Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to the another, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
It’s easy to wax poetic about my friends - their generosity, patience, and kindness; their presence through thick and thin and their willingness to put up with my crap. But really, some of the really great things about my friends is the crazy-ass stuff that has just happened along the way, stuff we heard or talked about. NYC adventures with Neiman was awesome – but we were already good friends though the trip added memories and experiences we still joke about. But honestly, not all the rip-roaring hilarious stuff is a trip. Much of it isn’t planned. Hell, most of it isn’t even a full-fledged thing. It’s the scratch the surface stuff we find out about our friends that makes us love them even more.
It’s the hilarious time Beach flashed me (and all the customers in that particular NYC Banana Republic) to show me that the skirt she was trying on was really a skort…but neglected to zip the zipper. Or wear underpants. It’s the time Beach, Patron and I decided to make lobsters but had no crackers to open them – and resorted to pounding them with hammers and chisels. On the ground. Very classy.
It’s the unexpected good times at the end of a long day when it’s dark and getting colder and Perky’s husband (aka Splash) asks if everyone wants to jump in their in-the-process of being filled pool. What followed was eight children shrieking with joy and jumping, splashing and laughing in freezing water in the cool night air.
It’s the long ago time Southern, Neiman and I were driving around DC very late at night in Southern’s big ole’ Caddy (seriously, that thing was a boat.) Neiman was, uh, relaxing, in the back with some boy and Southern and I were not able to find our way out the paper bag that is Southeast DC. Periodically, Neiman would pop up from the back and say (with total authority), “I know where we are, turn left.” We totally listened and proceeded to drive in circles for an hour before we acknowledged that Neiman didn’t know what the fuck she was talking about. “Turn left” now means you are either lost or totally fucked up (literally or figuratively.)
But sometimes, it happens when we find ourselves talking about things that well, only good friends talk about. Magic Pan has a special meaning for me and Neiman – it describes a moment not even remotely magical but always memorable and more than once we’ve simply sent a text or email with the phrase “Magic Pan Moment” and we instantly know we need to call and check in. It was sitting around the table with Perky, Lips and Legs and we were laughing hysterically about something and I sneezed…and peed my pants. This led to a hilarious discussion about all the fun things that happy to your body after you have babies, hot flashes and flatulence. On more than once occasion a phone conversation with Geek is punctuated by peeing or flushing and Neiman and I talk while she takes a bath. It’s my long-time friend Runner, always polite with never a hair out of place, walking up to me and saying, “Pull my finger.” And, me doing it. We’re not a modest group.
It’s finding out a good friend has a potty mouth, too. It’s being flattered when a friend calls you “hooker.” It’s finally seeing Legs get frustrated or annoyed (because seriously, that woman has the patience of a saint) and then say, “I had a glass of wine. I feel better.” Not because you’ve never seen her drink (uh, I’ve seen that more than once or a dozen times) but because you got it. Like hearing that a friend yelled at her kids and dropped the f-bomb ‘cause you thought you were the only one that did that. Makes your shortcomings seem like a small imperfection that is shared by others. Sounds nicer that way, doesn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong, the cuddly warm parts of friendship are important. Being there during tough times and providing that kind of emotional support are immensely valuable. But really, it’s the hilarious, off-color times that make us laugh until we snort (or pee our pants) that keep us together. It’s the human moments – when our imperfections are glaringly obvious and we are friends regardless of it. ‘Cause really, that’s when we know that no one else may find us as funny. And, that makes for good friends.