This one will be short and sweet.
My first “friends” that I can actually remember were Mitchell and Matthew Brownfield.
They were twins.
Which means I got 2 friends for the price of one.
As I remember it, they seemingly were sent from on high as a gift from the heavens or the universe. I was about 3 or 4 years old and going to preschool. And I didn’t really like it much because I didn’t know anyone there except my Grandma who worked there. Mary Drake’s Play School was the name of the preschool (the building in which this preschool was housed later became home to an advertising agency run by Guy Ceese 20 years later and he unfortunately is not on the 40 for 40 countdown, but maybe he should have been).
I was as shy and awkward at 4 years old as I am now, but for very different reasons. From about 4th grade on I have just been really self conscious. Back then I had no filter and no concept of social cues. I just sort of lunged at people and then they naturally ran away and I was left alone. I didn’t know how to make friends. And I looked like this ......
..........so I mostly just played by myself.
Then one day as I was going outside to the playground, literally these 2 kids I had never met before grabbed me by the hands and said “Tony, come play with us. “ And they were my best and only friends until I met #33 on the countdown. It was probably only about a year, maybe only a few months, until they moved away and I never saw them again. I have tried over the years to look them up on Facebook and to Google them to no avail. But they were my first friends. I can remember going to their house once. They had water beds, and I jumped on one, and it sprung a leak. Their dad didn’t really like me after that. But for that short period of time they were a gift from god when I needed friends and more importantly, needed to learn how to be a friend.
Now were they really a gift from god or the universe? No.
Obviously one of the preschool teachers saw me playing alone, and so they told the 2 twins that always had each other to go play with the sad little boy in the sand box all by himself.
So it’s not only Mitchell and Matthew I have to be grateful for, but also that anonymous preschool teacher that was way ahead of her time employing “Super Normal Youth” for Social Effectiveness Therapy.