Friends. They can be so important to our well-being, keeping us sane, healthy, and happy, and changing our lives for better or for worse. I thought I’d shake Favorite Things Friday up yet again, so — although I still selected several found-on-the-Web favorites for inclusion in this week’s list — I’m dedicating the first few faves to some “friendly” surprises. I hope you’ll help me help others smile by leaving your own friend stories at the end of this post.
(My one disclaimer: This list is in no order; don’t take it personally if you’re my friend and you’re not on this list. I hope to be blogging for a long time. I’ll get to your story eventually. I don’t want to blow my wad in one shot, as my husband said I should avoid doing. Hmmm. Is that obscene? I don’t know…oh, and I’m not including my family because they have an unfair advantage.)
- A Loving Surprise: Amy G. I was pregnant with Big Girl the same time another friend was pregnant with her son. My friend Amy had promised me her bassinet when she found out I was pregnant, but she knew our other friend, who announced her pregnancy after mine, much, much longer. Of course she should get it, she said. I was hurt, but knew it was the right thing to do. I’d get one at my shower, I assumed. But before I got the chance to register for one, Amy beat me to it. As I was leaving her house one day, she walked out and handed me a brand new, gorgeous bassinet. I was touched beyond belief. I have always had a hard time accepting help from people. The fact that Amy went out and did something so thoughtful and kind has stuck with me all these years.
- A Sweet Surprise: Shari. I miscarried a few years ago. I did it the hard way, sitting in my bathroom bleeding for 12 hours until the baby passed. (Sorry, TMI.) I was so hollow and sad afterward. That night my friend Shari showed up at my door with a large cup of Ralph’s jelly ring ices. She handed it to me, saying she didn’t want to bother me, but she wanted to know she cared. I already did, but that simple gesture meant a lot.
- An Awkward Surprise: Judy. Judy and I were not just friends, we were couple friends. The four of us had more laughs than I can count. Through half our 20s and our early 30s until we had a falling out. We’re both have/had sensitivity issues. We both used to get hurt and jump to protect ourselves. She expected a lot. I over-promised a lot. I never wanted to disappoint, but managed to do that often by overextending myself. We had a falling out. A big one. After some time, I wrote Judy a note. She replied with a handwritten three-page letter that she poured her heart into. She started an honest dialog that helped us reconcile. We’ve re-started our friendship from scratch. Even though she lives in another state, we can pick up the phone and talk for two hours like we did last weekend. What a wonderful gift.
- An Old Surprise: K. Sometimes, the people who do the most for us don’t stay in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate them. Not only was high school horrific, but, when I was 19, I got engaged to a real psycho. It was so hard. Part of the reason I stayed as long as I did was the fact that I was happy when he wasn’t being abusive. We had couple friends. A full life. But there was always that beat-you-up underlying psycho thing I had to deal with. When we finally broke up, the sociopath kept all the friends. Of course, it didn’t help that I didn’t really know how to be a great friend back then. So I went to college knowing nobody. I had very few social ties. Then I met K., who introduced me to everyone she knew, and taught me how to have fun again. We had a falling out a few years ago. We both said terrible things to each other. (She said I was dead to her; I said she was a selfish, self-centered bitch who always has to be angry at someone. Not my best moment.) Still, I appreciate her for the person she helped me to become. Losing her friendship changed my life, and that’s what a good friend does: Helps you to be the best person you can be.
OK, a few lighthearted links to get your weekend started right:
Experience Project. Experience is everything, which is why I love this site. You can go and read about millions of different experiences — wacky, profound, funny, sad, exciting. You can also challenge yourself to do something new, and get support along the way.
BabyBox.com Cute site, but there are plenty of cute sites out there. The thing I like about this one is its service that lets you take your kid’s art work, and make it wearable, turning it into a shirt, pillowcase, or blanket. At $125 it’s expensive, but I still love the concept.
The Failblog. Am I the only one who hasn’t already seen this site? A collection of mostly really funny videos and photos that show people doing stupid things along side snarky commentary. I laugh every time I check it out. It’s probably on par with People of Wal-Mart, another place I go for a quick chuckle.
I Am Bored site. Bored? There’s something on this site to un-bore you. Bare-bones but so worth the read, there’s something here for everyone, whether you want to laugh, think, smile, or cry.