…with a little help from my friends.
It’s an old adage, and really, could one be more true? I was sitting in a division-wide weekly meeting at work today, paying very little attention to the meeting and a lot of attention to the group text I have with my two close friends. It was an unimportant conversation; one that could have easily happened later or not at all, but it was also the highlight of my (and I hope theirs too) day.
I met another friend for Starbucks this morning to rehash our night out yesterday and chatted with a different friend on my walk home. Every day, no matter how tedious work can be or how dreary the winter skies remain, or how bloated or crabby I am or what stupid life mistakes I make, I know that I have a truly incomparable circle of women doing all the same things right beside me. Even when we don’t see each other for months or even years at a time, when we don’t talk on the phone, when the texts are few and far between, I know that I could reach out and expect it to be like no time at all had passed.
The dictionary defines a friend as one with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. I love the thought of that. Each memory, over years, is a bit of glue holding you together. Nights driving around aimlessly in high school, dorm room naps in college, post-work happy hours, weekend phone calls, all these insignificant pieces of every day, combined with breakups and weddings, consolation over ice-cream, brutal honesty about outfits and boyfriends, trips taken and lessons learned–these are what create that bond, that mutual affection holding us together.
I have part of a love poem by e.e cummings tattooed on me, and the other part isn’t tattooed on my husband, who would be the traditional choice for that sort of reciprocity, but on my dear, dear friend. Because friendship is also a lifelong love story, but without the struggle of balancing a budget together.
They say if you’re not losing friends by the time you hit 30, you’re doing life wrong. I tend to think that “they” make a lot of broad statements, but friendship is probably one of those things that is better quality than quantity. How lucky I am to have both. I prefer the Girl Scouts method of “make new friends but keep the old.” And then my friends both new and old can share a box of Thin Mints, because let’s be honest, if you’re not down for cookies, we’re probably not close anyway.