Do you have a group of friends that you know you’ll be in touch with forever?
I hope you do.
My group of friends are based in Dallas. We met each other when we worked at Borders Bookstore (#418) at Coit and Arapaho in Richardson, Texas.
I started working there in July 2005. It was my second job, the first being directly before that at a Subway in Richardson. I worked at that Borders location as well as three others throughout college and my first year of grad school. I started as a cashier, then I worked as a trainer (supervisor), then inventory processing. I did a little bit of everything, including cafe. I closed one store (418) and opened another years later (246).
I worked with many people over the years. Some experiences were good, some were not so good. I went to Walt Disney World with three folks I met through Borders in the summer of 2007 – we had a blast. One of my best friends I made through Borders died suddenly around Christmas 2007 – she suffered a brain aneurism while at work and never recovered. I remember the co-worker I had a massive crush on (he was such an asshole in retrospect). I recall some of the odder customers, like this one guy named Terry who was very friendly but it took a while for me to warm up to him. I even wrote in to The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson about one customer who worked for Papa Johns. I was convinced he had a crush on me. I asked Craig something like “What should you do if a creepy guy likes you?” and I think he said “Marry him.” I wrote about it on MySpace at the time.
I never had a steady job before. My therapist had given me instructions to go out, hit the pavement, and get a job. I did. I went to a Subway and was basically hired on the spot. Two weeks later, I interviewed and was hired at Borders. I worked at two Borders locations one summer. After 418 closed, I went to 90 (Park and Preston), then I transferred to 32 (Royal and Preston), then I opened 246 (Watters Creek in Allen). I left because, among other things, I was getting to the point that I needed to choose either climbing a ladder at Borders or pursuing my dreams with grad school and beyond. Fortunately, my family was able to help my float by during the second year of my master’s degree.
Borders 418 connected me with the most amazing people that I am so fortunate to still call my friends today. I genuinely love them. I know that they have my back and I have theirs. We are like family.
I am so grateful to still have them in my life. At the center of this community are Siobhan and Sam. They met at Borders and later married (this is not the only coupling to happen from 418). These two open their home every holiday season for a potluck that also serves as a mini-reunion, especially for those of us (well, me) who don’t live in the area anymore. They are such gracious individuals and I am glad to count myself as part of their circle.
I have a few other circles of friends – my OU graduate school cohort and buddies, my study abroad to Africa sisters and brother, my Oklahoma comic book night peeps, etc. Hell, I sent around 75 holiday cards this year alone.
This introvert may not be the most social person, but trust me when I say that I treasure the friendships I have.