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1:24 a.m. - 2011-09-30
BFF 911

There's a special place in one's heart for friends.

Mick, of course, is my best best friend. He is, however, intimate with me in ways beyond that of other friends. He's the only person I have sex with. He and I share a checking account and know each other's PINs. It wouldn't squick me if he used my toothbrush. He pops the occasional friction pimple I get on my back from my bra. We are each other's life insurance beneficiaries. And he is the executor of my will.

It's possible to have friends who mean nearly as much, and by virtue of gender and/or life experience sustain my soul in places and ways that even Mick who's allowed to pop my zits cannot reach.

I'm fortunate enough to have many such friends. And if it wouldn't mean hurt feelings I'd spool a list that runs for pages. But I don't rate my friends or weight their contributions to my life in so clear-cut a way as to make a Top 10 or some such nonsense. And to leave anyone off the list would suck.

So.

Tonight I'll thank one friend. A non-Mick best friend. A best friend in all the giggly jr high, would bail me out and not ask questions until we were home, a be honest with her fears and fantasies because she feels safe with me kind of best friend.

My darling Stephanie.

Geography makes our getting together a bitch. At least in the flesh. We 'talk' every day via the net, here and on FB. It works. Sort of. But it ain't nuthin' like the real thing, baby.

One of the great pleasures of the internet is being able to have friends, true friends, real friends all over the world. Friends I know intimately and have more in common with than I do the woman three houses down from mine. Even those I don't have the obvious commonality with- the childless friends, friends much younger or older, gay friends, guy friends, all that happy crappy we humans use to classify others with- we've found each other and are happier for it.

Yet, sitting on Steph's porch and across the lunch table and then back on the porch, it was so good! The eye contact. Hearing her laugh. I remembered why my friends can't only live inside my computer. Not if we can do something about it. Except for those snooty BlogHers and Bix's thing in Green Bay nobody's setting up any sort of journal cons anymore. I'm only mourning here, not cranking. Social trends come and go. Nobody swallows goldfish anymore either. Certainly there are folks who take the initiative on their own too, like darling Anna. Imagine jumping on a plane, crossing an ocean and going coast-to-coast across the US staying with one blog buddy after another! How cool is that? Or Poolie's Javalina Hunt. We do find ways to get together.

Today? Today was soul balm of the finest kind.

I let myself get all bound up in immediacy and convenience. Of course it's easier to 'speak' to Stephanie from my comfy chair here in my office than it is to crawl up 9W and haul my buns across the Hudson. She's exhausted from fibromyalgia and her full-time job. I have a creaky ancient car and a husband surgically attached to my hip. She doesn't drive. I have a kid I need to keep an eye on. She has a cousin with cash, spare time and ideas to busy up her weekends. Life gets in the way.

But as I recently discovered (to my horror), if you don't make things happen then they don't. The Time, Money, Opportunity, Good Health and Weather Fairy isn't going to come twinkling down, wave a wand and POOF! Instant visit with Steph.

I have to be more pro-active. Not just about getting together with Stephanie, though that's a biggie, but I realize I've been lazy and neglectful with all of my friends. Shame on me. And shame on me for going longer than I'd planned to on my hiatus.

Drew in my horns for a bit this week to gather my thoughts. Necessary from time to time. For certain I record my doings here, but as Socrates said, 'The unexamined life is not worth living.' Sometimes I need to think to myself. It's good to only be inside my own head for a while. Especially because recently I'd gotten to a point where I wasn't living my life, I was narrating it. Turning my daily life into blog fodder. Careful blog fodder at that. Doing a lot of anticipatory wincing and trying to shield myself from the gleeful intentional wounding by those who insist that this physically over-sized, high IQ-ed, completely atypical chick with a working vocabulary of over 150,000 words is supposed to have the emotional vocabulary of the absolute median average. No higher. No lower. Ever. When it comes to emotional response apparently one-size-fits-all.

Though I cannot wear the gross majority of women's clothing or shoes. And any objective panel of observers would agree I've been dealt far more than the average amount of tragedy. I wear a 42F bra. I've been speaking in complete sentences since I was 10 months old. According to family lore I've been reading since I was 2. I certainly don't remember a time when I couldn't read. Though I do remember learning to ride a bike and tie my shoes. I've been 5'11.5" tall since I was 12 years old. I wrote my first short story when I was 4. I started needing and wearing a bra at 9. I became a mother at 21. And again at 34. Both of my children have Asperger's Syndrome.

But still, I've been chided. Encouraged by well-meaning friends. Beaten up. Hectored. And always, forever, mocked for the depth and power of my emotions.

There is not one fucking thing about me which is average. Not one. But I am expected to fit the mold when it comes to the allowed amount of happiness or anger? The right level of emotional intensity?

Why?

During my pondering this week that is the one question I couldn't whomp up a satisfactory answer for. Exactly who is served if I cram myself into the straightjacket of emotional conformity? Me or you? Why is it permitted that I be far taller than average? And during my younger years far prettier than average? Why was it okay for me to score 100% on the Iowa Tests three times in a row? Or start speaking so far ahead of average? Or even be born at nearly 10lbs? Average human babies weigh 7lbs 6oz.

Nobody ever says, "LA, you have to have an operation to make you shorter." Or "You must take a pill that'll cut your ridiculous vocabulary down to normal." Or "You are far too good a cook, get that shit in line and make some slop, honeychile."

Maybe there's some who would say those things if such results were possible. The tyranny of the typical. I honestly don't know. Do I think so? Yeah. I think the threatened and the mean-spirited would spew that crap. Even some friends who truly care that I be happy would put the pressure on to conform. Be shorter. Less bosomy. Dumb. For my own good, you see. Because to be different. To be more is so very wrong. It makes life harder. Why do that to myself? Or worse, to them?

Why indeed.

Seeing Stephanie today and feeling her love. To laugh with her. To talk and have our words tumble over the other's. To have her arms around me in a fierce hug. It brought me back to myself. Helped me get back to where it was okay to be me again. Super tall, big-titted, wordy, brainy, good cooking, intensely emotional, "Fuck ya if you can't take a joke" me.

I love you too, Stephanie. And thanks.


Jump-started by love, ~LA

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