Archive for April 8th, 2011

April 8, 2011

Find Out Who Your Friends Are: Ryan

by Cait

Being that it’s Friday and Robert&I haven’t DIYed anything recently, I thought it might be a good time to formally introduce* Robert’s and my best friend, Ryan, on the blog (and post a smattereing of photos from his Picasa of the random things that were born in his dad’s garage). Here’s hoping he doesn’t kill me later for posting these (despite the fact that they’re linked on his Facebook for all to see) and saying some fairly sappy things. 

As a bit of back story, Robert and Ryan have known each other since they were 4 and 5 respectively. I met Ryan 8 years ago standing on the end of Robert’s parents’ driveway shortly after he moved back to Florida from Virginia. Not long after that, Robert wrecked Ryan’s Suzuki GT750 into a telephone pole (the story at this point generally involves Ryan chiming into say “I had just gotten that running right, too”) and then Robert and I broke up (as most high school romances do), so  I didn’t get to know Ryan again until Robert and I were starting talking again two years later. The three of us lived together before  Robert and I bought our house, so Ryan and I became close friends. He was also the best man at our wedding.

That’s Ryan on the right in his standard grey pocketed t-shirt.

It’s always awkward to sing the praises of someone of the opposite gender without it resulting in a lot of raised eyebrows, but when have I ever been one to stray away from awkward? If you had to describe Ryan in two words you might call him extremely loyal. Since I prefer having a flair for the dramatic, I sometimes refer to Ryan as my In Case of Emergency Person. I’m pretty sure he has never seen that episode of Grey’s Anatomy though, so generally he responds to my saying that with a gruff  “as long as I hear the phone” and an “I’m a guy, I don’t talk about feelings” look.

Ryan is one of about five people who I’d trust with my life. He’s the kind of guy everyone wants to know. You can call him when you can’t call anyone else, like when you’re a 20-year-old girl coming home from college, your car breaks down on the side of the highway and the state trooper just dropped you off at a truck stop on Thursday night. (Yes, that really happened, but in that instance I was lucky enough to have both Robert & Ryan come to rescue me.) All I heard in return from Ryan was “I never did get that $50 that we tipped the tow truck driver with back”, but he didn’t even say that until several years later, at the time he just mentioned that he was going to be really tired the next day at work. Applying that to your life, Ryan might be  that friend you have who you were in some stupid fight (that neither of you remember) with, but you still called them when you & your boyfriend have a complete blow-out fight and you say “It’s me, I’ll be at your house in 20 minutes” and they say “I’ll be outside” and then you go sit on the beach and cry to them about your boyfriend being a jerkwad. You know, strictly as a hypothetical (BTW- hi Emiley).

If you’ve ever wanted a 6 foot (possibly larger) dragon sculpture, I know a guy…

In addition to his unfaltering loyalty, Ryan is the go-to person to ask when you have a “how the heck did they do that?” question.  (As a reminder, he’s the friend who once welded a rather large dragon out of rebar that was left over from a project Robert did for school. Getting him and Robert together often results in both amazing things you never imagined possible, and singed hair.) He might never admit it (because he’s incredibly humble and sometimes self-deprecating), but he’s brilliant. The running joke is that if you locked him in his dad’s garage and came back a few hours later, the roof would open like a clam-shell and a spaceship would take off (I think it would probably be made out of a dryer, a stop sign and a lawn mower engine).

He’s kind of like a real-life MacGyver. I’m no stranger to making something from nothing, I grew up with a father and grandfather who did the same thing (in our house the line was “Daddy can fix everything, except broken erasers” which is a long story…although then my dad fixed those, too). And it’s not like Robert is a slouch when it comes to tools, it’s just that Ryan does everything to the extreme. He pours all of himself into what he’s doing, which can often result in ignoring text messages, phone calls, etc. If he is working on a car and he doesn’t have a tool that he needs he just makes one, usually out of an old jack and a piece of pipe. If he doesn’t know how to fix something, he researches it until he figures out how, and then he teaches you how to do it. He has experience with plumbing and remodeling, so he was the one I called when our roof was leaking and Robert couldnt answer the phone because he was in class. And then (as I am apt to do) I accidentally insulted him when I jokingly said “How Not To Fix Your Roof” about his $20 fix (which is holding up perfectly fine, of course). I am excellent and sensitive like that.

Pneumatic can crusher

His smile & laugh are contageous, he says completely poignant things that really make you think (often in five words or less), and he’s listening even when you think he isn’t (that may sound creepy, but I just mean he can seem to be focusing on something else, and then say one of those über poignant things).  He is never anything other than completely himself, take it or leave it. He’s like a brother to Robert, and for me he’s both the big brother I never had and best friend I never knew I was missing. Robert and I both miss talking and hanging out with him when we go any length of time without at least sending each other a funny picture text, like when every May when he goes to Deals Gap and has spotty cell reception. In short, I hope that Robert and I are half the friends for him that he has been for us.

Best way to plan Gran Turismo.

L: the way his dad’s garage gets heat; R: The Incinerator, may it rest in peace.

Electric bike

*I think I’ll probably write a few more of these (about friends like Emiley and Lisa, and since I wrote a bit about my mom here, I need to write about my dad as well) and add a link in the About section.