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Sunday, September 08, 2013

On Friendship

This weekend was the birthday for a friend whom I have known since I was 13 years old and we went to school together.  As I sat thinking about her birthday and the years we've been together, the even longer years we spent apart, and how when we got back together it was like not a day had passed.  We have another friend with whom we share the same relationship and we are sort of like the Three Musketeers, without the rapiers.

I have very few friends in this universe.  I can count them on one hand and have fingers left over.  I know thousands of people, but there are very few I consider friends.  For people I know, I will do what I can for you if you have a need, or share a day having fun. But, for friends, I will move heaven and earth to help you out when you need it, even if you think you don't.  I do it for me, though.  I do it because my friends make me happy, so their happiness is important to me.  My happiness is paramount to everything.

My friends understand this to some degree and allow me the latitude needed to remain friends.  This means I can ignore them for ages while I am busy living my life and they are living theirs.  Then we all get together for our "Spa Weekends" and decompress.  I will finally tell the secret of our Spa Weekends.  We walk around, see a lot of stuff, go back to our room and drink and watch chick flicks.  Then we sleep.  But we do it together.  Most of the time we just invade one friends house, she has a pool, get sunburned, drink, gossip and watch movies.  True Grit is a chick flick, right?  Well, it is to us.

The friendship works for us.  We don't always need to be in each others' back pockets.  They live closer to each other than I do (3 hours away) but I cherish our weekends together in way I don't think they understand.  It is rare to still have friends who knew you before you were you.  They knew you when you were the blob of clay waiting for life to mould you into the person you would become, and miracle of miracles, they still love the person you've become.  And you love the people they've become.

I am fortunate to have as friends two of the strongest women I've ever known.  One has gone through breast cancer.  She has a son she loves more than anything. She is successful in her career and she works damned hard at it.  My other friend is a confirmed bachelorette who has a complicated, long term relationship with one man, but never saw the need to marry or have kids.  She has her Wiemeraner and she's good with that.  She's very successful in her career and enjoys traveling.  They give me inspiration and sometimes just the ambition to get out of bed some days.  I cannot imagine either one of them moaning and staying in bed because their knees hurt.  Yes, I am a whiner.  Just ask anyone who has ever lived in my vicinity.

I'm not sure that either of my friend realizes how important they are to me, because I have not ever verbalized it or deeply thought about it until yesterday.  They knew me before I became who I would be for the rest of my life.  They still like me even though I am not that awkward, snarky teenager I was in school who was a little mean to both of them.  Either one of them would drop what they are doing to come help me if I needed it.  When my beloved mother-in-law was in the hospital and I was worried beyond the telling of it, they both offered to take vacation time to come to me.  Just the offering of it helped me in a way I cannot explain.  And I would easily do the same for either of them.

And yet it does not explain why I will make them read the first draft of my new book.  But, being my friends, they will understand that I need their honesty and frank criticism, knowing it comes from a wish for me to write better and not jealousy or meanness.  Which is why I love Kelly and Kerry as dearly as I can two people who are not me.  For an Objectivist, that is saying something.

1 comment:

Kerry K said...

Beautiful thoughts from a friend who holds a very secure place in my heart (with an extremely select few) and my life. My Midwest Lutheran upbringing prevents me from expressing these sentiments, but know that it is the truth and will always be. Although miles may keep us apart, you are always with me. You are the missing musketeer, the absent result of 1+2, the missing leg on the tripod, the missing hole on a bowling ball. You are one of the truest people I have met and there is not once ounce of fake in your being. And all this despite your cheerleader stint. But therein lies the crux of your beautiful soul - you are a walking dichotomy - and you must know that where ever you are, you are loved and will always have at least 2 crazy women at the ready to kick deserving asses when required and to offer a sanctuary where unspoken thoughts can be shared outloud by a pool while sipping adult beverages and waving around glo sticks.