Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Friendship is not something to take lightly.  It takes a lot of time and effort in being a good friend.  Many people disagree, but I do have my reasons.  First - think of scheduling conflicts.  Trying to get away from the day-to-day for a phone conversation that has substance or a coffee break without kids, husbands, etc. can be a daunting task.  Second - it's hard to be a good listener.  Part of being a great friend is being a good listener and knowing when to interject and when to remain silent.  It's such a valued skill that college courses in Interpersonal Communication are offered!  Third - being a good friend means putting others before yourself.  This may come in the form of holding your tongue, going on a trip that is not your cup of tea, or letting someone else choose where to go for dinner.  All are sacrifices, and granted, they are great experiences that mold and shape you, but it can be hard to put your needs and wants behind those of others.

I could go on and on, but this is a blog post, not a novel.  The point of this post is to share how I view friendship.  Being a good friend means a lot to me.  So much so, that when I heard my best friend would be coming home for two weeks (home for her being a suburb of Chicago), I immediately scheduled some time off of work, booked a flight, and began planning a 48 hour whirlwind trip - just to spend some quality face-to-face time with her.  The last time I saw her was a year and a half ago at my wedding.  Prior to that, it had been at my cousin's baby shower.  Our friendship has always been long distance, with her living in Illinois, then Arizona, and now California, and me always in Kentucky.  But we made it work, and it is all because of our first encounter, 22 years ago.

Our first exchange goes something like this:
Kelly, age 3, snuck into the backyard of her grandmother’s neighbor and was swinging on the shiny swingset.

Marie, age 3, was not happy to find a stranger on her swing set. She came out of the house screaming “what are you doing? Get off of my swings.”

Kelly, horrified, ran into her grandmother’s house crying about the mean girl.

Nanny, Kelly’s grandmother, walked Kelly over and made her apologize to Marie.

Marie accepted and Kelly and Marie have been best friends since that day.

Since that fateful spring day more than two decades ago, hundreds of letters, cards, phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages have been exchanged. Marie has since moved from Chicago to Los Angeles where she is pursuing an acting and modeling career while working as a therapist with young children. I have stayed in Kentucky, pursuing my goals of higher education, a career in the communications field, and marriage. Despite our drastically different lifestyles, we make it a point to get together whenever possible and catch up on all life has dealt us.

In Marie I have found the kind of friendship that I think all women need. She provides a shoulder to cry on and gives advice, but without being judgmental. She also tells it like it is, but without making me feel like a child. She is funny and easy to talk to. I think all women need this kind of friend, and this kind of friendship. The kind where you could go months or years without speaking then you pick up the phone and there you are, right where you left off.

Friendship is a true gift. One that should be cherished and treated like the finest treasure in all the land. I’m very grateful for all of the people who I can call my true friends.

Kelly and Marie - August 13, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment