Yesterday was my best friend’s birthday and I am THA-RILLED that she is now “27.” Like me. Because her husband had to work I invited her over for a fabulous meal of spaghetti, tough corn on the cob, and still partially frozen ciabatta bread topped off by her own individual serving of ice cream. In lieu of presents I made a donation to my suffering bank account, but let’s not talk about that. Yeah, I know. You wanna be my best friend, too.
Amidst all the chaos at the kitchen table (we have 7 kids between us) I hollered out, “Tell me your favorite thing about your mom.” My kids were silent, because they don’t like me, but Glenda’s kicked in quite vigorously! “She makes good food that I don’t like!” said Cliff. “I’m sorry, but it’s true,” he apologized through his cheesy 8 year old grin. I love that kid. I think Chanel #4 said something adorable like, “she loves me” or “I like when she gives me kisses” or “she makes me laugh,” but to be honest I was too struck by Cliff’s response to pay much attention. Marion Ross loves her because of her cooking as well, and so does her oldest Ann Margaret. And those are excellent responses all, because Glenda is an excellent cook. In the words of some movie or television show that I saw some time, “She makes a sandwich an event.” But I realized this morning that I didn’t get a chance to add what I loved about their mother because did I mention we were eating dinner with 6/7ths of our children?
You’re my best friend and have been for Christ… nearly 24 years. I’ve known you longer than I haven’t.
*I love how your eyes crinkle around the edges and dance when you laugh.
*I love your commitment to your family and I love that you were wise enough to let go of those who weren’t good for you.
*I love that you would have let me take your little brother to prom when I had no one else. I don’t love that it was my cousin by marriage whom I ended up taking, but I love that we laugh now over that stupid night with the Puffalump dress, someone else trying to “seduce” my date, and the quote, “Stand back! I can help! I’m going to study to be a doctor!”
*I love how you know when to say “who” or “whom” (I don’t), but that you can’t spell for shit. That’s an awesome juxtaposition right there.
*I love your sense of humor – how it’s wicked and dirty and twisted and has gotten us both through situations we’d rather not have found ourselves in.
*I love how you love my oldest girl in the exact same way I love your oldest.
*I love how you understand me and always have my back and tell me I’m right even when we both know I’m wrong. Sometimes a girl needs that.
*I love how I can bitch and moan about my husband and you about yours but that we never have to clarify how much and how deeply we are in love with them despite their general jackassery.
*I love how you come to my house loaded down with ingredients and make me soups and chilies and chicken a la king in the winter and then let me keep the leftovers. I think it’s because you feel sorry for my family being forced to eat my cooking, but that’s okay. I feel sorry for them, too.
*I love your halfassed devotion to your “vegetable garden” and how you view it as a “fuck you” to all those proper flower gardens your neighbors plant so self-righteously.
*I love that when D died you didn’t smother me with concern. Knowing that you knew I would eventually be okay gave me permission to be okay.
*I love that all we have to say when discussing someone new or old is “we likes/hates them” and that we’re both on board with the mutual affection/contempt.
*I love that when the rest of us were squeeing over Duran Duran you were all about the Sinatra and the Baryshnikov and that sexy doctor who called his nurses “sweet thing.” Oh, and Armand Assante. Remember the way he walked through his Quban night club in the opening scene of that movie and we were all “I think I just had an orgasm”?
But most of all I love your soul – it’s wise and loving and just about the coolest one out there. Every time you’ve been knocked down you’ve come back fighting. Every time you’ve been blessed you’ve accepted it with grace and humility. Every time you’ve been disappointed by the ones you love the most you’ve opened your heart more to them and accepted them back into your arms with an extra strong hug.
I’m glad I’m one of those people you love.