In flipping through my blog planning calendar (which, obviously, I adhere to like the chiseled script of Yahweh), a topic from last week…kind of stung.
Best friends day, or some variation thereof. I didn’t look at it too intensely.
The majority of my life I have defined myself by the friends I have and don’t have. By the way other people perceive me. I don’t know when exactly it came about – because I remember not being that way. I remember in second grade, when I traced out Lisa Frank designs reading “Hot lips” onto a piece of wide ruled notebook paper and, along side it, authored a deep and meaningful inquiry along the lines of “Do you like me?” (actually, along the lines nothing, that was exactly what it said. I can still see it. In recalling this scenario I am struck by the realization that this is completely something my oldest daughter would do. Right now.) and sent it via elementary express over to Alcorn County’s second grade version of Ryan Gosling who not only was the dreamiest of dreamy boys, but he hung out ON THE TREEHOUSE at recess. He was the cool that cool wishes it could be.
The note came back quickly, with smudgy, grimy boywriting on the bottom of the paper.
I remember that because I am fairly certain while this incident did not immediately send me into a downward spiral of insecurity, it was perhaps the first time I remember realizing that maybe some people might not think I was awesome.
As I got older and learned that people are, indeed, judgmental and different and not likely to think everyone is wonderful by default, I was glad to have people I could relate to. I had, like every other girl my age, a “best friend” with whom I was inseparable.
I had friends. That was a constant. People to share clothes, talk to, send stupid nonsensical pages to on our purposeless beepers.
It was only when I got married in 2000 and embarked on what I assumed would be my life that I realized – I had never really learned to like myself.
I’ve cycled through friends through the last twelve years, but I always come back to that. My definition of “best friend” has evolved until the only person who fits that description is too tall for me and annoyingly sarcastic and makes me squeeze his back zits.
I’ve decided, though, that things are as they should be. Maybe I don’t have a full dance card of dinner parties and girls’ night outs and wine smellings or whatever, but the people who matter think I’m the shit. Most of the time. And for the most part, so do I.
Which, I suppose, means I’ve come full circle. I like myself enough now not to have to send Hot Lips Yes or No Notes because I really don’t care. Even if you do look like Ryan Gosling or have the breasts of Christina Hendricks – I’m a catch.
The people who matter already know.