Yesterday I was able to spend a delightful afternoon with one of my best friends. We talk often but had not seen each other since the Spring of 2021. But, as is the case, it was if no time had passed since last we hung out. Once I put you in the FRIEND column, that’s just the way it is. It could be years between phone calls or face to face visits but time does not matter for me. That is the power of friendship.
Our day together was simple enough. We walked with her husband and kids, and Allie one of the cutest little dogs ever, before leaving them to head off to lunch. We each had the cream of crab soup which was amazing, filled with generous portions of lump crab meat and just the right amount of sherry in the cream base that made me want to lick that bowl clean. When the waiter was clearing I had not quite finished and told him in no uncertain terms that if he tried to take my bowl away from me we were going to have a problem. Ha! He laughed. We also shared a yummy crab dip served with crunchy garlic bread and I had a glass of Chardonnay that was just exquisite, all oaky and buttery and almost perfect. The meal was delicious but just sitting and talking with my friend about important things or silly things or nothing at all was the real highlight of the meal.
She sent me a gift, my friend did, that sat on my kitchen counter for three weeks waiting for Christmas. Yes, I have amazing self control. She had told me it was just something amusing that made her smile. So there I was Christmas morning, sipping my first cup of coffee in the chill of The Little Ice Age that hit the USA, opening that Amazon package, wondering what this amusing item might be. It revealed itself after the outer package and then scrabbling at an inner box, to be a cute little candle with a sticker on the front. For a moment the world went a little weird as a vortex of confusion spun around my barely awake head. Why in the world would she have sent ME a gift to give to HER? For the sticker read “Thank You For Being My Unpaid Therapist”. Which is what she often is for me and why my brain misfired. But I listen to her too… the vortex of confusion dissipated and suddenly it all made sense. Ha!
Isn’t that was real friends do? Listen? Listen and share back and always tell the truth. Even when it is hard, especially when it’s difficult, a real friend will say it. The only basis for real true be yourself naked emotions exposed friendship is to never lie and always, ALWAYS, tell the truth. Be kind, be gentle, but say it the way it is. That is how trust is built, for without trust, there can never be true friendship.
I am one cave away from being a hermit and truth be told, I love being alone. I do not crave nor need to be surrounded by people in order to be happy or feel fulfilled or important. I do, however, enjoy kicking back with friends now and again. People who are real, who don’t put on airs or pretend to be anything other than who they are and don’t apologize for it. These people are rare but they are the only ones who may end up in my friend column. For life.
2022 was a hell of a year. In some ways it was awful and in others it was great. Friends helped. My amazing best friend from high school gifted me an outside bistro set for my patio so I was able to sit outside and enjoy a cool breeze even on the hottest days of this past summer. I thought of her every time I go out to Bistro. My new friends, the newest of The Tribe, kept me laughing and sane, fed me awesome dinners (and some breakfasts0 and shoved a big Santa bag at me that made my Christmas morning even more fabulous, along with a heartfelt card that almost brought tears. I am going to wear the f*ck out of that cozy robe, the faux fur blanket will surely save me from the next Little Ice Age blast of cold and the pendent is my favorite new jewelry.
What I am trying to say is, if you have real friends, thank them and be grateful. Laugh with them, cry with them, know that they are something special, and so are you. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t want to know you.
Happy New Year