My best friend moved to England.
I’ve known her over 5 years. I met her when I joined a small company with offices all the way across town. 1 hour commute, every day, minimum. They have any trouble on the 480 bridge and it’s and hour and a half, both ways. By coincidence, she also lived in the same small community on the west side that I did, and her birthday is the day before mine! We got along famously!
Noel is the only person I have ever met who is virtually un-offendable. She knows that anything I say to her, I mean it in a friendly manner. She never takes anything I say, no matter how outrageous, the wrong way. Not that she isn’t just as opinionated as I am! Oh, no! We’ve had some good arguments, mostly over politics. We agree on most things but where we disagree, fireworks! (She tends to yell when she gets excited!)
After working together for about 5 months, I decided that the company and I weren’t going to work out and found another job. We stayed in touch, kinda, for the next year or so but I realized that we weren’t going to stay friends if we never saw each other. I called her and proposed that we start getting together regularly for dinner. Give us a chance to stay up on each other’s lives.
So, we got together every Wednesday for almost 2 years. And I got to hear the Saga of Matt and Noel.
Noel has had a life that makes even the most melodramatic soap opera seem tame and boring by comparison.
When I met her, she professed to being gay and was living with another woman. 2 years later, they had broken up and Noel was all in a tizzy about her upcoming vacation to Spain to meet a man she had known online for several years.
She married him last July.
In between, she reignited an old relationship with the man who fathered her son. He (and his family) traumatized her so badly that she “switched teams” and was a lesbian for 18 years. (That is according to her.)
I got to hear all the gory details every Wednesday night over dinner. I dubbed it “The Saga of Matt and Noel” and looked forward to hearing the latest installment every week.
They simply had too much hurt and time between them and the relationship failed a second time, but they gave it their best shot. I don’t think she could ever really totally forgive him for what went before and I don’t think he ever really believed that his parents behaved as badly as she said they did. It was doomed from the start.
But it was fun to hear about every week! What new, atrociously stupid thing would Matt say? How would Noel over-react?
At least they mostly kept their now-grown son out of it.
And I got to air my problems, as well. There’s nothing like being able to talk a problem over with a trusted friend who won’t be offended or judgmental about what you might say. Noel is the only person like that I’ve ever had in my life and I miss her terribly.
Now, I have no one to say, “Hey! Guess what stupid thing I did?” and have her laugh _with_ me not _at_ me. My SO will laugh at me and be critical. For, as wonderful as he is in so many ways, he is a very critical person. It is best not to give him too many opportunities. Or ammunition.
So, I started a blog. And a private diary. No one reads either but at least it keeps me writing and thinking about writing. I have several half-written books on my computer and several typed up story outlines that need finished. Maybe one day I’ll find the discipline to actually finish something.
And you, Dear Reader, can say you knew me when… :-)