I find myself thinking of last weekend as I write this, and when I find myself thinking of last weekend, I find myself thinking on the nature of friendship. I find myself thinking of a conversation, one that I will not repeat because I consider it private, but a conversation where I looked at these 2 women and I realized what makes friendship so terribly unique in this world.
It is a rare thing, this sort of love. Perhaps many of you grew up with it from your siblings and your parents. Raising myself more or less alone, I didn’t. Love may be blind, probably should be a little bit blind to survive the minor slights and daily indignities of a common life. Friendship is not blind. Our friends see us in the ways we do not completely see ourselves. They see us not as a lover or a companion. They see us as exactly as we are. Our better and lesser selves, selves that we are proud of, and the bits we deeply hide. They see us without the veneer of marriage or the patina of family. They see us and what we are, and only that.
They are honest with us in a way our spouses cannot ever be. They pay us the compliment of knowing who we are, the good, the bad and the plain ugly, and they love us anyway. Not because they made a commitment, not because of shared property, but totally and utterly by choice. There is no euphoria from love and no call of lust in friendship. There might be commitment in friendship, but it’s not the formalized language we have in marriage. I don’t pledge until death do us part with a friend. They are free to leave us.
I look at these women, and I realize that they are smarter and kinder than I am. This is truth, not fancy embellishment written in sparkly writing on the side of a mug or the front of a t-shirt. These women are smarter than I am, they are kinder. I thought I could say that I brought the resolute, but really I am not sure I can claim that exclusively.
These women I call best friends are tough. I mean the tough that runs marathon’s and teaches advanced spin classes tough (no, really, unphysical me has two supreme athletes for best friends. Terrifies me if they ever decide that we should go hiking. I would die.)
No, they bring the resolute too. I’ve seen it when they square their shoulders and dive back in. Make no mistake, they are tough. We are tough women. They bring the fun and they bring the joy and God bless them, they brought the food. On Saturday, when I was drunker than I had any right to be at my age, they carried me home.
Friendship, these women? They remind me that I am lovable, that I have something to me more than cooking. They remind me to be surprised at what is in this world, that there is still room for nonsense and joy. They help me to laugh so hard, standing in my kitchen, that I have to sit on the floor. They smoke cigars and make fun of me. They remind me that sometimes we carry each other home.
Thanks for that my friends.
(And thanks for not posting photo’s of me passed out in the bathroom. Still appreciate that.)