, so I wasn’t exactly sure it was my nemesis.
I texted Wade from the elevator.
TEXT: I just ran into your best man on the elevator at work. I guess we work in the same building. Should I ask him if he started planning your bachelor party?
No response back from Wade.
Two days pass and guess who I run into again on my floor at work? The best man, but this time I introduced myself in a friendly, amiable way. He seemed nice and cordial. We both talked briefly about Wade and how we were going to miss him. I avoided the topic how he was already bestowed the title of best man. I didn’t want to make it uncomfortable for me.
ME: So I’m bummed Wade is moving away.
BEST MAN: blargh.. blah, argh.. blah.. whuawh.. blargh… whuawah..
ME: Yeah, I know what you mean. Do you work on this floor?
BEST MAN: Yes, I have an office against the wall, facing Park Avenue.
ME: Wait, I’m on this floor. I have a cubicle right outside the office facing Park.
And sure enough, he was right. I am now reminded every day where I fell short. The best man has a big corner office with a staff of people lined up against a wall with large windows. We both started our own businesses around the same time and it looks like he is winning at the moment.
I’m growing too. I just got a new assistant last week and guess where the property manager assigned her new cubicle? Right outside of the best man’s office. To the outsider, it looks like she is his assistant because she is literally the desk in front of his office. It’s like the Universe is telling me something, but I don’t quite know what it is yet.
I’m sure in time though, I will find out.