Feelings, Friendship

I Play A Game

Can I tell you a secret? There’s a little game I’ve been playing with myself.

I give myself points every time I do a good thing, a mitzvah, a thing I’m proud of.

And those points are redeemable in acts of self-love.

I treated myself to a healthy homemade lunch and also a fancy dinner with lots of sauces.

I ate 3 mini brownies on Thursday.

I told a guy I liked that I liked him.

I painted my nails.

I took myself to yoga.

When I do things I respect I think I’m worthy of love. And then I give that love to myself.

When other people do things I respect I think they’re worthy of my love. And similarly deliver. Easy simple rules.


One Is Silver The Other Is Gold

This stupid Buzzfeed article keeps popping up and bothering me.

21 Things You Know Only If You’ve Been Best Friends For 10 Years

Things like ‘you have horrible pictures of each other’ and every sentence starts with ‘remember when?’

Having old friends is great. I love the few old friends I still have (shout out to one who just got engaged this week!). But the truth is that I don’t have many of them. My first best friend, I love her but she has her own life, arguably both more exciting and more mature than mine. I see her when I can (and love it) but even when we were small it never felt like we were each others highest priorities. We’d take a picture together at a bar mitzvah and then immediately run off to our other friends. We were admittedly best friends of convenience in a class that had three girls in it.

The next girl I called my best friend is full of the testing, the emotional betrayal and the underhanded digs that you’d expect from Regina George. I look back on the time together and see myself as the victim. I’m sure the moments I pushed back live on in her memory as the abuses she had to endure. And while I do remember my aching need to show her my undying loyalty to her, the memory of it brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from We Need To Talk About Kevin,

Before you condemn me utterly, I beg you to understand how hard I’d been trying to be a good mother. But trying to be a good mother may be as distant from being a good mother as trying to have a good time is from truly having one. [x]

When we graduated and weren’t physically close anymore it took us about a year of pretending to still care before she sent me a long, accusatory email, dismissing me from her life. I had just moved into a new apartment that day and I remember reading her message, a smidgen of heat rising to my face and then just deleting it and thinking how quick and painless that long overdue breakup was.

It’s the friends who I’ve made since then who I feel are worth keeping.

My roommate from college who I think of literally daily.

The friends who live in other cities and who I’ve started sending postcards to.

The friends I’ve made since my dad died. Who were there, who listened to everything good and bad that spewed out of me and are still a part of my life.

And the common thread is me. Maybe I’m just better at being a friend now than I was in the past. Maybe I care more about doing a decent job at it.

So take that Buzzfeed!

Friendship, Love, Sisterhood

Friends For A Funeral

A wonderful old friend of mine (who I don’t see enough) recommended to me the other day that I should start listening to the Dear Sugar podcast.

She was right. It is delightful.

And the first episode that I listened to was #10, about friendships. In the episode a woman tells the story of her best friend helping her through the death of her mother. The feeling of having that best friend right alongside her in the first row with the family of the deceased.

And I realized that I never wrote an ode to the amazing friends who crossed the country to be with me when my father passed.

When I was just starting high school I befriended two other girls who happened to live in California. It’s a long story. But apparently, when our friendship developed and they found out that my dad was ill they decided that when he passed, whenever it was, wherever they were, they would come. I didn’t know this at the time. I only found out when they called me from the airport “We’re on our way!”

They sat right behind me and my family at the service, they answered every question I could think of, helped me pick out what to wear to the cemetery. They did all the things that a friend could do.

And I just wanted to say thanks. Because they’re amazing. Because friendship is an important and beautiful gift. We should all appreciate it more.

Friendship, Relationships

Thank You

The other night I had a really scary experience. I had to leave work, I was really scared, I was crying. I didn’t know what to do.

And one of my friends talked me through the whole thing and then let me come over and cry on his lap for an hour, rubbing my back.

And I thought, this is why people have relationships, so they can call you up and cry and you’ll have to take care of them.

I kept thinking; I hope I never have to experience another night like tonight ever again. But if I do then I hope it is again with you. Someone like you. Someone I can trust to listen and never judge but just soothe.

And I’m sure I will have many more nights like this. That’s growing up isn’t it? That’s life. The things that happen while you’re busy making other plans. A series of experiences. Good and bad things happening one after the other. There’s your kid getting in a car accident and parents dying and food poisoning on opening night.

That’s the scary thing about growing up. More THINGS just keep happening. Because that is how life works.

I just hope I have someone like you to rub my back and make me tea.

Friendship, Sisterhood

Partners In Crime

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

I think most people want a partner in crime more than a lover.

But we don’t tell them that’s ok.

We don’t have friend weddings where we announce to the world that we’re ready to keep this person in our heart forever.

“[Amy Poehler is] already kind of my girlfriend, and I’m not saying that in a jokey way. We had a moment last year, late at night, when we decided we were gonna end up together. For now, we have to let boys come and go, but we’re kind of in love.” – Aubrey Plaza
And that’s a real shame.

Feelings, Friendship

How To Comfort

Sometimes my best friend calls me when she’s upset and gives me the brief outline of what happened.

And when I don’t know how to comfort her I ask her this question:

Do you want to talk about it or do you want me to distract you?

Sometimes she says talk and we talk.

Sometimes she says distract and so I tell her about the new t-shirt I just bought and the amazing tv show I just finished.

Sometimes she says both and so we talk and then when we run out of stuff to say about it I ramble about nail polish colors until her breathing is steady again.

Sometimes you need to ask how someone wants to be comforted.

And now for my favorite words on comfort here is Elmo.

Friendship, Intimacy

Asexuals and Friend-Love

On The Savage Lovecast this week there was an interview with David Jay from asexuality.org which I liked a lot.

One of the things he talked about was how asexuals have really important intimate relationships, which may or may not be romantic. Asexuals aren’t alone, they have meaningful friendships just as important to them as a sexual relationship would be to others.

And I completely understand that. That’s how I’ve always felt.

I enjoy my sexual and romantic relationships as much as any other sexual person does but I have a few really intimate friendships that probably rival the intensity of those asexual partnerships. And sometimes I wonder if this is normal. And then I take a snarky look at the word normal and tell it to buzz off.

No wonder I get defensive when people describe romantic relationships as being “more than friends.” I still regularly have sleepovers with my friends just so I can get more hours in with them in a week.

Next family reunion maybe I won’t bother telling anyone who I’m sleeping with (the information they’re all dying for) but instead about the much more important people in my life.

Bonus question: I adopt the vocabulary of asexuals because it helps me express how much I love the people in my life. Is that appropriation or not?