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À la Prochaine (To the Boys of This Summer)

August 25, 2012

Saturday, August 18th, 2012 4:35pm

My darling boys,

For the longest time, I have been thinking over what I would write to you guys in this letter. I think about it when I’m walking on the street, when I’m in the shower, when I’m studying, when I’m walking home from frisbee… well you get the point – I think about it a lot. When I was still stuck in summer school and my last day at frisbee seemed oh-so-far away, I was very excited for the day when I could finally sit down and write this letter. But even though summer school ended days ago and my last day at frisbee is fast approaching, I found that I was very hesitant to write this letter. “But why?” I asked myself.

Now you see, this was a very big problem because writing letters always came naturally to me. I write letters and send 2000 word emails all the time – why was this so hard? And then it hit me. It was so hard to write because I didn’t want to accept that this would be the last frisbee game of the summer for me; it was so hard to write because I didn’t want things to change; but mostly, it was so hard because I didn’t want to say goodbye to you wonderful boys.

But anyway, here goes.

To start of, I would have to say that I have come to dread goodbyes very much because of the frequent traveling I do between school and home. I am the worst when it comes down to saying goodbyes. Hard to imagine when this is a 2000+ word goodbye letter isn’t it? But trust me, I become all awkward and squirmy. I distance myself from the person/persons and play it off like it’s nothing. But really, it’s killing me inside to say goodbye, especially when I know that I will not be seeing the person/persons for a while. Sometimes, I even try to distract the person/persons from the goodbye itself. Once, I caught myself doing this. I consciously knew that I was just talking…and talking… and talking… as I was inching closer… and closer… towards the door. But the person I was talking to must have caught on to this because we ended up doing the usual goodbye thing, which made me feel quite awkward.

I cannot possibly begin to make you understand what you boys mean to me. I love each and every single one of you – maybe some more than others, but nonetheless, I love all of you. If it was possible, I would rip out my heart just to show you guys how much it must be throbbing at the thought of leaving you all. You see, I’d have to say that so far, this has been my hardest year yet. I went through so many changes, all in such a short period of time. This may sound very weird but I was constantly questioning my place in the world. I didn’t know who I was nor who I was becoming. I kept wondering whether I was actually the little 12 year old girl that you guys encounter oh-so-often, or the bitter 90-year old who is neurotic and critical of everyone and everything. I was rapidly sifting through my friends, removing all the ones who didn’t care about me from my address book and even worse, from my life. Soon, I had only five people in my life who I considered as my friends; everyone else were strangers to me. I receded into the background and removed myself from everyday life – no more Facebook, no more Twitter, no more Youtube, etc. But even though some of that did make me a lot happier, like taking myself out of social networking, some of that also made me extremely unhappy. I went from one extreme of being that flamboyant, outgoing, outspoken 12 year-old girl who many of you remember from high school to another extreme of that 90-year old self I mentioned earlier. In other words, I had become too serious. So serious that in fact, I had lost one truly valuable friendship over it. So in other words, you could say that earlier this year, I was suffering a major existential crisis.

But as the days went by, I got better and better, and slowly began to come out of it. I bet some of you think that it’s hard to believe any of this happened to me. But I think that many people perceive me as this carefree girl who day dreams all the time, who is always happy-go-lucky, who has a bajillion friends, and is never shy. But it is wrong to perceive me in that way. Yes, I do daydream a lot, and yes, I am happy-go-lucky quite often. Yes, even though I don’t have a bajillion friends, I do have a bajillion acquaintances, and yes, though I did speak in front of a thousand people regularly, I do get very shy. So just like everyone else has insecurities of their own, I do as well.

Anyway, like I was saying, the whole existential crisis was getting better… but I needed someone or something to heave me over the last hurdle, and that’s where you guys come in. You guys were just what I needed.

You’ve shown so much more than I could have ever hoped for. You guys welcomed me with open arms, made me laugh until I rolled over crying, and for once, made me feel like I really belonged. Even though you guys constantly made fun of me, I never felt so loved by a group in my life. You guys are so special: from JT who is more outgoing than I could have ever imagined and is the best frisbee teacher to MT who is the most caring boy I have ever met (and my number one blog reader); from GL who I secretly think could have been my best friend if had I stayed in Toronto (and whose giggles from that day at Snakes & Lattes I couldn’t get out of my head) to RS who is the most principled person I know; from DC, the boy who made fun of my non-existent frisbee skills the most (but who made me laugh at my own failings) to DX, the boy who could effortlessly throw a disk across the field and make me run after him, just so I could catch a glimpse of that smirk on camera; from ST, the boy whose beautiful smile I could never get out of my head (and who I loved for always tricking me into thinking that he was always on my team) to ZW, the boy I loved and always will love; the boy who spent endless hours on the phone with me through the years, listening to me go on and on about something; the boy who fell asleep on the phone once when I was talking to him; the boy who is just so fun-loving; and lastly, AV, the boy who was so friendly and joyful, right from the very first day I met him; all of you guys make me smile brighter than I ever could have.

With each week of frisbee that passed by, sadness began to overwhelm me. Though I am usually very excited to go back to school around this time of year, it makes me incredibly sad to think that I am leaving you guys and frisbee behind. What’s even more sad is the thought that I could have spent four more years with some of you guys in high school (or six more years with some of you with whom I went to middle school). You must understand that frisbee was what got me going through school. I always looked forward to fridays as though it was a reward for the boring/hard week I had had and I would pray with all of my might that it would not rain on fridays. Needless to say, I would check the weather network everyday – that’s how much frisbee meant to me. Also, I would gush about you boys to everyone I would encounter. Just ask SY (my bffl), she knows every last detail about what goes on on friday nights.

I know some of you have problems with the ladies, but I want each of you to be rest assured that whoever ends up snagging you up will be the among the luckiest girls in the world. Truth be told, I already feel like one of the luckiest girls in the world (the other lucky girl being AZ) for having encountered you guys! Even I, the “supposed writer”, cannot put into words how great you guys are and how much I love you guys. You guys have truly shown me that not all boys are terrible. You guys will be/are great boyfriends, husbands, fathers, and grandpapas; I am sure of it!

I am extremely grateful for your welcoming me into this group, for making me laugh (often times, at my own expense), for being the wonderful boys you are, for giving AZ and me something to gush about at the gym, for your patience, for your friendships, and for your love and acceptance. Thank you for making AZ and me feel like we are the only girls in the world (cue Rihanna). I have been going on and on about how much of an impact you guys have had on me; I can only hope that I added some entertainment to your lives.

From the first time when DC proposed the “Ta-Tied rule” (where the game would automatically be tied if I was involved in the play) to the time I got food poisoning after eating at House of Gourmet (on account of the mix-up with the whole vegetarian/non-Vegetarian dish); from the time we sang “Happy Birthday” to DC at the Korean restaurant to the time I yelled out “Spiderman!” when that musician was actually playing “The Flintstones” (and ST had to rush me across the street); from the time  when we played Crimes (**thanks GL for the edit) Cards Against Humanity at Snakes and Lattes to when we played Marco-Polo on the field (and JT punched me in the face); from the time when we played tag on the field (like little kids) to the time I tried to climb over the fence and you guys told me that I could do it (except for ZW who “jokingly” doubted me); I will never ever forget these memories… thanks to the many photos I took and blog posts I wrote!

I know you guys were annoyed of my taking too many pictures… but I needed to take them. Why? So I would never forget you guys and the wonderful moments we’ve shared; so I could show others that I had the most wonderful summer of my life; and so that I could show others the wonderful people I have met and gotten to know better.

To end, I want to quote something from a blog post I wrote called, “Goodbye’s the Saddest Word”.

The lead up to the goodbye is always the worst. The worst! I’m not ready to say goodbye yet. Or maybe I am, maybe I just don’t know it yet. Are we ever ready for goodbyes? What if this is the last? What if something happens? Should we always treat our goodbyes as if it were the last? I remember this specific encounter with a dear old friend of mine. It had come down to saying goodbye and of course, I had gotten all awkward like I usually do. I walked towards the door and he said, “Goodbye Tina”. I reached the door and pulled it behind me. But just as it closed, I turned around and said, “See ya later”. He grinned and said, “You must not do this very often because you’re not very good at saying goodbye”. And to that I said, “Or maybe, I do it too often”. With that, I turned and closed the door behind me. It would have been a really good way to end things – y’know, dramatic, like the movies. But I opened the door again, giggled and told him, “that was a really good line, wasn’t it?” He laughed and said “yeah”, but that I had ruined it by coming back. I laughed and told him see yah, and left.

So with me, saying goodbye is always a “two time” thing. I always have to say a serious goodbye and then go back and lighten it all up. Because goodbyes shouldn’t be about seriousness! No, it should not be! But it is. Why? – I don’t know. All I know is when it comes down to saying “bye”, it should actually be “see ya later”. Goodbye is too harsh a word; it’s too sad. Just listen to Celine Dion’s “Goodbye’s the Saddest Word” and you’ll get it.

The word “goodbye” shouldn’t even exist in our dictionary. We should take the example from Jonathan Swift’s, Gulliver’s Travels (1700s). In the Fourth Part of the novel, Gulliver travels to the land of the Houyhnhyms, the land of the rational horses. They possess many virtues, one of which is the amazing virtue of telling truths. In this land, there is no such thing as falsehood. They don’t even have a word for lying; the closest thing they have is “the thing of which that is not true”. So, just in the same, I think the word, “goodbye”, should not exist in our vocabulary. The closest thing we should have to it is: “the thing of which to convey one’s absence, in the presence of a specific other, for a period of time”. And that’s all. So no more “goodbyes”, just “see yah later’s”.



This is me trying to kiss you guys! (And of course, my eyebrows are sort of furrowed because if I ever did this in person, you boys would be running away.)

Buddies for life!

PS. More pictures to come when I have access to an actual scanner.

PPS. I just downloaded the Hannah Montana CD the other day (obviously to conjure up the feeling of being 12 again)… and I thought that this song perfectly conveys my feelings for all of you guys!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. M...... permalink
    August 26, 2012 12:25 am

    Technically, you didn’t get food poisoning at “House of Gourmet”. You just had an major allergic reaction to the food. Food poison and allergic reactions are very different.
    And the letter was very touching.

  2. GilLee permalink
    August 27, 2012 3:19 am

    When I read this, I couldn’t help it but imagine your voice reading it out for me. Although I did try to swat it away, it always came back; like someone that won’t ever leave. Yet honestly speaking I hope you won’t ever leave because there are hardly anyone like you; so unique and special (in a good way) that shines out and brightens everyone around. I can write a whole lot more about how special and amazing you are but I’m not a blogger like you so I’ll “try” to refrain myself from not writing so much (although I do like to write…most of the time). Truthfully I think you made the frisbee outings a whole lot better and more fun because you always come up with something weird and childish, but funny and interesting. I can say that on behalf of our group your presence along with Amy’s made the day a lot more fun. However, you girls sometimes did make the game go VERY slow… but that is not important, the most important part was that we all had fun and enjoyed the friendship we had together. If the other guys did say that you being there was not fun at all, I would have to say they are either shy or lieing. If it weren’t for you we probably wouldn’t have gone to Snake and Lattes and we wouldn’t have been introduced to the most inappropriate but most fun card game: Cards against Humanity (BTW Tina it’s called Cards Against Humanity NOT Crimes against humanity if that was the case it would be considered genocide). Plus if it weren’t for you suggesting to go on Bloor we would have never met Miss Zhou and her date and I would have never been introduced to Yogun Fruz and my beloved……… $10 Frozen Yogurts… You have made a great impression on the guys in our group and I THANK you for not just making it more enjoyable playing frisbee, but for planning and making other days a lot more fun like Snakes and Lattes. I imagine a glowing and bubbly ball full of happiness that calls itself TaTa spreading its happiness to the surrounding people, and I would dread to see the day when that ball of happiness is gone or is turned to sadness. Because I think all of us need a little Tina Ta in our lives to boost us up when we’re down or whatever state we are in, boost us even higher if we are already boosted up (I think working at Booster Juice got me using the word boost a whole lot more often). It has been awhile since I have had a lot of fun and laughed so hard in those few weeks. I still cannot get the scene out of my head where you were drinking the miso soup and confidently told us that the restaurant’s miso soup was vegetarian. At first we believed you because you were so confident….that was until the waitress next to you said it wasn’t, that will always make me laugh. As you said its never goodbye… well… it BETTER not be goodbye. Anyways you are such a great friend for anyone to have DON’T EVER CHANGE. Cuz you are amazing Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars <— is it plagiarism for copying your idea?) well… you can change for the better I guess… but don't change into someone people look down upon. Best of luck for you and spread the joy around like you always do. I hope to see you soon old friend. Much Love

    • August 27, 2012 8:48 am

      My Darling GL,

      Gosh, how I love you and all that you’ve said! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are truly one super duper dude and I can only hope that time will speed up so that we can reunite once more! But no worries, Thanksgiving weekend is just… right around the corner…. We shall have a big thanksgiving feast and another adventure to Snakes & Lattes! You are such an amazing person and honestly, I had no idea that you were so outgoing! In high school, I thought you were super friendly and all-smiley all the time; but I didn’t know that you were also so opinionated!

      Sometimes I just want to kick myself for not hanging out with you guys earlier, like last summer or in high school. But it’s okay… because we have many more years of fun times to come! 🙂

      I’ll miss you! XOXO


  3. August 27, 2012 10:40 pm

    Alex V here

    Thank you so much Tina! Even though I met you and AZ late, and honestly I had the impression that you had been hanging out with all the guys for a long time. That says something about this group. And even from the first day I met you two, Tina and Amy, you treated me as if you had known me for ages; same for everyone one else, I really mean it. I’ve never met so many warm, inviting, and friendly people together in my life!

    My summer was…well, I went through a lot, and if I didn’t have this group I don’t know what I would have done. My only regret is that I wish I could have come to more Friday games, and come downtown more often in general. Every single time I hung out with you all I’d forget all my problems and come home happy, and that means a lot to me. Seriously, the moment I knew I was going to be able to hang out with you all, my day got better instantly. I could write paragraphs about everyone, but I know that wouldn’t show my appreciation enough. I sincerely and very much hope that I’ll get to hang out with everyone soon (Winter break??), and I know I’ll be seeing some of you during the semester (we’re teaching you how to ice skate this year Jon, and you have no choice).
    The times I got to hang out with everyone this summer were some of my best summer days ever (Snakes and Lattes was soooooo jokes), and I know we’ll make plenty more next summer!
    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to EVERYONE! Thank you for being yourselves: awesome!

    • August 27, 2012 11:01 pm

      Oh AV!

      I totally agree with everything you just said. This group is amazing (I think we said this way too often… it might be going to their heads :)) I will definitely plan something for Thanksgiving and winter break! Perhaps a ski trip!

      Skating sounds so fun!! I didn’t know JT doesn’t know how to skate; we will make it our goal to teach him. I am excited!



      (PS. Snakes & Lattes was my fave too. You should see the pictures. I will try to upload them soon and will notify you guys!)


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