It's my birthday week, and that time of year when friends come out of the woodwork to offer dinner, or drinks or gifts or remembrances. I like birthdays for the reason that they make everyone poke their nose out of everyday life and make you feel special.
I think of people as transient. Even friends that I have had for a lifetime, seem like a passing connection that will go away at any moment. I can never grasp the meaning of true friendship because I never learn to count on it to be there. This is not to say that I don't honor it, feel loyal towards it, or adore every minute. Just to say that I have issues trusting people to stick around. I don't like them too close, but I love knowing they are out there and will stop by when I want them to, or on birthdays they will remember me in some standing fashion. I think that even when you are a loner by nature, you set up traditions with people. They become there in your space now and then, and you love them for it. I am not the easiest person to know, and probably we all aren't, I guess? But, I know me...and I am somewhat of a pill. I need to have the hardest types of conversations (one friend revealed to me a couple years ago) but I need to have distance at times from everyone, and most of the time from most everyone. So I zoom in to close places, but need to zoom out spatially on a pretty consistent basis. I love email, love the written word...that type of closeness with distance is almost the perfect relationship for me. I do like face to face interaction, but dislike phones and lengthy calls. So, see...I'm not the easiest one to know.
Anyway, I spent tonight with my Monday night dinner crew. A tiny idea I had that has become a tradition. And I love that. I always sit down with them in the beginning with idle chatter, and I think "this is it...this is the night when we don't get each other anymore...this is the night when it's all over and we go our seperate ways." And each time, 20 minutes in, I realize that we are all still invested, and we are all still probably coming next week, and we are all still friends. It makes me redefine friendship for myself anyway, as something like this: frienship is a place where birthdays belong, silence is honored, and banter is allowed. It helps of course, if you truly like them. Which I do. Thank you, Monday night birthday crew...it was wonderful throughout the bright red apron, outdoor thermometer, beautiful day book and SAra Lee Cheesecake. I am most thankful for you. I hope you know.