Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Day

I remember someone saying once that a friend is someone who gently leads you back to a sense of yourself. I don't remember who said it, but the words have stuck with me for many years. I just googled the quote, but I didn't get any hits. I did find another beautiful quote of a similar nature at

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

I was about to say that I can't remember how long it's been since I had that kind of a friend, but, actually, I do remember. It's been 17 years, almost to the day. I had a very good friend whom I met at camp over the summer between 8th grade and high school. We were born less than a week apart, so we jokingly called each other, "Twin." She lived a couple of hours away, so we didn't get to see too much of each other during the school year. We loved to write long, girly letters back and forth. I never looked forward to getting mail so much in my life!

We applied to the same college. We were both accepted, but it was out of my league without more financial aid than they offered me, so I went elsewhere. We kept in touch, and we ended up working together back at camp (a one-week conference held each summer, not the camp I've mentioned in other posts).

She married shortly after graduation. I used to visit her for the weekend now and then, and she tried to fix me up with one of her friends. He was a nice guy, and we dated for awhile. He was heartbroken over a previous relationship, so it didn't work out. I met my husband, she disapproved, and we haven't spoken since. Just like that. One phone call, ending in a long silence, before hanging up and never speaking again.

Thing is, she was the one friend I've had who really knew me. Her song was pretty similar to mine, so I guess it was easy for us to keep each other in tune.

I was incredibly shy when I was younger, and sometimes it kept me from seeing that I had any value to my friends. That's not good. You have to know your importance to others in order to step up to the plate when they need a friend. You have to recognize that they need you. I should have told my Twin that I wouldn't accept the silence between us, and that she had to be at my wedding because we needed each other. We both would have grown through it.

It's hard to find that kind of friendship now - it's too late. Most people my age already have those friends, established long ago when baggy clothes and big hair were in style. No one I know now could tell you the first thing about who I was in 1987. Or 77 or 67. Well, my Mom could, but she's starting to get some of that stuff wrong. Even my sister and brother couldn't offer much insight.

So why does it matter so much to me today? I guess it's just that today was the kind of day when I could have used a very old, very dear friend to make me snap out of it. Don't know if it's just the blues (I honestly don't get them too often), or a new wrinkle on my mighty-fine mid-life crisis, or hormones with a capital H. Today I feel truly insignificant and unaccomplished, and, more than anything, foolish. I feel like a royal PITA. I tried to just shut up at work and not bother anyone.

Ironically, I found myself supremely annoyed by some of the people around me (if you're reading this, it wasn't you). I couldn't seem to get away from major annoyances. Maybe it was just projection (the attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others, per In any event, I usually have better coping skills than I did today. I wanted to leave work, come home, hide under a blanket, have a good cry and sleep until tomorrow. I had a meeting this afternoon, so I couldn't do it.

I guess I just have a sense of loss today. Friendship lost, time lost, talent lost. Self lost - can't find the tune. Yeah, OK, a mid-life crisis. The Blues. Hormones with a capital H. Tomorrow will be better; I'll probably reread this and think, "How maudlin!" and unpost it. After all, tomorrow is another day...


PaxRomano said...

Now Miss Scarlet, what Ruby Keeler have done if she had the blues???

"Come on along and listen to..."

Hope Thursday is a better day for ya!

PaxRomano said...

Duh, what WOULD Ruby Keeler have done...

Merci said...

I think she'd have cried on Dick Powell's shoulder, then she'd have tapped her blues away.

I have faith that tomorrow will be a better day.

Virginia Gal said...

Wow that is so sad...I see some of that splitting now with a close friend, not sure if it us just going our separate ways or a knife through this friendship, either way, it is not pleasant, no?

Merci said...

Virginia Gal-
No, it's not. It might be worthwhile to try to save the friendship. True friends are hard to come by. Hope it works out.

MissMagnoliaThunderpussy said...

Darling, I've had my best friend for 35 years this September, there was a time in the 80's when when we drifted apart and had no comunication for several years, when I moved back to Canada we bumped into each other, quite by accident, the friendship resumed as if nothing ever happened to disturb it. Peter had a mid life crisis in 1997, packed up and moved to Australia for several years, thank God he got over that and is now happy and residing in Orlando, the friendship endures and if anything is stronger.

We look at things this way, friends come and go but there's always one you're stuck with for life.

Merci said...

Miss Magnolia-
That's a beautiful story of friendship!

I feel less whiney today. I have no right to complain, since I have many wonderful friends now. It's just that the friendships you develop later on are different from the earlier ones. You can't relive all of those years and develop that history.

MissMagnoliaThunderpussy said...

Darling, you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your relitives or your friends nose.

joey b said...

miss magnolia- I once heard that same quote about your seat.

Pax-"a lulaby on broadway." I am not that young

Merci-So sorry to hear you are having one of those days. I too have been feeling out of sorts-maybe its the moon, or my med holiday. Nearly cried at A League of Their Own today. I think your upbeat attitude about the future is inspiring and shows your strength. Maybe swallowing the pride and calling her would help-even though she is clearly in wrong.

Merci said...

joey b-
Lots of people seemed to be out of sorts this week. I think my body is still adjusting to the pituitary thing and the medication. I've read bb postings from other folks who have gone through the same stuff. Glad I had this event to look forward to, it kept me from staying in bed all day with a sad book and tissues.

I got a lot of kindness from a couple of people at work, including my boss, and that helped, too.

Merci said...

Miss Magnolia-
And I don't plan to try!