Where do you find a friend
to be yourself with,
slurping chocolate from a creamer
or flinging open the door of your fridge?
Where do you find one
to sit on the couch with
talking for hours?
in hospital visits,
and while unpacking original art,
a thoughtful and creative soul.
Seven years ago my closest friend moved away. When I say closest I mean both emotionally and geographically. She was getting married and her husband whisked her off to the exotic state of New Jersey. We still see each other and still maintain a cherished friendship but the geographical distance kind of stinks. It's just not the same as having her down the street and being able to drop in on each other any time on a whim. I had two other close friend with whom I felt comfortable in a similar way. They "got me" me and we had a very go with the flow way of relating. They both moved even farther away in the year before my closest friend left. Once they were all gone I felt very adrift. Then we moved. Then my back gave out completely on me and I was rather isolated by my inability to physically get around. Not long after I got that stabilized I decided falling off a zipline and demolishing my left arm and hand would be an awesome idea. I wasn't allowed to drive for months. There is no reliable public transportation in this area. More isolation.
The area where I live has a lot of folks who commute all the way into NYC. As such, when they get home, most of them are too tired or too busy with kid-related activity to have time to socialize. Spontaneity is way out. I'm just not a day planner kind of gal. Telling me you can get together 3 weeks from next Tuesday just isn't my thing. I can accept that's how you need to roll and I can work that way, but it's not going to feed my soul if that's the only way you can function. I'm also not a person who wants to spend hours angsting over the condition of the house before I have you over. The point is the interaction, right? It's not whether or not my house could be on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens. If we just pop in on each other expectations are lower and the focus is on people.
Quite honestly, a lot of women get on my last nerve too and I know the feeling is often mutual. If you can't discuss something deeper than clothes, interior design, or the latest gossip I get bored pretty quickly. You've got to be able to tickle my brain with some depth of thought or a wicked sense of humor or show me your creative side or your intelligence expressed in independent thought. That doesn't mean I can't get along with you or even like you. I can. You're just not going to get to the recesses of my heart without going through my brain first.
All this doesn't sound like I'm counting the good stuff does it? Well, I'm getting there. I just needed to set the scene, which is to say, in the last seven years I've felt a little lonely for having a good girlfriend who is accessible. In the past I seem to have found them either among people who are introduced to me when they are in a very bad place in their lives, or who are willing to take some risk in being somewhat absurd. Enter the new youth pastor's wife, who reached out to me when things were out of control with my kids having surgeries and being hospitalized, who rushed into my house to raid my fridge as a joke, who encourages my chocolate addiction, and who has revealed herself as a very independent thinker in spite of living a fish bowl existence that comes with a high degree of expectations. I like her...a lot. I'm counting the time we had to connect this week and how good it felt. I'd almost forgotten what that was like.
~Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.~