You’ve Got a Friend.

I was trying to think of an analogy for the past weekend – because, let’s be honest – who doesn’t like a good analogy when they can get one? So here it is: last Saturday and Sunday were like the pages of an open book…offering up different scenes and characters but belonging to one story.

One of my most endearing characteristics and the one which probably drives my organized and regimented husband most demented is that I leave everything until the last minute – paying bills, booking holidays, grocery shopping for guests…. I have been the same way since….ummm…. forever.  “Thriving under pressure” I think they call it. 3,000 word essays at university were started three days before they were due with pages and pages and pages of photocopying highlighted and annotated and extended library stays fuelled only by pumpkin seeds and water.  I remember one particularly splendid effort of writing final footnotes whilst on the train to deliver an English essay by its deadline.  Good times, good times.

Anyway, the point is, my girlfriend and her two kids (Well, I use the term loosely. Her son is 16 and her daughter, 20) were coming for lunch on Saturday to celebrate her birthday and I did the shopping that morning, getting home just in time to unload the groceries and wipe down the toilet – as any good hostess would!  When they arrived, both the dog and I showered them with kisses, I shoved a glass of champagne into her hand, saw her son off with a soft drink to another room to play video games with my boy and told her daughter to help herself to whatever she wanted from the fridge while I made the salad.

I think she managed a few sips of bubbly and a chat with my husband before she and her daughter were up at the bench peeling prawns. That’s right – she got to celebrate her birthday by cleaning the poop chutes from a kilo and a half of prawns. Kinda makes you wanna come over, doesn’t it?

But that’s just what happens with family. We may not be related but I have known her for 42 years – exactly three quarters of my life. And as wonderful as that is, I don’t like to dwell on it too much as that would mean acknowledging how much and how quickly time has passed since we met that first year of High School!  Our trail then winds its way through 21sts, jobs, boyfriends, weddings, holidays, disappointments, dramas and every conceivable kind of celebration. I was at the party where she met her husband.  Truth be told, I quite fancied him myself but he fancied her so that was that.   I held her children as babies, listened as her marriage ended.

Any friendship is a gift but a friendship that spans close to a lifetime is a blessing. It’s a shared connection with your youth, your past; a history that is never far from the surface. To the outside world, the numbers and experience tell a different story but we still see in each other the teenage school girls that we were and sometimes still behave accordingly!  It’s not about living in the past but about having someone that lived that past with you – the smoking, the all-nighters, the adventures, the bad relationships, the good relationships, the parties, the risks …. all the stuff you do when you’re young and think you’re invincible. So when our kids roll their eyes because they think we are the most boring and clueless people in the universe – EVER – we just look at each other, roll our eyes and think, “If only they knew…”.

“The best mirror is an old friend” – George Herbert

PS: Are you asking, “What happened to Sunday?” It’s like a soap opera – coming in the next episode!

Advertisements

About Daniela S.

I am, what is quaintly referred to, as "over the hill" - but just! Married to an American, I lived in Atlanta for 8 years then was very surprised by my son's creation and arrival one month before my 42nd birthday. We moved back to my beloved Sydney 12 years ago and it is now my absolute joy to be sharing both my deep and shallow thoughts with the known universe.

Posted on April 29, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You are so lucky to live near enough to visit regularly. I miss Mandy so much. We are so completely different in nature but yet it works as a friendship and has done since we were 12 and 11. There’s nothing quite as wonderful as a friend you can be with and not have to fill in the blanks because they are all in the shared memory. We just get each other. No explanations, no excuses.

    • Yes, I remember wondering how you two could be such good friends because you seemed SO different. You were wild and she was, or at least seemed, so conservative but I guess it’s the opposite attracts thing. Same with Jeff and me. The girlfriend I was talking about lives about an hour and a bit out of Sydney so we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. I have two friends I’ve known since kindergarten as well. I have one in Sydney but the other in Melbourne. Still better than oceans away like you and Mandy though. Yes and no judgement. You can just be your total self.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: