Monday, January 28, 2008

Friendships Evolve

A week ago, I took FRU to the birthday party of my friend T's daughter, B. B is four months younger than FRU and is the polar opposite of her in the looks department. They both look their fathers...Ex is 100% Irish and B's father is 100% Moroccan.

Anyway, before the girls were born, T, E and I along with a few others were all so close, we could barely eat without the others. T, E & I even lived in the same house for a while, renting apartments from the craziest old bag on Staten Island. We all had significant others, and the 6 of us lived in demented, paranormal, slightly twisted bliss for about 6 months and then I moved out b/c I was pregnant and there was simply no room in that tiny apartment for Ex, me and a baby. We ate together every night, watched TV together, went shopping together...see that pattern here?

That was the beginning of the end of an era.

We all just went our own way. E split with her fiancee (which was a good thing) and is now engaged again to an absolute sweetheart. I divorced my whack job alcoholic husband. And lo and behold, T is the happiest, most settled one of the bunch.

T was the one I always I worried about. She seemed so lonely, even when surrounded by people who loved her. Her mother died when she was very young and her father quickly remarried, so she was passed around to her many aunts. The ones that really stepped up to the plate are two of the most sassy, fiery, loving women I have ever been honored to know.

They envelope everyone in their presence with this crazy, Italian-American, Brooklyn love, you know, the kind that isn't shown to you as much as it's yelled at you. You're fed till your clothes are tight and then they tell you what you're doing wrong in your life...and they're usually right. They teach you to laugh like you've never laughed before and you make a mental note to wear waterproof mascara the next time you go to their house because you laugh so hard you end up with black streaks running down your cheeks. They are mother and daughter and I will always have the greatest respect and love for what they have done for my friend T.

T married S after a rather convoluted courtship and settled into the next era of her life. E and I thought we had it sooooo under control and really, looking back, we didn't have a friggin' clue. T knew it all long, lil stinker.

T & I lost touch for a while. I don't remember why, but I'm thankful that we reconnected. My mother used to call T & E my sisters. T is 3 years older and E is 3 years younger. It made perfect sense. We seem to all be in different places in our lives and we all seem happier. It's beautiful, it really is. I really love those women.

I sent an email to T late last week to tell her that I'm so happy that she has a beautiful life. And in true form, she wants to share her happiness with me. We're going to get the girls together more often. I want FRU to know her and her family. I mean, heck, they practically are my family. My family of choice.

And maybe, just maybe, FRU can share the 2 aunts that were so pivotal in T's life. They can't replace the 2 she lost in The Nastiness of Christmas 2006, but I'd like her to know what it's like to be loved by powerful women who are capable of so much. They have lessons to teach...maybe I could learn a few myself.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Winter Blah's

I hate this time of year.

Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas brings on so much excitement that January is soooo depressing. All of the holiday lights are down, at least most of the lights. I understand those who like to leave up their decorations until Little Christmas (January 6th), but if they're still up after that, it's a sign of laziness.

I always like to have lots of plans for January. My friend's daughter is having her birthday party in two weeks, so FRU and I will attend that. I like to get together with friends, do clearance shopping, see lots of movies and take lots of walks, weather permitting. The depths of winter can be so sad. There are no leaves, no flowers, no gentle breezes. People are rushing around in the streets, trying to do their errands and shopping as quickly as possible so they can get home where it's warm. Even the local Starbucks isn't busy...and that place is ALWAYS packed.

But through the sadness, there's a sense of regrowth. I spend winter nights cuddled under an afghan on the couch, reading all the books I didn't have a chance to read all summer and fall, I meditate and regain my focus and enjoy the quiet. I know, it may be hard to believe that there is quiet here in NYC, but there is, you just have to listen for it. The windows are closed, so you don't hear the cheers from the Sunday football crowds at the bar on the corner and you don't hear the screeching of brakes on the Avenue. It's just quiet.

I never really enjoyed quiet like I do now. Maybe it's part of mother hood, maybe it's because I work full-time and can't catch 5 minutes peace at work. I like to be able to just sit and be without answering my phone or having the television on. I like to be able to read instead of watching dramas and sitcoms and reality shows, which we all know barely have one toe based in reality.

On a happy note, I'm going to be the recipient of a pair of hand-knit socks that will travel all the way from Magdeburg, Germany. My dear friend, Dixie Peach, is an avid knitter (just like my mother) and is involved in a year-long sock knitting project. The person who was supposed to receive January's socks never got her the proper measurements...and I I get them. I'm so excited!! The woman is such an inspiration to me. She completely changed her life about 10 years ago, moved to Germany from Mississippi and had since projected this joy to all those who come in contact with her. She has such a sharp wit...she has made me laugh out loud while reading her blogs and posts!!

So, now that I think about it, maybe I'm not suffering from the winter blah's. Maybe I'm just enjoying not running from place to place all the time and spending time with people I'd rather not. I like having down-time and winter gives it to me. Now, if only FRU would give me some down-time, I'd be all set...