Posts Tagged friendships
I haven’t really gone into this since I got sidetracked with anger.
The Hippy, who I met through Yankee Heather, works in another department from mine. One in which I rely on to get what I need done, but I get ultra busy and they do too so our ability to interact on topics outside of things we both need from one another tends to be minimal, It makes for a lot of misconceptions about one another when you’re not able to have a conversation with someone you work with so you can get a sense of their personality.
It’s not that I don’t have friendships with people in the department, but they’ve been slowly built over the years.
I had to laugh when The Hippy and I were sharing our first impressions of one another. I was hated and found terrifying and she was so glad I was the exact opposite, though she said a lot of that negative impression had to do with one particular member of her team who has a tendency to project a lot of their internal turmoil on others. It didn’t shock me. I probably would have been more impressed if the opposite were true.
Their team is run by a very tiny little woman who takes no shit and is swift and thorough and somewhat terrifying in her own right, and in that team are at least two who see enemies everywhere, one worse than the other.
One gave me the first impression of “elitist bitch” (this was the culprit) but kind of came off her pedestal over the years, while the other was just prone to being defensive. I once told them “I’ve never learned shit by getting it right the first time” when they messed something up and I was showing them how to fix it, and we’ve been vastly better ever since.
I told The Hippy I’d thought she was awesome the first time I’d met her. She’s laid back, but not lazy, expedient, you only had to point out an error once, she’s personable, intelligent, attentive and curious. She has a similar talent as G-uno in that you become fast friends and she can see right through a lot of shit…except when she has her own emotional investment in the view, I guess. That’s a hard one for all of us, I would venture.
Her and her boyfriend have known each other a long time as friends, went their separate ways for a while, she had been married and divorced once already. an abusive situation, and the prospect of doing it again was terrifying to her. They crossed paths again in the aftermath of bad relationships and just sparked intensely.
Seriously, not once when I met these two outside of work could they ever be on time because they couldn’t keep their hands off one another.
Apparently, I’m at that age where, although I still find it mildly revolting, I also find it adorable in its own right. I always expected to be too curmudgeonly for that shit.
The Hippy recently found out she was pregnant. For all the years she declared to never want kids, when faced with the very real possibility of having one upon her, even with all the fear, she realized was excited about the idea. Especially considering she’d been told she’d never have any.
While she toyed with the idea of an abortion and if they were ready to be parents, when asking for his honest opinion, her boyfriend stuck to his “no kids” sentiment, while at the same time increasing his retirement investment, pouring over his budget, laid out when they should move into a bigger place, and planned out how to fast track himself into a promotion.
It took a while for him to finally admit he really did want this child, but didn’t want to put any pressure on her to have it if she didn’t want it. So she was afraid to tell him she wanted to keep it because of how she felt before finding out she was pregnant, and he didn’t want to tell her he wanted the child because of…. shit….
aw fuck, it all make me want to beat the hell out of both of them from the nausea.
A friend of mine from high school died a few years ago and left a young kid behind. I didn’t know until their mom popped up on Facebook, even though I’d heard through the grapevine that we ended up coming back sort of near our hometown, at least within 50 miles of one another. I quietly ignored this for years.
Their kid is steamrolling into their teens, is of course adorable and even seems like someone I would thoroughly enjoy chatting with. They friended me on facebook after my friend’s mother, their grandmother, posted some pics of our high school days and referred to me as “their best friend.”
It was news to me. What I remember about this person is that during high school, I got into trouble a lot because they were constantly putting me in situations where I was covering for them. I also remember they cried when I gave them a haircut once. It was the grunge area, but do you have to be that emotionally attached to something that is essentially bodily waste?
They wanted to go out with someone they weren’t allowed to? They told their mom they would be at my house spending the night. I was the one who got busted with my family and got in trouble for it.
I got wrangled into a blind double date when they wanted to go out with an older person, which their mom only allowed if I would go too. I got stuck with their stinky sibling. Seriously, I don’t know how they managed it, but they looked both wet from some sort of contact with soap but moist and slick from sweat too. I spent a lot of time looking down thinking any moment they would start dripping. I tried my best to stay out of arm’s reach, with my head near open windows.
Another time, I’d invited them to go with a couple of us to the nearest and much larger city where there was more to do, common for our area. They had somehow hijacked the evening and we ended up where I wasn’t supposed to be with a bunch of people I didn’t know doing a lot of stuff that I’m sure would be objectionable. If any attention were directed at me, my friend would get pissed and go out of their way to recapture it.
Whenever they were around, I remember a lot of potentially cool but only barely started conversations with the copious amounts of people they wanted to surround themselves with, but only if the attention was completely on them. This is often what I think of when I think of their behavior.
Yes, this person wanted all the limelight, gender didn’t matter but opposite sex was preferred. I wasn’t in awe of them, I wasn’t chasing them either, so I was either a friend, a rival or their tool, depending on the situation.
Not even my full collection of Depeche Mode was safe. They borrowed them, then completely destroyed them. Fucker.
With that said, we did sometimes manage to have real bonding conversations, but there could not be anyone around and no prospect of anyone being there at any point in a 24 hour period.
We became better friends when we both married. They became the only married friends we’d had. I married young so finding people who were also married and relatable was tough. It made for casual weekends playing RPGs (the dice-rolling, tabletop kind, kids) that were actually enjoyable. I liked their spouse a lot and being with them seemed to settle that need to constantly have attention. They loved my friend, but they didn’t dote and gush either. They were a realistic slap, gently, to how things should be more equal.
It didn’t last long, one was in the military and the orders to ship out came soon after they married, but it was wonderful when a couple years later, they called and told us they were having their first kid. I hadn’t thought of them much after that, but hoped things had worked out.
But they didn’t. They split up and my friend ended up with an aggressive brain tumor that killed them. BFG and I have speculated a lot on whether this caused a lot of the bizarre behavior we’d come to know over the years, but at this point its rather pointless.
Now there’s a kid who has friended me on Facebook and any other social media we both use and I know the questions are there. They’re coming. It’s what I would have done if I knew my mom’s classmates. It’s what I imagine Spawn would do if this were us and not them.
The thought terrifies me.
None of this is anything I would ever tell this kid. Maybe that really does make me their best friend. They may not be mine, but I have and will keep their secrets. I guess that’s what a best friend is supposed to do.
Ram Dass said “When you know how to listen everyone is your Guru.” I just spent the last two hours at lunch with one of my closest friends, listening to her speak is like stepping into another world where everything you ordinarily see takes on an entirely different form. She sees life in a way that most people are incapable of conceptualizing. Her thinking patterns are rapid, and colorful. She feels things at such a deep analytical level that you can’t help walking away from a deep conversation with her feeling like you’ve been given some of life’s best secrets.
You should know all of my closest friends are quite eccentric, and gifted in some way. She is a published writer, and a gifted artist. The last time we saw one another was at her Mother’s funeral in February. We keep in contact by computer, phone calls then when there is simply too much to share we meet up to sort of feed off each others energy. She speeds me up when I am lingering in doubt, and I slow her down when she’s lost in a rapid blur.
Today’s topic was initially about our families. We have raised our children together over the last 26 years so most of our great talks start with chatter about their lives. Then we invariably spiritually collide. Having both recently experienced long illness care-taking, and the deaths of our loved ones today’s conversation was about realizing the importance of being a part of the end of someone else’s journey. She has the ability to see things from a wide-screen point of observation, and clearly see’s everyone’s purpose in a situation. I am more empathically inclined.I process more on an emotional realm.
In two hours we decided that our roles were supportive both medically, and on a much deeper level emotionally. We both realize that life is much shorter at this junction, so like so many others before us we must decide to live mindfully, and joyfully in the moments. Perhaps more open to accepting life as it happens rather than expecting the plan we had in our heads to materialize. I think our experiences have softened our prior points of view. We also decided that there should always be more time to eat lunch with your favorite Guru. 😉
Stop cringing that was the question that broke the extreme moment of tension in the room that day. Our friend Jeanine started her conversation with the words “There’s something I need you both to know.” Now in my personal experience any time a person starts a conversation with that wording I prepare myself for the worst. The fact that she was shaking, and had an incredibly painstaking look on her face certainly gave that thought process more credibility.
Jeanine had been cutting our hair for three years, she worked in a small styling shop around the corner from our first garage apartment. She was very beautiful! Medium height, grayish blue eyes, and long silky brown hair that hung below her waist. Jeanine had a soft throaty voice, very sultry like, and on the rare occasion when she did laugh it was a an infectious kind of laugh. She was more on the reserved side, very guarded in her demeanor. There was a kind of sadness in her eyes. My husband and I just assumed she was a very private person. Instinctively we knew that she had a complicated story, one she was not willing to share until that particular moment.
We had invited her, and her boyfriend Doug over for dinner that evening. Jeanine came alone because Doug had to work. She was very nervous that evening, we just thought she felt odd because it was our first time of socializing outside of the styling shop. As she stood there wringing her hands looking down at the floor we began to understand that whatever she was about to tell us was going to be extremely difficult for her. Then all at once she blurted out “I was born as James. I legally changed my name to Jeanine when I turned 19, and if this makes you uncomfortable that’s okay it still makes my family uncomfortable. Would you rather I leave?”
It took us a moment to process what she had just blurted out without even taking a breath. I reached for her arm, and asked her to sit next to me on the couch. She sat down slowly, and kept staring down at her feet. My husband offered her a drink. We told her that we did not want her to leave, and that we were just surprised by her news. She went further to say that when she was just our hair stylist she didn’t feel the need to express herself in this way, but since we seemed to be building a friendship she wanted us to know. It was 1986, and although I know there where many other transgender people who were in the process of becoming who they were suppose to be it wasn’t as open a subject as it is today.
She was now looking at our faces searching our expressions to see if they matched the words of acceptance that were coming out of our mouths. Something I’m sure she had become accustomed to doing after sharing her very personal life story. Jeanine told us that she had become accustomed to people’s discomfort with her lifestyle, and had lost many relationships once she shared her story. She thought it would be best if we just asked her questions about her life style and then we could go from there. I remember the pain I felt for her in that moment. Not because she was transgender, but because she was opening her very personal life story almost certain that after a grueling question and answer session she would be rejected. She faced the possibility of subjecting herself to harsh judgement, or even worse fake acceptance!
It was a moment of extreme tension we could physically see her discomfort worsening as we carefully thought about what we would say. That’s when my husband broke the tension with a large boyish grin he asked ” So do you stand up or sit down while you pee?” All at once Jeanine’s face went from a painstakingly discomforted expression to a relieved, smiling one that was immediately followed by most infectious out loud laughter! The three of us laughed until tears rolled down our cheeks. We sat in our little living room eating, and drinking until the wee hours of the morning. We talked about our lives, we asked a lot of questions, and she very openly shared her journey on becoming Jeanine.
The one thing that stands out the most in my mind from that night was when Jeanine said “You know it’s funny how we talk about our journey of becoming another gender because inside I have always been a female, it’s more about everyone else’s journey to catch up to who I’ve always been.” 😉
So yesterday I had my first massage. I’ve been given gift cards for this kind of thing before, only to politely dispose of them or give them away when no one is looking.
I have issues with being touched.
No, I was not the type to swathe myself in saran wrap or a body condom before sex or anything… but there is a pitiful few people on that list of “touch is ok.” My best friend of 20+ years, godparent to my spawn, and I both will greet each other with the type of sideways bro-hug that is probably more awkward-looking than a mormon honeymoon, but its our comfort zone and by damnit, we like it. We have often discussed the anti-touch phenomenon we both seem to share and are kind of weirded out by people who fondle others with reckless abandon. Again, not that we haven’t done our share of fondling in life, but that is a very specific group of people and sure as hell not one we pay for to the tune of scented stuff and weird musak.
Now… with all that said, I have been having quite a lot of problems with stiffness, mobility, pinched nerves… the works. I’m the type of person who does not show my stress emotionally, but it will manifest itself on me physically. When the economy crashed and we all had to take a pretty big pay cut, I was only able to sleep on the couch, on my left side, with one arm twisted over my head, stuffed behind my left shoulder. I also could not turn my head to look left, but if I tried to tilt my head to the right, my right shoulder would seize and raise, and then just stay that way. My body is a bitch to deal with, let’s just say that.
It took a chiropractor about 4 months to get me back to walking normally and sleeping in alternate positions other than this one. Throughout, I joked about the whole thing because… why the fuck not? It was funny as hell outside of the shitty paycheck and everything else.
Yes, I did say chiropractor. I have no problem with going to a chiropractor… doesn’t make any sense right? I’ve often wondered what the difference was too, but then I realized I also had no problem with judo lessons and you have to spend a lot of time grabbing others then as well. The overall goal in judo is either to throw your opponent or pin them down so they are unable to move.
The difference, my friends, is violence.
I was perfectly fine with touching as long as there was some element of violence to it. If it was closer to sparring than soft intimate-like touching, I was fine with it. It also made me want to reevaluate my past relationships considering I didn’t have issues with that either….
Over the past few years, my body has been in a slow seize. It’s been almost imperceptible… until of course, it was blatantly obvious. Even the chiropractor, who is built like a massive football player and is one of those types who does a macro diet (whatever the hell that means), hot yoga and bicycles everywhere… felt the need to comment about stiff I was. For the first time in years since I’d been visiting his office, he actually seemed like he was battling to get me to loosen up. He grunted… I’d never heard such a thing from him. Normally I get a firsthand experience of what pizza dough must feel like. He did manage to make a little bit of progress, but apparently I have done one hell of a number on myself.
I also have a fellow parent friend who happens to be a masseuse. Their kid had a birthday this past weekend so of course, I had to take spawn. Try as I might, I apparently wasn’t doing a very good job of covering the mass amount of pain I was in or the funny mummy-walk I guess I had going on and was told to have my ass down to their place after work. I hurt too much to argue.
With that said, I had a minor heart attack when told to take off everything.
me:”Everything? like down to the underthings right?”
them:”No… everything, all of it… off”
them:”hurry up, holler when you’re ready”
I stare helplessly at the door and realize its already filled with the soft indian music, low lighting and supposedly comfort-inducing scents that I’m guessing are pretty standard for this type of business and realize I’m still rather disturbed. Can I fake illness or nausea to backpedal out of this? Can I jump from this window? It’s only the 2nd floor.
But damn, I hurt so much… I have another chiropractic appointment at the end of this week and even a little chance that this might help him get further along in loosening me back up means I don’t have to down an ibuprofen cocktail every time I try to breathe, bend or walk. So I throw my last reservations aside, toss everything in a corner and make a mad dash for the blanket on the table… of course “mad dash” would be more aptly described as the general motion a 90-year-old would make when migrating himself and a walker to the last available Viagra before anyone else could get it. Or perhaps a barely walking 10-month-old trying to make it to a piece of chocolate before falling down. Baby deer, but not nearly as cute. This was me and my “mad dash” to the blanket.
Once I got myself amply cocooned into this blanket/sheet combo, pretty much making it difficult to gain access to any region of skin, I hollered to my friend that I had succeeded. Apparently, my friend is used to people like me, my fortress of blanket I had encased myself within was very quickly weakened and the massage commenced. I spent a large portion at the beginning giggling with the kind of hysterics that are born from discomfort. By the end, I wouldn’t have given a shit if they’d tied my foot to the back of the car naked to get me home as long as I didn’t have to get up. I really wanted to keep the blanket too.
I have to say, at first I really didn’t feel much of anything. It took my poor friend some time to work out the biggest kinks I had going on so I could even perceive any sensation at all. My friend made the comment my ass was like a block of granite. As I was working up a good leering grin and comeback for the compliment on my ass firmness, I realized they were being completely deadpan. They also were not complimenting me. I had gotten my muscles so tense I may as well have been made out of a brick shithouse, not “firm” in the sense of “hawt.”
I have to admit, I walked away a little easier, I was even a bit energized. I felt parts of my leg muscles I had not been able to perceive in two years. I also have a newfound respect for the touch therapy that is massage. I’m not 100% of course, but that will take some time. I sure as hell didn’t do this to myself overnight. But this felt like it gave me a good leap in the right direction. I am definitely thankful I have a friend who not only does this job but is stubborn enough to put up with me in spite of my weird hangups.
No, I don’t plan on being more touchy. My kid is about the only one in my life who apparently gets cuddled without violence… and maybe small baby animals. Maybe. Baby pigeons are just fugly, I’m not going anywhere near that.
Ok, can’t let a post like that go without counter. G-uno has a way of looking at people that can make them feel like superheros. Its kind of her superpower. She may claim its The Magical Vagina(tm) but in actuality its just magical because of her. No matter how irrational or complex you think you are or feel about something, she has this way of simplifying things in a way that makes you go, “huh… wtf was I just bitching about? That’s easy to resolve.”
We have a common element who was pivotal in our meeting. Ironic considering they have no idea we’ve gone and done a blog together and would likely be shocked if they ever found out. But we wanted a safe haven for the verbal diarrhea that we could never unlock in our conventional lives. The catalyst to us even meeting was that we were both sources of guidance for this person. G-uno was usually the first stop, but if said person didn’t really like the advice given, I was normally the next stop. After hearing, “DAMNIT, that’s the same fucking thing G-uno said!” about a hundred times, I had to say I was rather intrigued. Apparently, G-uno had been hearing the same things about me. We had vastly different lives, different states and stages of life, our views were sometimes extremely contrasting, but somehow our advice to our common element just seemed to mirror the other, sometimes even verbatim.
We’ve now known one another for years, and out of the blue I get a message from G-uno asking if I’d ever thought about writing a blog. Ironically, I had been toying with the idea for quite some time and just had not taken the initiative to do so, thinking I just did not have the time to make it worth visiting. It was one of those conversations that kind of go like:
G:”hey I know we haven’t talked in like a year, but have you ever thought about doing a…”
g:”yes I have! let’s do it, we need to come up with a name but let’s run with it, but I…”
G:”yeah, I don’t think we should tell anyone we know either…think they’d get pissed?”
And I’m only slightly exaggerating. There just seems to be this common wavelength we’ve been able to tap into when necessary.
We wanted it to be unfettered, not bound by stereotypes or prejudices and we remained hopeful for the future interaction of those who decided we were worthy of reading. We wanted to know their stories, we wanted them to exist and be in a way that you cannot have when you know a person in real life, where they live and work and what they are “normally” like. If you were a high-level powerhouse who secretly liked being spanked by circus carnies and little people (I really have no idea what the hell is PR now), we wanted to hear why that worked for you and why you would feel so secretive about such a thing. If you were the picture of happiness but felt cold and dead inside, we wanted to know, we wanted to listen to the things you couldn’t tell your family without crushing them, and we would send you all the virtual hugs, silent but listening ears or words of encouragement you wanted. At some point, I’m hoping it does move more towards interactive than just us posting, though I doubt that will ever go away either.
For those who do not know, I leave comments open, I don’t require logins to comment. I’m hoping this doesn’t welcome the trolls, but I also didn’t want to lock out someone who wanted to reach out with anonymity either. I think sometimes we have just a second of bravery, and I didn’t want that crap waiting for me to approve it through admin. I did put a chat up as well, but I see it as a work in progress in which it will adapt to suit. Of course, comments and questions are welcome.