Today my best friend Inna left her summer home in D.C. to move into her perfect new apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She is transferring from Fordham to NYU Law, something which she is super excited about so I'll take this time to congratulate her! Our time together this summer was like the epitome of our new favorite saying "once upon a time, there was time". We used to come home from college and spend every day of summer and winter break sitting on her couch watching ugly betty with her mom, romping DC and getting away with whatever we could, or eating food and playing dress up. Whatever it was, we were together A LOT. I was naive to expect similar things of this summer. We're grown ups now... we live with our boyfriends and work 9-5. So a weekend night together and one or two happy hours or dinner dates during the week were as good as it got. But it was very good nonetheless. We spent a lot of time together with Josh and Mike (boyfriends and roommates) and less time just together. That's not a complaint, I love it that we get along so wonderfully and are just such the cutest shmawesomest couples together (as Inna might put it). It is just different, and it makes me feel old. The plus side of being old is that I work and can spend money on things like visiting Inna in Park Slope and improving our relationship. There is only one way in which my relationship with Inna is incomplete, one thing I need to accomplish in one of these Park Slope visits.
That's right, Inna is perfect in all ways but one. She doesn't know how to ride a bike. It has been my goal for a long time to teach her but it is easier said than done. In the summer of 2008, Stephanie and I tried to teach her in Gainesville. We used a small bike of mine with the seat as low as possible. We were on a flat, neighborhood street with no cars around. We had Inna sit on the seat and pedal while Stephanie and I walked alongside of her, each holding one handlebar. She pedaled fine with us supporting her but as soon as we let go, she lost balance and couldn't continue pedaling. She fell over, scraped her knee, and was done with it. I give her credit for trying. It was plainly evident how much harder it is for an adult to learn to ride than for a kid. Kids are fearless and couldn't care less about another scrape on the knee. Adults are not. Inna did care about a scrape on her knee, understandably so. Once she fell, we didn't push her to keep going, as a parent might with their child. I did secretly hold out hope that that wasn't the end, that I'd get her to try again someday. This isn't a secret anymore. I think someday has come and it is appropriate for me to push her to keep going. So I do, verbally. If you think that I want Inna to learn to bike for selfish reasons, you're not entirely wrong. I always want to ride bikes with my friends. But I also just think biking is awesome and don't want her to be missing out on something she might really enjoy. She thinks biking is cool and wishes she could do it so I am going to be like the parent and help her get over that grown-up fear!
I have so many reasons to visit Inna. And all of them will draw me to her before biking will. I just hope that one of these days, a visit can include another lesson. Inna has two of the most killer "never-have-i-ever" lines, never having ridden a bike and never having lived in a house. With New York in her future indefinitely, she may be able to get away with NEVER living in a house but I will try my best not to let her get away with NEVER successfully riding a bike. Whether she does or not, though, she will continue to be one of my favorite friends to be young or grown up with and I cherish all the memories we made this summer. Once upon a time there was time but there will always be time for Inna.