Consider me chastised. Monday Tommie enjoyed a day off. She works hard. The girls like to get together for lunch with their mother when they can. Occasionally I get invited. We were sitting around the table when Kimberly alluded to an oversight of mine. A month ago. She looked around at Tommie and Patty with one of those, “Got him now,” grins. And, she had. Got me, that is.
Last month my best friend had a birthday. That’s right, Patty turned a year older. Kimberly knows her mother does not like lots of attention. But, Kimberly does know I like to reflect here on what a special person Patty is to me and indeed I missed it. So, consider me chastened.
Making up for this oversight is no short order. This week we celebrated another milestone. One that Patty likes to think about more than her birthday. Tuesday of this week marked 32 years as best friends. No, it is not our wedding anniversary. We began dating 32 years ago. For those of you quick with math, that means we have spent two-thirds of our lives enjoying an ever-deepening friendship.
When Patty and I are asked for advice by young people about “boy-girl-relationships,” we always note it more important to learn to be friends than race right to the question, “Is he/she the one for me?” Our highly romanticized versions of courting often neglect what it means to be a friend. We put on our best image of ourselves in hopes that image will be the allure needed. The problem is, these best images of ourselves are difficult to maintain when asked to be “on” 24/7. Facebook heightens this aspect of our cultural vision of romance. After all, once you build your Facebook page, you can always be presenting the best image of yourself – effortlessly. It just takes a few clicks.
I do not mean to imply friendship excludes romance. Friendship broadens what is considered romantic. For instance, I never thought helping clean the house could be construed as romantic. But, Wednesday night I knew Patty wanted to get the house cleaned before I had surgery Thursday morning. Sure many would think that is “her” job. But, it is our job. Doing these kinds of things together creates mutual appreciation. It is not that we do not enjoy nice dinners, a trip to the movies, and the occasional stay at a Bed and Breakfast, and on and on. After all these years we find time together in some of the most simplest settings may be romantic.
Surgery this week would require a driver. I enlisted my Dad and Mom to give me a ride since Patty worked Thursday morning. My best friend took off work to take me and bring me home. For many, this would seem an obvious solution. But, we already have Patty’s two weeks of vacation planned this year. And, Patty is the lone dental assistant in the office. Getting off is not easy task and does leave the office scrambling. I certainly appreciated her taking the day off.
I am glad to say Patty has been and continues to be my best friend. Any week reviewed would hold many occasions to celebrate our lives together. I am glad Kimberly prodded me . . . again.