I remember this mother’s day we all woke up and brought our gifts to Tullia. Since my parents divorced it has sometimes been tough. We drive from here to there there to here. Then I found out I’m getting a second mother. At first I was worried but then it wasn’t to bad we bonded we learned each other and now we really know each other. I almost forgot life without Tullia. It’s been such amazing times. I don’t think anyone else could be as fit for a mother to us. And I’m happy no one else is. I love you Mamma T
I met Tullia in 2004 in grad school, back when I was quite young and she was already well on her way to 40. I instantly knew that I’d found a gem of a human being and desperately wanted to be friends. She was well known in grad school for her infuriating brilliance and utter indifference to everyone around her — the type who ignored deadlines yet always had professors falling over themselves to compliment her. She once wrote a midterm paper using Wilson Phillips lyrics simply to prove that she could. My attempts at friendship repeatedly fell flat, whether purposefully ignored or simply missed because she was napping.
Eventually, the psychological principles of “mere exposure” kicked in, and we became lifelong (TBD) friends. She has introduced me to bands before they were cool, made me laugh until I cried, and attracted awkward shenanigans like no one else. Along the way, I’ve witnessed her overcome a number of hardships — and I’m not just talking cats defiantly blocking doorways — and accomplish truly amazing feats, like earning a PhD and starting her own business. Rule breaker, trail blazer, style icon, hipster clown… it’s all true. Here’s to 39, Tul-face.
(Tullia pictured below gracing the “city” of Ottawa with her presence. Age 31.)
You are approaching an interesting age. At 39, Sharon Sites Adams became the ﬁrst woman to sail alone across the Paciﬁc Ocean. So in the coming year you could sail around the world solo and dwarf Sharon’s accomplishment (but would it count as solo sailing if Arthur was with you?). Of course, if you wanted to take a bit more time you could pick up baseball or write a few books. At 40, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run. At 41, Rudyard Kipling became the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate in literature. Whatever you choose to do you probably aren’t planning to erase Sharon, Hank and Rudyard from the record books but you have many talents and the possibilities are boundless.
I have learned many things from you – I now know more about shoes than I would have ever guessed (there was a time I would have thought you should see a doctor if you had Fluevogs), I know that it is a Bonferroni correction – not a beefaroni correction, and that Jamaican Blue Mountain may not be the only coffee worth drinking (wow, I didn’t even mention the importance of the oxford comma).
I look forward to seeing what you will do next and what you will teach me be it sartorial, statistical or epicurean.
Tullia, you are a great friend and I hope this is your best year yet.