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Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Bittersweet Bon Voyage 
or how do you say farewell to a piece of your heart 

Yesterday we threw a retirement shindig for one of my dearest friends in the world, Suzette. She is perhaps the most universally beloved individual to have ever set up shop in our shop. Twenty some odd years ago she waltzed in the door and right into every one's heart, disarming their defense shields with her quick wit, sarcastic bent and bawdy 12-year-old boy humor. She's been my mentor in that category. She is also one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever had the pleasure to know.

Television is the third career in her long and varied history. She first was a grade school English teacher, then branched out into theater as a stage manager as well as actor before finally settling in as a television grunt. She worked at a competing local station until union negotiations fell through and everyone was locked out. 

An unlucky day for her...a very lucky day for us. 

Over the years she has become the collective mother to our entire department. She's the one who brings in food for all, keeps the general supplies--both biz and non-biz related--stocked and is the confidant of all. I tease her that she needs a shingle "The Doctor is In" or as Lucy Van Pelt would say "The Doctor is Way In". She has a sympathetic ear so there's always someone confessing their woes to her. That's one of the many things that makes her special. 

That, and her delightful off-color edge. 

Having been in theater for decades, she has a song or a dirty limerick for any and all occasions. Here are a couple of my favorite ditties:

Balls! said the Queen. And the King laughed because he had two.

I looked up his kilt and what did I see? 
I looked up his kilt and what did I see? 
I looked up his kilt and what did I see? 
Wang... Wang... Wang...

She offered her honor.
He honored her offer.
and all night long he was on her and off her.

Ha Ha Ha... aaaaaw... It makes me sad to realize I won't hear that every day.... *sniff*

She and I had our last official Sunday brunch blow out last weekend. 

Everything I know about whipping up a four-course breakfast using a microwave and toaster oven, I owe to her. She's like the MacGuyver of short-order cooking.

The bittersweet truth about her retiring is this. Suzette has been battling some pretty serious health issues over the last eight months. She's been in and out of the hospital three times. She needs to stop working full time and take care of herself so she can get stronger and back to her normal, irreverent self. Beets, Jude and I have been leading her--okay pushing her--towards this decision for a while. We know it's for the best and she's only five minutes away, but I'm still going to miss seeing her every day. 

Anywho, if there's one thing we know how to do well in's throw a party. We surprised her with a fully decorated work space and chow up the yin yang. 

Loads of people stopped by to say goodbye and take photos. Them there boys do love her!

Of course you knew there had to be an irreverent one or two...

Todd, our buddy who jumped ship last year to work across the river showed up in a, wait for it... golf cart! Sonya, our morning anchor begged him to drive it. She was so excited. Afterwards Todd let her drive the cart, too. Hey-O!!

We all piled in and burned rubber around the plaza, terrorizing all mortals in our path. We did donuts around the fountain and tried to kidnap... I mean, pick up Heather, the Barista from our lobby coffee shop, but she wouldn't play our reindeer games. Go figure. Then we took a bunch of jump pictures. 

Yeah, so basically yesterday we got paid to graze continually, zoom around haphazardly in a pimped out golf cart and jump around like idiots. All in celebration of our one-and-only, Suzette. Isn't it great to inspire such frivolity. You see why we'll miss her.
So here's to you, Suzette. You and I have done some crazy things along the way, no. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside you all these years. Knowing you has enriched my existence beyond expression. You are my sassy sister, my irreverent friend, my constant confidant, my fellow 10-year-old, my cohort in crime and one of the few people who truly gets me. Your friendship fills my life with abundant joy and elan. Thank you for your positive presence in my life. You occupy a permanent place tucked away in my heart. I love you, man.

Holy Crap! And I'm not even drunk!?! I'm slipping...

So...what do you say? Lunch next week?


Gary said...

You're still the best jumper.

Murray said...

Thanks, my friend! Only now I need to jump off of something to get some decent air time.

Don said...

i've loved suzette ever since the day...while prepping for a childrens hospital telethon...she walked right up to me while carrying a large metal box known as a light kit...dropped at at my feet...and said "i've brought my make-up and i'm ready to work" i will always love you suzette!!!


Jim said...

Aww, I'm sorry I missed it! I loved, loved, loved her sick sense of humor.

The one time I was eating a little baggie of nuts from the vending machine, and she made a comment about putting a cashew on my wang (ala Dane Cook.)

She had me at cashew.