Friday, February 4, 2011

The Chronicles of ....


I am convinced that the greatest relationships in life are the unexpected ones, the ones that metaphorically sweep you off your feet. In fact, the majority of the intimate relationships of my current state were quite unexpected. Take for example one of my closest friends. She and I met under the most random circumstances. It was a high school soccer game for one of our mutual friends. I came to watch on a whim (kind of). In hindsight it wasn’t nearly as whimsy as I thought. After all, I did drive four hours to watch a two hour soccer match. It was a big game and I had wanted to surprise my friend playing and another friend spectating. As I tip-toed through the bleachers I noticed a semi-familiar face, one I’d seen in pictures and heard countless stories about. As I got closer and prepared to surprise her companion, she glanced back…. Busted. Or at least I thought so until I put my finger on my lips and mouthed shhhhh. My new found co-conspirator played it perfect. She pursed her lips, crossed her arms and nodded confidently. Surprise success! I’ve never been a believer in “love at first sight” but that encounter comes pretty close. All it took after that to blossom our friendship was a common denominator and a two hour Anchorman quoting session.

I cannot count how many inside jokes we have compiled or how many times we’ve laughed until we almost puked. We even joke about the sustainability of our friendship and how it’s a good thing we live 6 hours apart. After all, the world might implode upon itself if we spent more than a few days in the same place. (Sometimes I don’t doubt the validity of that statement) Truth be told, aside from our extensive fits of laughter, our interactions can be quite volatile at times. For example we aren’t allowed to have serious conversations via Skype anymore. Believe it or not, sarcasm can be seriously misread over typed characters. There have been several times we’ve seriously hurt each other’s feelings, usually unintentionally, but hurt nevertheless. It’s bound to happen in close relationship. When you get real with someone, sometimes you say things you don’t mean, or things you do mean that just come out poorly. Sometimes you can’t help but step on each other’s toes.

One of the things I hate, and love most about her is her desire to step on my toes. She rarely tells me what I want to hear, which pisses me off to no end. I almost always take it personally, until I realize that she’s right, which pisses me off to no end. It’s a collision of the best kind, a beautiful impact if you will. She rubs the wrong way on purpose and pushes me into the uncomfortable. She’s forever altered the way I view friendship. She helps show me what it’s like to bear the banner of Christ in relationships. It’s beautiful and awfully messy; forceful and gentle.

We’ve made plans. Plans hashed out over the phone, 6 hours apart, each with Woodchuck in hand. Plans to run a coffee shop in a college town, with lots of books, and good tea, and ridiculousness. That plan might never happen but I’ve no doubt we’ll be making mischief for many years to come. It won’t be because we know how to sustain our friendship. It will be because the sustainability doesn’t rely upon our ability to make each other happy or walk on eggshells. If that were the case we’d have jumped ship long ago. She’s taught me that it has nothing to do with us, which makes it even sweeter. 

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