The DP has challenged us to describe our best friend, how we met, what makes for a best friend. I am blessed, I have several best friends forever (BFFs) or as close as can be considered forever. I am mortal, you know.
My first best friend was Virginia Maria and I was five and she was three. She still had a crib when I met her. Grin. She grew up with the most brilliant green eyes and a sharp beaky nose. She was always a quiet person, what you might call still waters run deep. I am sad to report I lost track of her when I was about 33. I’ve spent countless hours trying to locate her to no avail. She was a honey gem, loyal to the max and always had your back in a fight.
Next up at 10 years old equally, separated by six days in age, is Charlotte Rose. A truth teller, even and especially if you didn’t want to hear it. Grin. She is passionate in her opinions, brave in her bearing and, due to years and years of professional ballet, she has an extraordinary way of sitting at a table in private residences. One leg will be stretched out and up on the wall next to the table. Immediately upon waking, she used to eat raw tofu for breakfast.
Anna. We met when we were 15 and she just visited this past December. We hadn’t seen or heard from one another in 15-20 years and we picked up as if no time had gone by, jabbertalking non-stop for two days. She had heard I was in trouble and suddenly, there she was.
Noreen Felicity and I met when we were 16. We were working at McDonald’s and shook hands. Normally, you shake hands and let go. We were so surprised to find someone with equally small hands, we held on and then held ’em up palm to palm to confirm our senses. Grin. Nor and I have been through many a year and we still talk about twice a month, as we live in different states. Those talks, though, generally run an hour or two, depending on what’s happening in our lives. We’ve begun a custom of once a year or two, we fly into an adjoining state, such as Oregon, stay at a very plush hotel for the weekend and spoil ourselves silly. As she is an artist and Oregon is known for its artists, we usually spend one of the afternoons touring art galleries. A wonderful change for me.
Kimberly Ann, known as Kimbersan. We became friends because Kimberly would not give up. She reminded me of someone who had been a bad influence and I was steadfast in not repeating the past. She just would not give up. The day she overheard me say my lunch date had been cancelled, she carpe diemed the hell out of me and I could not get out of it gracefully. Still, I had 10 pages left in the book I was reading and said so, after we had placed our orders. Nothing, but nothing phases Kimbersan. She grinned, said, “No problem.” and whipped out a book of her own. We read contentedly and finished the lunch well suited to one another.
Maureen of Las Vegas, Nevada. We met in the early 80’s. I was her secretary and she was a hot and upcoming attorney who challenged many of the old school partners in their conventional wisdom. We talk every week to two weeks. Over the years, Maureen has taught me, without any intention, the meaning of service in family, with friends, in the community and reaching out to the world. Over time, she has become a philanthropist – a very quiet one, not looking for recognition. She is extraordinary.
Laura of Belfair, Washington. We met at work and are as different as night and day, which makes for an excellent friendship. She can do anything, quite literally, except tolerate fools.
Lynn of Seattle, Washington. We met in 2006 through working at the same firm, and became friends slowly, mostly because we only ran into one another on smoking breaks, and as we were both readers, one of us would have our heads down reading. No matter what is going on, we talk once or twice, sometimes five times per week. I trust her with my life, literally. She is my attorney in fact for any healthcare issues. (In fairness, I am blessed with so many I would trust with my life and to honor my wishes.)
Maureen of Federal Way, Washington. What a love bug this woman is. She will cringe when she reads those words to describe her. Picture Maureen O’Hara, retired. Not possible. That bundle of energy, drive and love of country always wonders aloud how she came to volunteer for another project. She is diplomatic in public, not so much in private. Grin.
My brother, Sean and my sister, Kate: well, it took about 30-35 years for us all to become friends – best friends at that. As a family, we used to have to meet in restaurants so everyone would be polite and not throw a scene. Irish, of course. One does not air one’s family laundry in public, after all. Nowadays, we have more in common than we do to argue about and the love is genuine and heartfelt.
Most recently, Maggie of greyhound fame and love. She is the Zen woman. In my mind’s eye, she is extraordinarily tall, but moves through physical space without disturbing the air or fronds around her.
(And I just know I’m going to catch it for not mentioning someone!) Oh, don’t think I haven’t noticed how glaring it is that only one man is mentioned here and that’s my brother. I don’t know how to explain that because I love men and truly enjoy their company. It may be because when I came of age in the late 70s, sex and one night stands were the norm and considered “healthy.” Maybe so, but they did not encourage friendships. My husband was wonderful, but he died. It may be because men generally have wives and wives can feel threatened, so other than work, I haven’t formed many long term best friends with men.
There are friends who last for a season or two and either the situation changes or you do or they do. There are friends you’ve built over years and there are friends you bond instantaneously with and to. And, nowadays, there are virtual friends as well. People, men and women I have never met, that I feel are family. I am blessed.