Tuesday, October 25, 2005
It's such an obvious statement, but I don't know what I'd do without my girlfriends. I say that about my addiction to Diet Coke, too, but girlfriends never make me want to crap in the toilet. Of course, some of them have made me laugh so hard I have peed my pants, but that's soiling yourself in the positive way.
Besides the obvious statements about how girlfriends keep you up when you're feeling down and "that's what friends are for" bla bla bla, I find that my truest gal pals are those that have never forced me to be anyone who I wasn't. They have allowed me to grow and change, and not held stupid decisions against me. Prime example: Cecelia drove with me from Texas to California. I did not check my tires and they blew up on me outside Arizona. While waiting for a tow truck on a deserted highway, I took in a stray dog, much to the dismay of my current dog in the back seat. That night, while Cecelia, Boo and I stayed at Holiday Inn outside a truck stop, I allowed the stray to sleep in my car. Which he proceeded to deficate all over. I then had to delay the final leg of our journey while my water cooler overheated and I took Boo to the vet for a tranquilizer, given his need to vomit and hump the crap stained Saturn seats. Granted, we didn't talk for a few weeks after we arrived home, but we have taken several vacations since. Sans dogs. And we always check our tires. That's friendship!
I find friends are my reality check against insecurities that sometimes crop up. Example 2: Recently I met a mom who cold turkey stopped talking to me and moved to Orange County. That's fine, and I wasn't devasted, but when you have someone to your home and they suddenly don't return your phone calls, you wonder if perhaps you really did need that extra swipe of Ban. My friends (many of whom I've known for over 20 years, like Texas Liz and Mountain Meg above) console my hurt ego, assuring me that they wouldn't like me if I stunk. And even if I did emit odious fumes, they'd tell me. They'd promise me that my instincts are usually on about people, and if someone doesn't like me, it's that person's fault, and move on - not without a new bottle of antiperspirant for good measure.
The truth is that while I may have no solid financial success in my life (yet) I have the ability to get everyone in the universe talking to me. This ranges from high society Republican judges to Democratic lesbian Chinese street urchins. Everyone has a story, and I'm not afraid to segway the conversation from "Excuse me sir, what's the time?" to "Wow, nice watch." If they respond, "Thanks, I got it in Poland," I can then offer, "Oh, my dad's family was Polish" and whalllllaaa, what we have, my friends, is a conversation. Before long, I learn that they are actually Dutch who have relatives living in Westchester and they're here for final testing to be a kidney donor for their step uncle's fourth wife. And that they love tofu. But not Garden Burgers. It's pure magic. They're invited over for Christmas dinner, end of story.
James recently told me that my ability to chat up every hostess, busboy and patron dining next to us on date night used to bug the crap out of him. It's also what made him fall in love with me. That's one of those half compliments, like my aunt saying my daughter looks exactly like me, only she's much prettier. But I'll take it anyway.
In closing, I would like to thank all my girlfriends, new and old, who are in my life. If I've known you more than 20 years, I can't thank you enough for sticking by my many name, job and address changes. If I've known you less than 20 years and you want to move to Orange county and not return my phone calls, there's always some one-eyed bum on Topanga looking for somene to send a Xmas card to. (But hopefully you'll stick around for some kicks and giggles.)
Pictured: Mtn Meg on left, Mama P me and Texas Liz on right at my 2000 wedding. I love them for convincing me that my choice of a pastel bridesmaid dress really didn't look like the Easter bunny vomited pink Peeps all over me. They lie! They lie! And I adore them for it.)