I love people, but I need my alone time and can get tired of being around people. Not in a bad way, but after a certain amount of time I tend to be like “ooook I need my time alone and we’ve caught up. I love you, but peace out.” After becoming co-workers to friends to hanging out with other co-workers/friends outside of work to enrolling in classes together to taking road trips I think it’s safe to say I have yet to get “tired” of Hunter.
Another best friend of mine, Hunter and I, like how I met Kenny and Anna, met at work. He was working on my first day in 2009 and I remember he had a sports KU shirt on, so I thought he was really into sports (come later to find out he could care less). He talked a LOT….I think I covered my ears the first day saying, “ayyyy you talk SO much!” There was never a dull moment if Hunter was there. He wanted company while he did dishes, sought you out if you ate in the back and if you were cleaning anywhere he’d follow and just start going off on something. You didn’t have to ask him, he’d just start saying “So this one time…” Also, because he was so comfortable with everything and everyone I thought he had been working there for years– when really it was his first month. Within 24 hours of working with him he was quick to smoothly put me in my place, pull a prank or two and didn’t hesitate to mock me. On day two I messed up a coconut tea latte. Bad. I put in twice the amount of sugar it called for. Hunter was the lucky guy who had to deal with the hate-filled, complaining phone call from the customer. On the same day I remember accidently filling up the sink with only hot water and hearing an “owwww! MAAAARY!” from the back room. He tapped into his exaggreating, ranting mode and wouldn’t shut up about the water “ even hell would reject.” I said, “Hunter shut it and just go burn your hands again.” His response? “Go make another tea latte Mary.” Ya, smooth. Made ME hush up.
This guy would never intentionally truly make fun of me. Yes, he teases me…a lot. He scares me from around the corner, winks (pet peeve), swerves on the road suddenly, wraps my phone up in duct-tape and my keys in saran wrap. These are all for reactions. When it comes to the serious things though, like subjects to bring up or things I’d get sensitive about, he knows the line with complete respect. He also protects the line by making the effort to not have other people cross it.
I like to think of myself as his believer and cheerleader. His brilliance on topics, ability and potential to succeed is sometimes hidden and from day one I’ve seen this rare, extraordinary potential. Generosity is a trait he holds that I believe is overlooked when people think of Hunter. I don’t know why it’s overlooked, because I see it so clearly, but it is. Maybe because he’s had no problem spending almost an entire pay-check on clothes ($319 on pants once I think?) or splurge on a tattoo. Some people think that’s selfish. On the other hand, he spent a wad-load on a plane ticket to Chicago to visit me and my family this January, buys gifts randomly for others, and makes time for family & friend events. Sooo selfish. Pah. Unbelievable. But let me tell the world this: if he buys a book, roasts coffee, makes food, anything…he shares immediately. 75% of the CD’s in my car are ones Hunter has given to me. I don’t ask, he just puts them in there. Maybe because he wants his music rather than Taylor Swift playing, but whatever. Generous story:
When my younger sister Anna visited last year I’m almost certain Hunter was a better host than I was. He demanded we get to work after lunch and once we arrived he sits down and has Anna customize the evening. He gave her every genre of food, along with the restaurants and had her choose. He then had her pick a movie. Not only a movie, but she then had to decide which theater to go to. Did she want the downtown feel? Plaza vibe? Suburban atmosphere? He had her customize the agenda and I haven’t seen her look more blessed and loved on than I did in that moment.
Another “hidden” trait he has that is so THERE but many people don’t see at first is his compassion. He’s secretly compassionate and notices little things. While in Chicago my brother John asked me to take him out to IHOP one morning and I said no, because I didn’t want to wake up at 6:00am. The next day Hunter said to me, “I think we should take John out. I feel awful and he seemed so excited.” We did.
He is a go-getter. He excels at everything he sets his mind to. It actually can be quite intimidating because his intense passion for books, music, films, thoughts and hobbies explode through conversation. They honestly make you want to like them too, even if they are poles apart from yours. From roasting coffee, painting, writing, sewing, reading, to reviewing (restaurants, movies, music) he gives it his all. Roasting coffee? He made his own roaster. Painting? His wall holds at 10 of his paintings. Writing? You can hear him at a weekly open mic-night where he reads his works. Reading? Uh, I mean if you want to creep on him at his house where he reads fpr hours on end go for it. Sewing? He can alter pretty much anything for ya. Reviewing? Ask him what to do for a night in KC and he won’t give you HIS personal opinion but rather ask what you like, and give you the perfect agenda. Trust me. With several friends and family members that have come to visit me Hunter is who I ask for ideas. He explores new things and is humble towards his skills and knowledge. I admire him for sharing his discoveries and inviting others to help him on his adventures or findings.
Here’s probably the biggest thing I want to express in this blog post. And I have had no idea how to word it. I have been recognized as someone who’s looked up to by friends, respected by parents and a role-model to younger siblings. I’ve felt that, sometimes more than most, I’ve been put on a pedestal by several and can’t show faults or struggles. A reason I call Hunter one of my favorite people is because although our rhythms of life are different, he not only knows why people look up, respect that part of me blah blah blah but he encourages me to be my complete, human self, and never thinks any less of me. I’m human. I speed. I enjoy rap songs. I’ll text while driving. I say no to people because I want to be by myself for the night. I eat carbs. I’ll skip class to sleep. Are those things right? Prooobably not the best. No matter what though, Hunter knows my true heart /intentions in most situations. He understands and respects how firm I am in my beliefs/morals/views and has experienced first-hand my deep, compassionate, protective, over-the-top caring heart. When I do things that are “out of character” he has yet to make me feel like I contradict myself or am a hypocrite in any way whatsoever. I rarely have to justify myself, which is refreshing.
Little memories that would be easy to forget…but have yet to fail putting a smile on my face:
- One day he said “c’mon lets go clean my room.” As we enter he plops down and goes “Ok…ya, just put things in piles and figure it out.”
- He is one of the best encouragers. I figured this out within a few months of working with him. He was there the morning it was clarified the exact date I was getting surgery and I found out I’d be out of work for almost a month. As I’m sitting in the office Hunter comes in with orange juice, sits down and says, “Mary you need to know something. You’re crazy. I’d be on cloud nine if I got a month off to be catered to. Your mom is going to make you any food you want, you won’t have to help clean the house for guests who come in for Christmas and everyone will have sympathy for you. So, you crazy. Have some orange juice, stop thinking about any pain you’ll be going through because you’ll be on pain killers.” And with a tap on the head and a cup in my hand he exited the office leaving me thinking “haha…suckaaa,” which was probably his plan.
- Any of our closes at work…we owned and had the best system ever. “Dream Team” represent!
- The time in Chicago where I was pulled over…and Hunter was the one who ended up with a ticket because he wasn’t buckled. Keep in mind we were leaving from Dunkin Donuts to church which was less than a mile away. And in my car Hunter is ALWAYS buckled. So the ONE time he wasn’t the state trooper pulls me over into a retirement center and that happens.
- The very few times I’ve chosen to swear (see, human!) over the past several years have been towards Hunter. Yes, it was out of anger and to express my point (one of them was used when he tried to make me believe he got in a car accident and was going to the hospital…totally beyond totally not funny). I don’t like re-living the reasons why I swore, but its his reaction(s) when he heard me swear that are memorable.
- His white car. It had no air-conditioning OR heat, always had different music playing, was a complete mess, perfect for sticking your head out and swerving around. The two things I remember the most about that car are 1. Beck refusing to drive in it car during the summer because it had no AC and 2. One time as I was sitting behind Hunter with my face out the window he unknowingly spit out of his window…landing on my face. In the moment, the most disgusting thing ever. Now, funny to remember.
- Oh! Another funny spitting memory…after he had surgery on his nose last year I spent the day at his house reading and watching TV or whatever. He had fallen asleep and had to blow his nose. Half asleep he reached over, spit in the trash bin and half of it landed on my arm. He became more awake then, looked at my arm in disgust and with pure seriousness says “ewww Maaary. Don’t let my mom see that. JEEZ. ” and went right back to sleep.
- Floor picnics with movies. Beck, Hunter and I went to Hen-House to get food because one of his favorite things to do is watch a movie and sit on the floor with a ton of food. As the movie was being set up he circled the junk food around him, sits up proudly and says “let’s begin.”