Besties, Bathrooms And Bottles

Funny, a random conversation in a hotel pool in Hawaii nearly nine years ago evolved into “besties,” friends who can count on each other no matter what! Yet, that’s what happened when I met Raymond Manci.

Honestly, our first exchanged words should’ve been a clue: “You have an accent; are you from the South?” I asked.

“Yes, originally I’m from Alabama, but I live in Palm Springs now.” Raymond’s response was a mirror of me, as I was born in ‘Bama and had a condo in the California desert town.

Once back in Palm Springs, our friendship flourished through volunteer work and our share of martinis. We quickly became those two people who could complete each other’s thoughts, almost as if our paths had crossed eons ago or in another lifetime!

Last month, the ultimate bestie test arose. While sharing a hotel room in New Orleans, Raymond’s snoring reached a decibel level that threatened to blow the roof off of the Sheraton. After several unsuccessful tries to deafen the noise, I concluded that he really needed his sleep. Plan B emerged: I grabbed pillow and blanket and retreated to the bathroom, where I camped out on the tile floor.

Preparing to leave the next morning, I noticed a semi-full plastic Gatorade bottle beside his bed. “Raymond, don’t forget your Gatorade,” I said, pointing at the container.

“Uh, Tony, it’s not what you think it is,” he replied. “After you went to the bathroom to sleep, I had to pee. I didn’t want to wake you up, so I improvised.”

We laughed and realized that’s what besties do: they consider the other person and work out the situation, whether it’s sleeping in the bathroom or reaching for an empty bottle!

Love and light,


My bestie, Raymond Manci, and I in New Orleans last month.


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