I am in love with at least five of my friends.
The relationships I have with them are what I feel like romantic relationships should be like, but they aren’t. I am not sure why. I am guessing it is because of the expectations that those relationships hold, and the limitations that come about as a result of titles. Those have always been silly to me. At 36, I realize that my friends, even those that I may be highly attracted to-as is the case with one of my close to perfect work buddies-are better off as that. Even when he tells me that I look good without makeup and makes sure that my work plants don’t wither, I am not imagining him meeting my mother, or taking cheesy family photos. I love him in the moment for everything he is, and what he adds to my life. And to me that is enough.
Which brings me to my point. I think that our platonic friendships tend to last and thrive with growing love, because we are usually not asking, what else???? We don’t feel unsatisfied with the people in these relationships. We are quicker to apologize, and more cognizant of the way we make them feel. At least I am. When I tell my friends I love them, I am not sitting back wondering if they love me too. I know they do. I can tell them my hopes and dreams, because the security of my household and theirs does not depend on the job I choose to take, or the amount of writing I am not doing. Platonic relationships feel more honest. More real. I am not trying to impress my friends. They didn’t meet my representative. They don’t have to deal with the bewilderment of finding out that I can be a little distant sometimes, and my matter-of-fact speech might present itself like apathy. Nor am I faced with the reality of finding out that I am bound to a stranger. We can just be ourselves with each other, which to me, is a common missing piece of relationships where people take on other names, and unwanted responsibilities.
Not long ago, I was sitting at a table with my father and brother. I was explaining to my brother how I felt bamboozled by this guy I had been conversing with. My dad walked away to get a beer, and when he came back, I said,
“Daddy where is mine?”
He said, “Oh, honey if you want one, I will go get it.”
And he did.
I looked at my brother, and said, “This is why I don’t have a man.”
He tilted his head and said, “ I am glad you know.”
It is true that my father spoils me. It is true I look at men funny when they say they don’t know how to make coffee, or they furrow their brows when I ask if they will tie my shoelaces.
At this point, I am much more impressed with my work husband than the men who claim they are after my heart. My work man will traverse the outside of the sidewalk, and make sure I get to my car okay. He brings me snacks, and covers my meals when we go to the food truck.
Another one of my friends was like a superhero when my brother was killed. She came to my father’s house every single day. Braved my room there even though she knew she smelled like ganja and my dad was going to get on her case. My friend made sure that Levi had bacon. One day when she was calling to check on me and I didn’t answer, she dropped off some Twin Snakes and red wine to make sure I would be able to relax. And she got me a gift certificate to the spa. She calls me a hippie all the time, which is super funny, but I have been different for a long time now. I am cool with it. Finding others who appreciate it is a gift, though. I might love her mom more than I love her, but that’s a different story for another day. She is golden.
I don’t want to exhaust you all with how much I adore the folks in my tribe. I thank God for them every day. I am in love with them. To me, that doesn’t mean what it usually does. I am not talking about in the Disney sense. I mean in the sense like, I feel giddy around these people. I fall into their smiles,and their laughter walks on me. Their voices are my puzzle pieces.
I pray for my husband daily. I pray that he will honor me, and be good to Levi. When he shows up, I won’t be looking for him to make me whole, or fill in my gaps. He only needs to be able to say like seven phrases.
Love on your homies. Especially now.