Elizabeth Wendorf
Updated Jun 25, 2015 @ 12:54 pm
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Chris Pine

Chris Pine Wine Time might be the most perfect invention that my bestie Erin and I ever came up with. It came to be in the summer of 2013, when my BFF and I had moved into apartment far enough uptown that venturing out of our neighborhood on a Saturday night sometimes felt like an unbearable slog. We had finally found a good local Chinese take-out place after several months of soapy sesame chicken, and we were both deeply infatuated with Chris Pine. So one night we found ourselves sitting cross-legged on my bed ordering used DVDs of Just My Luck and Small Town Saturday Night for a penny each off of Amazon and a Saturday night tradition was born: take-out Chinese food, a bottle of wine, and a movie starring Christopher Whitelaw Pine. Behold: Chris Pine Wine Time.

Erin and I have been roommates for most of the last 8 years, since we were juniors in college. We’ve lived in the same crowded dorm room in college; when we finally worked out how to move to New York together,we both crammed into a tiny one-bedroom on the Upper East Side with no privacy and very little personal space. Now, at last, we live in a two-bedroom with two cats and a much longer commute.

As we’ve gotten older our interests and our careers have diverged. We don’t watch all of the same shows the way we did a few years ago, so we don’t find ourselves camped out together in our living room every evening. While we used to trade off making dinner every night and doing the dishes, but a few years of late and unpredictable hours at work meant that we often arrived home at hours too far apart to make that work. If we don’t make an effort to spend time together we could easily find ourselves more roommates than friends. And that’s why Chris Pine Wine Time is such a great thing.

Here’s the thing about CPWT: it’s not about watching a movie. It’s not about eating Chinese food or drinking a bottle of wine, or about the part that comes later where we re-watch the movie, skipping to our favorite scenes, or we watch A Very Potter Musical on YouTube until my laptop battery dies, or we decide we need 7-Eleven hot dogs and walk around the corner only to discover that our local 7-Eleven has closed and been replaced by a Sleepy’s.

Chris Pine Wine Time doesn’t even have to center around a Chris Pine movie. We watched Away We Go during our most recent Chris Pine Wine Time. Sometimes we watch Celeste and Jesse Forever, in which the handsome Mr. Pine only appears for one scene, hidden behind a beard and a lot of turquoise. One time we watched just the Jonathan Groff episodes of Glee for seven hours straight. More than once we’ve sat in front of Netflix trying to decide what to watch and ended up watching nothing. (CPWT doesn’t even have to include wine–one time we made our own rum and cokes in the back row of an IMAX screening of Jack Ryan.)

No, the point of Chris Pine Wine Time is not Chris Pine, or wine. It’s time. It’s that when you decide to sit down and watch a movie with your best friend you are designating a chunk of time to just hang out together. When that movie is something you have both seen several times, as is the case with almost everything we’ve ever selected for CPWT, there’s no need to pay much attention to it. We can sit and talk and laugh and make jokes and check in and out of what’s happening on screen, and just be together for a while.

Time, I keep learning as I get older, is a precious commodity. You have to give some of it to your friends, the same way you give them your trust and your ear and access to your personal library and/or closet. And they have to do the same thing for you. Especially when you are at your busiest, you need to make sure you are reserving a piece of your life for movie nights or brunch or for a long phone call. In fictional bestie terms: you have to find some sort of balance between the Skyping-from-opposite-ends-of-the-couch level co-dependence of Broad City’s Abbie and Ilana and the haven’t-had-a-scene-together-since-season-4, friends-in-name-only of The Good Wife’s Alicia and Kalinda.

In three months Erin and I won’t be roommates anymore. For the first time since we moved to New York together five years ago, hanging out will require planning and logistics. Sometimes I worry that our friendship will fade away when we’re not sharing a bathroom. But I also know that it was built on more than convenience, that because we made time for each other, even when we didn’t necessarily need to, our friendship will survive. It may require a little extra effort now, but we know how to do that. And if we need a reminder, they’re shooting the new Star Trek now.

[Image via Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek]