Ah, it’s good to spend time with friends with whom you have a longstanding history: friends who get you, who know all your stories already, friends where there is no awkwardness or you have to hide anything from.
Last night was just such a friendship night: Claire, Tracy and myself, over two pitchers of Margaritas and a whole lot of cheese (including TWO orders of nachos), caught up on each other’s lives in a way that only friends who have been through thick and thin together can.
We’ve been through babies and moves and job losses and founds; we’ve been through ill health and bad hair and weight loss and weight gain and wrinkles (mostly mine); we’ve spent many a holiday together, many a long, lazy Sunday afternoon, taken trips together and watched our children wax and wane (mostly wax) together.
It’s not always easy for me to be social. I appear social. I’m good socially – I know the game and I enjoy it for periods of time - but when push comes to shove, I’m a loner. I’m a gal who needs a lot of down time. Even if I get home at midnight after a night of socializing and just good old-fashioned fun, I still need time to lie in bed and do crosswords or read or do something that is solitary before I can go to sleep.
Sometimes I think I could have been a nun. That simple, solitary lifestyle appeals to me on many levels. (I know many of you are snorting at this point, not being able to imagine me in silence, minus magazines and crackpot schemes of grandeur and limelight.) But at my deepest deep, I want peace, silence, and often solitude.
Being with two of my closest friends in the world, however, IS like downtime: only downtime with a blast of energy and fresh air. It’s like I can just be me in the same way I can just be me when I’m alone (except I’m still wearing a bra). Last night was so delightful to just laugh and remember and catch up and talk about what was real, but in a way that wasn’t too serious or intense, even though a lot of what is real in our lives IS serious and intense.
I think we all felt that way last night: like we were indulging in some very special downtime (as opposed to “on” time where you feel that you have to put on some kind of show or fulfill your obligations). There were no feelings of obligation or guilt about where or who else we should be with last night: we were just there for each other through and through. There was no need to put on a show, other than the kind (for me, anyway), that just runs through my veins. There was no one-upmanship or competing for attention. There were just three friends all together, completely relishing one another’s company: happiness in one of its truest forms.
Maybe it was the frozen margaritas that gave us brain freeze and giddy happiness, but it’s more likely that it was just the pure joy of being together with people you really and truly love after too long of an absence.
To spend a little more of my “downtime” with the people I really and truly love and maybe just a little bit less with only myself.
To cherish the dear friends that I have and be a better, more loyal communicator with them in spite of having a phone phobia and a tendency toward being antisocial.
To indulge in my friendships, but lay off the cheese! (As for the margaritas, I don’t have them often enough to feel any guilt. In fact, I should have more. But only in the company of friends.)