So….? What now? Did he text you? I remember you saying something about his separation being finalized a month or two ago. That’s really exciting, huh? Have you been out in public together yet? It’s been…what? a year now since you’ve begun this little “relationship”?….Oh. I was hoping you could bring him to a gathering George is having for me. No worries! Come alone and plan to stay overnight here at our house. So you think maybe in the next week or so when he’s all settled in his new place…wait, didn’t he move months ago? Might he invite you over? Diane, you still ok with this arrangement, though, right?…
Hey girlfriend! George is having a surprise birthday party for me…yeah, I know…it’s the thought that counts. How about you bring that guy from your office? You know, the one you said was really nice and funny? Holly, your kids are 20, 19, 18 and 15…John has been gone for at least ten years now, you haven’t been on a date for at least that long, if I’m guessing right. Has it been that long?… Yes, I know you’re busy with the kids…I’m guessing even THEY want you happy at this point though…okay, I’ll shut up. Right. You ARE happy. Come anyway, ok?
Dear friends: I feel compelled to send this note to you. I want you to know how I feel about you both, as well as bend the rules a bit in our girlfriend relationship. I have questions so please humor me and just go with it for once, as God knows I humor both of you with your bossiness and control “issues”.
Here goes: You’ve held me up and given me such joy over the years. Think of all the sports games we’ve endured as the involved parents we are! I distinctly remember when our girls went from plotting to have sleepovers to those Christmas parties where I’d have them all over and the kids and I would decorate gingerbread houses and exchange gifts…sometimes inviting the whole class! It became a candy throwing contest as the sugar from the gingerbread house decorations crept up into their bloodstreams and exited through loud, cheerful voices and exaggerated celebration over Christmas carols turned up way too loud.
It probably would’ve been easier to renovate the whole kitchen then to clean it all up at that point! Yes indeed, I’ve never been much of a disciplinarian. You like to tease me about my lack of attention to detail. And you’re right! And then we laugh. We laugh a lot when we’re together. That laughter helps. It’s a fabulous coping skill we’ve all honed through our various life experiences.
You ladies know that about me. You both know how I love to laugh and also that I don’t care much for rules. You know that when I am completely honest I may not be courteous and politically correct. You have both, at times and in various ways, told me to “fuck myself” and/or STFU. My honesty gets me called “rude” (thanks ever so, Princess Holly) while my constant need for male attention gets me a big “fuck you” from Diane. Bottom line, I believe, both of you also know that I care deeply. Which is why it is time for “the talk”.
We’ve been through a great deal together, don’t you think? I didn’t personally witness your pain, Diane, when you lost your husband. The grief can be so subjective and you kept it all close to the hip. Years later, when I intruded into your life, you had all but “forgotten” that pain. Holly gets it. She has been there, might even still be there to some degree. She doesn’t talk about it unless I pull it out of her, and even then she works with precision on changing the subject so that no one (myself included, unfortunately) realizes she’s moved away from her pain and into theirs. Most of us enjoy talking about ourselves. She has keyed into the narcissism of people in general. That’s how come nobody really knows Holly, yet she has more friends than I can even count. Come to think of it, that’s you too, Diane.
That is exactly what Holly wants and, I’m guessing, fears above all…to have no one and everyone. I want to ask her if anyone really knows her aside from what she presents to us. I wonder if she is truly fearful of another real connection like the one she had with her young husband, called away far too early. To lend out your whole heart is such a risk in itself. I know you understand this all too well, Diane.
You dove back into the game only to be toyed with and abused beyond the emotional scars. You wanted to believe that what you had left to offer was going to change someone for the better. What was more important to you? finding another “true love” or escaping the loneliness of being without a soul to take care of? What you didn’t realize was that your vision was clouded this time around. You may have allowed fear of being alone to make the decisions for you. Maybe you hadn’t dealt with the now-you’re-here-now-you’re-not piece of grief.
I’m guessing almost greater than being physically beaten up was the need for this intimate connection that Holly runs from at full speed. So while you jumped in and swam with hope in your beautifully pure and giving heart, a shark attack was pending. That’s when you ran. And that was for survival.
Do you ever have to have another intimate, loving companion? Of course not. Many people are completely comfortable alone. It may be that I want more for you than you want for yourselves. But something tells me I’m right this time. While one of you would like to take another dive into an unknown ocean to be able to experience the adoration and intimacy of another’s touch, even though that “other” is not fully there for you; my other beautiful friend is tightly wrapped. A lovely package unwilling to be moved (“torn into” sounds so crass…).
While one of you wants to see herself in the loving eyes of another, the other of you wants to stand clear of the mirror. You are both silly. You are both such beautiful, loving people who need to see yourselves, not through someone else’s eyes, but honestly and genuinely through your own eyes free of criticism and comparison and judgment; If for no reason other than this: God does not make junk.
Since your traumatic losses, both of you have hidden behind your children’s needs. Both of you have surrounded yourselves with adoring fans. I get it. I’m one of them. Yet both of you deserve so much more than that. I must ask you both WHEN IS IT TIME FOR YOU:
to stop running to let people in
to stop hiding behind your children to grieve
to love yourself to feel deserving
to GIVE to yourself to embrace all good and bad
to make the EFFORT on behalf of yourself to let go of the past-move forward
If Not Now…Then When?
Greeting card to my dear friends:
Hello Girl Friends!
The time is NOW!
You take care of others everyday,
Don’t be surprised and please don’t delay
your own existence. We only get one chance at this life.
Wake up! Get up! Let go of your strife!
Let go of your past; unpack your baggage, too;
If I could I would, but I can’t do it for YOU!
All my love and friendship,