A recent row with, who I thought was, a friend has made me think over the last few days about how much I appreciate the friends I do have in my life.
Truthfully, most of my closest friends do not even live near me -- not even in the same city. But somehow there's that feeling that I can pick up the phone and just call at any time -- and we're still connecting the same way, even if we can just grab 6 minutes on a ride home from work, or on the way to pick up our rabbits, or late at night, in different time zones, whispering so that babies do not wake. Yes, I miss having a girlfriend near by who I can just grab coffee with, or go shopping -- but let's get real: Like I even have that kind of time any more.
I also appreciate those friends who didn't feel I had personally abandoned them when the Rabbit appeared. One of my best friends, who has no children of her own, would never dream of not including my daughter in our plans when I make it into DC to see her on my few, and infrequent trips. Contrast that with other girlfriends who also don't have children and make me feel like I got the lucky brass ring --- and should never hope for anything more.
And then there are those toxic friends -- the ones I seem to collect the way you can pick up a shell on the beach and casually put it in your pocket. Somehow, the neon red light blaring on their foreheads blaring "danger! danger!" that everyone else sees, I don't. Like I suffer from a selective color blindness. Eventually I see it -- several years, several fights, several conversations later when I realize every time the phone rings and it's them, and I dread picking up the line. Several comments later when I realize after seeing this friend, that I feel bad about myself, like I should apologize for the air I've used while talking about -- which they never fail to point out during every outing -- my clearly less-worthy life.
We all have a best friend, a true friend, in our lives -- if we're lucky, the way I know I am, we have a few. The people who make you smile when you just think of them. The people who make you laugh just the way they order a plate of pasta, or make you feel chic when you try on new clothes, or know how to tell you that green may just not be your color, and believe you could fly if you told them you could (although more likely would encourage you to get off the roof because some pinoli cookies and a cappuccino sound like a much better way to spend the afternoon.)
I'd like to believe I'm one of those people who can be once bitten, twice shy. Unfortunately, I am sure I will remain a 45 times bitten, maybe finally shy. But at least I'll have my friends I can call who will laugh with me about how stuck I am on my blinders.