Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The idea of friendship has been at the forefront of the ol' thinking cap recently. We finished a long series at church analyzing the way in which God extended His hand in friendship to the earth, and continues to do so, even though He has every right to be "cuttee" with us; don't know what that means? Well, it's an Indian playground kind of thing -- I had a friend, Cynthia, my best friend in my first years at the predominantly Indian St. Mary's School. We would bicker constantly, and when we did, she would stick up her pinkie finger at me and say, "I'm cuttee with you!".
It was meant to, and often did, inspire a sharp gasp on my end, possibly followed by tears because right then and there, our friendship was over forever. And by forever I mean until the next day when we were BFFs again.
In any case, the way we treat God (not listening to Him, thinking we know better than He does, not giving Him the time of day, cursing/killing/stealing/lying in His name etc), would give Him every right to be cuttee with us. But He isn't. Pretty cool (and mysterious!) guy, huh?
So wait... um, why did I bring that up? Oh yeah, FRIENDSHIP!
There are so many different kinds, right? I have the friends from secondary school, who were the first ones to make me feel like I was worth hanging out around, worth anything really.
Then the ones in college, who walk you with you through all those watershed moments like falling in love, falling out of love, learning to drive (thanks Eli!), holding your hair back when you're returning that horrible fraternity beer back to where it surely must have come from (the toilet).
Then there's those friends that though you only knew them for a season, you never forget -- maybe someone at work who was the only other one who rolled their eyes when your boss talked about "pushing the envelope", or someone at your yoga class who also snorted when someone farted in downward dog... those little friend-miracles you just "clicked" with, your partners in crime in a situation where you felt out of place. That's my Caroline.
Caroline came to visit the West Coast this weekend, and graciously made time to see me on Sunday. I hadn't seen her since 1999, when we were both posted in the Medill bureau in Washington D.C., as part of our degrees (my undergrad, her grad). She worked as the D.C. correspondent for a Vermont station, and I did the same for a North Dakota station. Here we are on one of the first days after getting the precious passes that would allow us on the Hill. Don't we look excited?! Caroline's the one with the sassy short red hair.
Caroline and I clicked from Day One. We were both focused and level-headed about our job there, but we also knew that if we didn't let loose and have some fun as well, we would lose it. We laughed ALL THE TIME, especially if we caught each other's eye at an inappropriate moment. We talked about the perfect suit, the perfect makeup for a standup, the perfect man. We shot together on Capitol Hill, then did a few shots together after work. :) She propped me up when I didn't feel that great about my writing, gave me her honest opinion about my stories, listened to me when I was struggling with how to work with certain folks, and got me coffee when I was lagging. Her laugh was, and still is, infectious. Caroline came up with the coy "WHO said that?" line which she would shriek after saying something inappropriate; she'd then start looking under the table and behind the curtain for the culprit, because it most certainly wasn't her! It makes me laugh just thinking about it!
She was my only friend in DC., and she got me through what could have been a hard and lonely time doing what I thought to be the job of my dreams. I don't know how I could have gotten through without her.
After those three months in DC, we went our separate ways -- and after a successful number of years as a reporter in Vermont, she's in Boston now.
I was a little nervous, I'll admit, that after not seeing each other for eight years we'd have nothing in common, that our conversation would be stunted, uncomfortable and worst of all... lacking all laughter.
But once I saw her walking up the stairs to our place, my heart leapt out of my chest as I realised how much I had missed her! We both yelped and grabbed each other, giggling like a couple of little girls. We picked up exactly where we left off, excitedly finding out about each other's lives, making each other laugh, re-living old memories, and in short, revealing how much the other had meant to us.
I was struck by how many questions she had for Bren, about his acting life, about where he grew up, about what he likes to do... I have never met a more genuine person that Caroline, so honestly curious about other people and what makes them tick. She's a compassionate listener, and always knows just what to say. It's almost as if the sun literally shines out of her butt -- her attitude is always light, always positive and I know for sure that is why we clicked in the first place, because that is something I try (and fail quite often) to achieve.
This is soppy I know, but I felt like I had found an old friend, a treasured teddy bear again. I am trying to think of another way to say how grateful I am for her friendship, but everything sounds cheesy. Suffice to say, I knew I didn't deserve a friend like her, especially in DC, but I am so grateful that she was given to me. I literally ached after I dropped her off later that night, but I am buoyed by the revelation that we weren't just friends out of necessity -- we were friends out of choice, and that once clicked, we probably will never un-click (un-clique?) again. I love you hun!
at 1:46 PM