On Friendship

I haven’t blogged in a while.  I am slacking.  We’re on Spring Break this week, so it’s not even like I don’t have time, I just have been spending my time doing other things.  Things like acclimating our two new members of our household (kitties!!) and introducing them to The Puppy and spending time with The Boyfriend outside of the car and even regularly scheduled midweek time with The Minions.  In short – I have time, but am spending it doing things with the people I care about most. 

Speaking about the people I care about most, because I really don’t have a lot to talk about (as an aside, I haven’t done any work on the house lately, though I did pick up a sample of a paint color for the study.  I also haven’t made any new drinks lately – just a lavender water/grapefruit/gin thing that was good, but largely forgettable), I’m using The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt for today, Something So Strong.  The prompt reads: Tell us the origin story of your best friend.  How did you become friends?  What is it that keeps your friendship rockin’ after all these years?  So – today, I’ll tell you about my best friend.

A bit of history first though: female friendships have always been hard for me.  I’m kind of awkward and have a really strong personality. I can be abrasive, which isn’t always intentional.  I joke about being a bit of a b*tch, but really, I border on the Myers-Briggs personality types (if you believe in those sorts of things) as an ENTJ or an INTJ, depending on my mood when I take the quiz.  I am really more of an introvert, but once I feel comfortable around you, I’m kind of a spaz and am actually pretty outgoing.  All of this to say, I didn’t really start developing strong friendships until well into adulthood, and I don’t always have the best friend skills – this is all kind of new to me.  So, while six years does not an “after all these years” kind of story make, it’s the most meaningful friendship I’ve had in my life and I treasure it.

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So – Lynne.  (Pardon the terrible photo – I just saved it off my Facebook.)  She’s a talented writer and an all-around wonderful person.  We met in our non-traditional undergraduate program in Vermont in 2008.  My first memory of her is from our orientation meeting, she’s not shy at all and I love her for it.  She’s got this incredible (wicked) Massachusetts accent, unmistakable, and she took over our meeting with her stories and opinions.  On a subsequent weekend, we were sharing a meal together with other students, and she mentioned being encouraged by her professor to share a piece of writing at an upcoming variety show (I’m not really sure how to describe it – variety seems best) where other students would be sharing their talents and art and work.  She said she knew what piece she wanted to share, but was hesitant to read it to the group.  I, completely lacking any sort of filter in some situations, piped up that I would absolutely read it for her.  So, that night, in front of the entire student body, many of the professors, and a couple of visitors, I read a fairly graphic (sex) scene from one of her short stories.  For weeks afterward (and actually the next year or so whenever one of the variety shows would come up, even at the poetry slam), other students would ask me about it.  We caused quite the stir.  People were (very) angry about the selection, others surprised someone from our group had written it, others more surprised that someone had read it.  I think the reactions were a shock to both of us.  We were all adults.  Why the harshness toward the piece, and more openly, me?  It wasn’t my writing, in fact, I had said it was from someone else in the group.  My own professor was upset and cold to me afterward.  And Lynne stood up to it.  She made an announcement in a big mandatory meeting the following morning and stood up to the negativity.  From then on, I’ve carried a huge amount of respect for her and we’ve been fast friends.  Her opinion matters more to me than that of nearly anyone else.  I consider her and her family as my own family, having spent holidays and birthdays with them nearly every year since.  She has been there for everything – school weekends (which were not the same after she, my mother hen, graduated a year before I did), a big breakup in 2009, a move to New York in 2010, graduation in 2011, the law school application process, the relationship with The Boyfriend, the house hunt, the nearly dying last summer – all of it.  She and her family met The Boyfriend before my blood relations and her approval was important to me.  She’s wickedly funny, gives great advice, and has wonderful taste in food and a great eye for decorating.  I can’t imagine life without her.

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