I was speaking with a friend at work the other day about an issue that he has with his once closest friend. Instead of interrupting (I’m a girl, it’s what we do best), I let him finish his story from start to finish with the odd nod, a few ohs so that he knew that I was listening and wasn’t dead, and a couple of I sees. He was friends with someone that he met in his late teens for twenty odd years. The best of friends, they had so many amazing times together – he was the best man at his friend’s wedding, helped him through the hardest of times and then poof, it was all over. He barely hears from his friend and when he does, it’s really superficial. I had to adjust myself to the fact that he wanted a deeper conversation with his friend. Sorry – sexist I know, and I also had to stop myself from referring him to my blog to read “A Reason, A Season, A Lifetime”. This guy wasn’t going to have any part of that, and it felt self-serving, so I kept it simple. I said, “Wow that sucks” – he said “Yup”. Then, and only after, he gave me the impression that he was looking for more, did I give him a piece of my mind – in four sentences or less. I basically asked if he misses his friend – he does…if he can get past his disappointment – he thinks he can and why does he want this friendship – it feels like a comfy shoe when it works. He is going to give it one kick at the can and see if he can talk to his friend. I’m pretty proud of his for reaching out. It’s the hardest thing to do.
It reminded me that I owe my own friend Babs a little blog mention. Yes, friendship can be stressful, because people can disappoint, but sometimes, when you know someone as long as I’ve known Babs, you get to a place in your life where you can just laugh at everything. For example, work has been causing me a little stress lately, but Babs gave me an excuse to leave early (meaning 6pm) by asking me to a play that she got free tickets to. We had some much fun chatting before the play started, I almost didn’t want to watch it, but no two people in the world are a cultured as this Torontonian (via Montreal and Cape Breton) and the true Cape Bretoner that I was sitting beside. The play started and I knew, from the first line, that it was going to suck. I was right! The only entertainment that I had for that long hour and a half before the intermission was looking around at the sleeping people around me and looking at Babs and cracking up. I laughed, not at the play, but because we were thinking the same thing – let’s leave at the intermission. Sometimes, the best part of friendship are the words that you don’t have to use.
My next moment of de-stressing this week, was today. I went to my former dance teacher’s for lunch and saw some ladies that I used to dance with. It was so nice catching up with people that I don’t see nearly enough. It wasn’t just talking about our history – what’s the most enjoyable was hearing what is going on in people’s lives right now. For me, the added bonus, is that my former dance teacher knows me in a way that can only happen when you see someone three times a week, almost every week for almost ten years. It was also a nice reminder of some of the best times of my life.
Last, but not least, my conversation with the friend at work reminded me of a friend that is like an old comfortable shoe. She is much older than me (7 whole months – hey, in dog year’s it’s 49 months) but I still like hanging out with her. Sometimes, having someone know you so well, that they know when you’ve been politically correct in your blog is a stress relief. It’s always nice when someone knows you so well, that they catch the smallest nuance, even when they aren’t speaking to you and for that, and all of the stress relief that she and the other friends that I’ve listed today have provided, I am…