Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Girlfriends and Balloons

Today I did absolutely nothing. I mean, really. I thought I was doing nothing before, after the job ended, but that nothing was nothing compared to this nothing.

You know when you finally getting around to watching The Omen and then take an inadvertently long nap that your Christmas Break has really started.

But this blog is not about that. No, it's not about the presents, the cookies, the late nights, the eggnog, the carols, the endless giftwrapping, the Christmas trees, or even the fancy holiday meals. It's not about making sure you see your mom, your dad, your in-laws, your sister, your brothers-in-law, your brother-in-law's girlfriend, your sister's in-laws, your husband's high school gang, or your old horse trainer.

This blog is about my very own girlfriends.

So I have this group of girlfriends from college. You've already heard about two of them. They got married this year and I had a cold for both weddings. Well, there's a third (who is already married and for whose wedding I did not have a cold). And then there's me, so altogether we make four. Which is a perfect number for trips to the beach in Beatle convertibles, which we do often. When we were in college we (mostly) lived together and threw the most fabulous parties. We once threw a combination dance party/luau, which was the talk of the town for the next year. Later we talked with a girl who was a couple of classes younger than us who actually said "I knew I had made it when I got invited to a Jones Ave party."

Truly. We were epic.

These girls are GOOD FRIENDS. I know this because I have not always been one. I am not prompt with the phone calls or emails. I sometimes forget birthdays. I up and move away to far-off places, much to their chagrin. I haven't sent one of them a wedding present yet (sshhh!). I live on a different, wacky plane than them. They are schoolteachers, with full-time jobs and homes that they pay mortgages on. They buy cars and sometimes expensive purses. Meanwhile I float around like a curly-haired balloon, flitting from one "career" to the next, not knowing where my next paycheck may come from and driving my mom's ancient hand-me-down car. My purses average around the $4 range.

But through these ten years they have held on to me, curly-headed balloon that I am. They have clawed their way in again and again, past the silent phone and the non-returned emails. They keep coming back and forgiving me for all my trespasses. They grab me by my string when I'm about to float away and say "don't forget about us!"

They love me. They are always there, no matter what. They are there to tell me the truth no matter what. Because they knew me and they know me. They're not going anywhere, and they are the rock that I can tie my string to.

Or the tree branches that I keep getting caught in as I float away, or...something...

This metaphor has worn itself out.

Bottom line, a girl like me needs girls like them.

I love you, ladies!

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