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Farmington Hills

Lifelong friends bring laughter, listening ear to each others’ lives

August 21, 2014

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Lisa Haase and Nikki Boahbedason smile for the camera as juniors in high school in 1990.
The pair of friends, Haase and Boahbedason, sit next to each other in cubicles at work.

FARMINGTON HILLS — The school year is upon us and students will soon bustle through school doors. They might wind up sitting next to someone who may become their lifelong friend. It happened to Lisa Haase, 40, and Nikki Boahbedason, 41, when Haase struck up a friendship with Boahbedason in kindergarten in 1978 because she liked her “long, dark hair.”

“I don’t remember much about it,” Boahbedason said.

On a back patio at Boahbedason’s Farmington Hills condo Aug. 12, the gal pals were at it again during their lunchbreak with co-worker Teresa Mask. Over juicy burgers with a side of crinkle-cut fries, they discussed how they maintained their friendship for the past 35 years before friendship requests were even a thing.

“We’re sisters,” Haase said over bites of food downed by a shake. “We’re always chatting. We always talk so much. That’s kind of rare, to have what we have. It’s not like we just work for the same company. We sit side-by-side in similar roles. That plays a factor in the relationship.”

Texting every other day, participating in sporting tournaments, vacationing together and even sitting next to each other’s cubicles at work for the past 10 years — Haase’s stepdad does Boahbedason’s taxes — is what some would call an ideal friendship.

“We make fun of any kind of situation,” Boahbedason said at the table as the sun peeked through her fence’s slats. “It helps to have a close friend.”

Since then, the duo have been inseparable after attending the same middle and high schools through Livonia Public Schools. As teenagers, they worked together at Vladimir’s Banquet Center in Farmington Hills and the former Westland Drugs.

Haase, of Novi, and Boahbedason, of Farmington Hills, also have another thing in common: tattoos.

At 21, each received tattoos on the inside of her left ankle, a sun for Boahbedsaon and a flower inked on Haase.

“We both like nature-type things,” Haase said.

The tattoos went from a just “for fun” thing to a symbol of their friendship.

Mask said the longest relationship she has had started in fifth grade, and their friendship is a
“beautiful thing.”

“To see someone have a friendship since kindergarten is just amazing to me,” she said. “I see them interact; they are kind of like a partnership, a team. I get a kick out of it because I go over to their desks and I can’t imagine seeing my best friend every day like that. It is so cool, and they are really nice people and I can see how they can be friends all this time.”

Even when babies, careers and significant others took center stage, the friends are still each other’s biggest fans.

“There are periods where it has changed and we drifted,” Haase said.

“We always made sure we’d come back together,” Boahbedason said. “I can’t imagine you ... not there.”

And it is not always the big stuff that counts, but the little things that create indelible memories for them, Haase added.

In the digital age where friend requests and declines can be made with the click of a button, Boahbedason said one of the bigger factors to remaining friends is simply being connected.

“There are life changes, and when that happens, celebrate all the good things that happen to them; and when bad things happen, just be there for each other,” she said. 

Haase said take into account the good days and bad.

“You have to be supportive of everything in their life,” she said.

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