A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
Everyone woman needs another woman to cry over liars, cheaters, haters, bad haircuts, and days gone wrong. They also need someone to rejoice over love, success, good sales, and the perfect shoes. No matter how much we love them, few men can do these things well. Seriously, they don’t even gossip correctly. The point being they claim they don’t gossip; they call it passing along information or telling things like it is. Well, women do that, too…we just add a bit of flair! Don’t look at me like that – you know you’ve not only gossiped at some time, but you enjoyed it, too!
Sometimes I’ve been Lucy and other times I’ve been Ethel. Either way, one was lost without the other. My first Lucy was my cousin. She was the fun one, the daring one, the pretty one. I was the voice of reason that eventually followed her wherever she dragged me. We shared everything, including relatives. We even shared chickenpox as babies. We swapped clothes and stories. We were one another’s guts and glory. We did things we dared not do alone. We got in trouble together. We cried together. We yelled at each other and smacked one another a time or two. We even yelled at others and smacked them in defense of one another. We bragged about one another’s good points. We hugged each other when no one else knew our pain. For a long time we were closer than sisters. We drifted apart after we grew up. We talk occasionally on the phone or see one another now and then. I miss my Lucy. No one will ever take her place.
I’ve had substitute Lucys. One is my friend I met shortly after I moved hundreds of miles from home. We met when she moved into my condo complex. She was with one of my hair clients who happened to be her neighbor where she was moving from. We quickly bonded, and sadly we both eventually dropped the other friend. When our husbands went to work she’d traipse down the street in her pjs toting a pot of coffee. We used to joke that the neighbors probably thought we were lesbians. Though she didn’t have a child at the time, she babysat when my babysitter let me down. I cooked and fed her when all she knew how to do was pour cereal and milk.. We’ve stuck together through thick and thin. We eventually bought houses in separate cities, but continued to see each other often since we were only thirty minutes apart. The visits lessened through, but the phone calls were steady. We’ve cleaned each other’s houses, nursed one another while sick, cried and laughed together, and raised our children together. Once she came over to “babysit” me after surgery and decided I needed to go out for fresh air and ice cream…I fell down a flight of stairs enroute, but all was well as she was there to pick me up, panic a bit, and then laugh it off. Our days of physically seeing each other are almost nonexistent; however she is the one person I talk to almost every day. She knows what I’m thinking before I say it and vice versa. She’s not afraid to call me out for not listening or any other “unfriendly” thing I might be guilty of. We tell each other the truth even when it hurts, and eventually we forgive one another for the honesty. (Yes, your ass does look huge! What the heck did you do to your hair?) My Lucy is soon moving to Hawaii. I don’t know why I’m so sad…we’ll continue our phone conversations all the same. It’ll even give me an excuse for a great vacation. And better yet, it will make us get together for a fun Lucy/Ethel fling…maybe we’ll even invite the Ricky and Fred to go out with us!
People have drifted in and out of my life through the years. Friends have come and gone. The Lucys and Ethels have remained, even if only in my heart.
The Spin Cycle: Friends