Saturday, I gotta tell you, I was feeling a bit blue. I worked at the library all day, which was a good day. The library was packed and I got to work out on the public floor helping patrons for a lot of my day and there is nothing like my job, sometimes, to make a person feel useful. Helping person after person, with all kinds of problems to be solved (what book to read next? how to write an effective resume? how to study for citizenship test? where are historical photos of my house? and on, and on, and on). There really isn’t anything like it.
But still, I was blue.
The reason I was blue was because I knew that that very evening, my favorite Michigan girls were getting together for a birthday bash for Alli. They were going to meet up at a super fancy restaurant in Detroit (they do TOO have those in Detroit) for eatsie eatsie drinky drinky, and then stumble up to a block of rooms in the Westin in the wee hours for some semblance of shut-eye.
They, over there. And me, over here. I love Seattle, I really do. And I don’t want to leave my adopted city. But at times like this? I want to tear my hair out for lack of a transporter. I WANTED TO GO SEE MY LADIES. SOOOOO BAD. Like, bad. Really, really bad. Bad.
I felt a little misty as I drove home from work that night, if you want to know what a big baby poopy pants I was being about the whole thing.
I got home, and I got into my pajamas, and Nordic Boy got us take-out Chinese food, and we settled in to watch the sixth Harry Potter movie (geek alert: we’ve been re-watching them all to prep for the new one coming out this month).
And that’s when the texts started.
My Michigan girls, they totally didn’t forget me. They texted me funny texts the whole. entire. night. They emailed me photos of them getting more and more sloshed as the night went on. My favorite is of Alli and Nicole, both holding up their glasses and laughing. Alli has her eyes half-closed, and Nicole is leaning on Alli so hard that her head is pretty much horizontal. Map sent me the photo with the caption “There will be puking.”
So we texted back and forth while the party went on. And near the end of the night, they called me. Put me on speaker phone so I could hear their crazy sweet voices, and then took me off speaker phone and passed the phone around.
Here’s the thing. If you are my peeps, you’re my peeps. Unless you did something assholey and I have made an intentional decision to cut you out (and you’d know it if I did), you’re staying my peeps. But one thing I don’t do, the older I get, is conduct one-sided friendships. If I ask you to do something once, twice, three times (a lady…), and you don’t respond to me? I’m going to stop asking, even though you, as far as I am concerned, are still my peeps. Because if you aren’t thinking about me, or valuing my time, or my effort, then you’re drawing a boundary for yourself there, and I totally respect that. My tactic when this happens is to just lay low, and still show the person that I am around if they want to see me, but I’m not chasing anyone. That’s just a waste of time, really. Most of the time, people will drift away, but then eventually, they come back. That’s the way life is. People get distracted by life, or they take people for granted, or they think they have outgrown the people who love them.
But then, there are some people that just don’t let that shit happen.
Those are my Michigan girls. They don’t get distracted by life. They don’t get careless and then make excuses. They don’t take me for granted. They grow and change, and I grow and change, and we all live very different lives now, but that doesn’t break the bond, because the bond is tended. Not every day, but often, and always when it counts. For over thirty-fricking-years of our lives. The next time you let a day go by that you aren’t honoring your friendships, think of these ladies. They are the gold standard. The best word I can think of for them is: true. They stay true to me.
Maybe that’s where the term true friend comes from. I guess I had never thought about that before.
I’m not feeling so blue anymore.