A 22-year-old rapper. An 81-year-old woman. And an unlikely long-distance friendship
By Allison KleinThe Washington Publish
Wed., Dec. 6, 2017
The shut friendship between the 20-something rapper in New York and the 80-something retiree in Florida began with the phrase p-h-a-t, which is hip-hop slang for wonderful.
Rosalind Guttman, 81, was taking part in Phrases With Pals, the net Scrabble-like recreation, and used the phrase. She had been randomly paired up with Spencer Sleyon, 22, an aspiring rapper and hip-hop producer.
“I used to be like, yo, how have you learnt that phrase?” Sleyon requested her.
And they also began messaging as they performed. When that recreation was over, they performed one other and one other.
Over time, they turned gaming companions, taking part in greater than 300 video games beginning in the summertime of 2016 and located that they had been an excellent match. They had been aggressive, however because the video games saved coming, a familiarity developed, and shortly, an unlikely friendship.
And final week, they met in particular person in Palm Seaside, hugging and smiling like long-lost relations. Sleyon posted pictures on social media, and their friendship immediately turned an web sensation, with Sleyon tweeting on Dec. 1:
“so final summer season i randomly met this 80 y/o girl on phrases with associates. we performed 300+ video games collectively and she or he truly ended up changing into an excellent good friend of mine. at present i acquired to go to florida and meet her in particular person”
Sleyon doesn’t keep in mind how Guttman knew the phrase phat. He stated he thought she may need simply guessed the phrase.
Guttman declined to remark, saying by way of an middleman that she doesn’t know what all of the fuss is about and that that is simply how individuals needs to be towards one another.
Phrases With Pals lets individuals play towards individuals they’re Fb associates with or different random individuals. Everybody has a profile image up, so their id isn’t secret.
“From day one I knew I used to be taking part in an outdated white girl,” Sleyon stated. He simply wished to play, he stated, and she or he was a enjoyable sparring accomplice.
He additionally loved their aspect conversations, the place they might speak about their lives a bit. He as soon as deleted Phrases With Pals for a short while and earlier than he signed off he requested her for all times recommendation. “Shoot for the celebrities,” he recalled her typing. “No matter you need out of life, simply go seize it.”
Their face-to-face assembly occurred due to an opportunity dialog with a pastor in New York.
Sleyon was in his good friend Hannah Butler’s front room a pair months in the past with another associates when he advised them that he was a good friend of an 81-year-old girl who lives in a retirement group in Florida. Hannah’s mom, Amy Butler, is a pastor with the Riverside Church and occurred to listen to what Sleyon stated.
“All of us had been like ‘what?’ ” Butler stated in an interview. “I discovered it such a compelling story.”
She wished to write down a sermon about it.
She began occupied with the possibility friendship and what she may do to foster it.
In any case, the huge world of gaming is sort of completely transactional. It frequently connects strangers however hardly ever presents a chance for individuals to really get to know one another.
What if she may get them collectively face-to-face? She requested Sleyon if he’d put her in contact with Guttman.
After a number of conversations with Guttman, she requested Sleyon if he wish to make a journey all the way down to Florida together with her to fulfill Guttman.
“I’m all for simply experiencing stuff, I used to be like ‘yeah,’ “ Sleyon stated. “I really like random occurrences, I assumed it was cool I used to be in a position to befriend her.”
When the three of them met within the foyer of a resort in Palm Seaside on Thursday night, Sleyon and Guttman instantly went in for a hug.
“She is hilarious and fabulous,” Butler stated. “She’s like a personality on ‘The Golden Women.’ “
Sleyon stated they talked about every part from Phrases With Pals (he didn’t understand how aggressive she felt about their video games) to the present “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (she stated Larry David makes use of too many curse phrases this season).
Butler stated she feels fortunate to be part of their relationship.
“We’re dwelling in a rustic divided by concern of the opposite, and individuals are eager for methods to attach,” Butler stated. “This story has two unlikely individuals changing into associates. It’s very lovely and hopeful.”
Sleyon stated he plans to proceed taking part in Phrases With Pals. He and Guttman have three simultaneous video games occurring, and so they have a brand new method to join, too: They only turned Fb associates.