Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Very Best Friend....

Last night I laughed almost non-stop for four and a half hours. I laughed so hard and for so long, I woke up in pain this morning. The muscles around my ribs, neck, and shoulders felt like I had taken a beating. But it was worth it. I needed a good gut-busting laugh-fest. It's been too long.

I was talking to my very best friend. His name is Owen and we've been "best buds" for over 20 years. Although we haven't seen each other face to face in 10 years, we still talk on the phone and it's always the same....we end up laughing until we cry. I've learned to grab a box of Kleenex whenever I see his name on the caller ID because I know I'm going to need them.

What makes this friendship so unique is the absolute honesty and transparency. We openly discuss everything. There isn't any subject that is taboo. If one of us touches on a subject that the other isn't ready to talk about, that's okay. We just say so, knowing it will come up later at a better time. And it always does. But that doesn't happen very often. Most of the time we "just let it all hang out" and say those things we wouldn't dare say to others because we know we're safe; we won't be judged, there won't be any recriminations, and nothing will ever be held against us down the road or used as a weapon to hurt us later. It's all received with compassion and unconditional Love and respect for one another. We can trust each other with our innermost self, safe in the knowledge the response we receive will come from a place of kinship, honesty, and love.

It isn't that we always "see eye to eye".....we don't. In fact, we have disagreed about many things over the years, quite vehemently. But our friendship was always more important than "being right" so it was easy to "agree to disagree" and step past it without any hard feelings. It is as natural as breathing to us. The disagreement isn't a sore spot, it's just something that shows us who the other person is or where they stand on a particular issue. That's all. Nothing more. Not a big deal. It isn't important enough to lose a friend over.

Many times over the years I've thought "that's how it should be in a love relationship as well," and I've always wondered why it isn't....or couldn't be. Maybe it is, for some people. I've just never had that experience myself. Although I would sure like to.

Since Owen is recently widowed, I know a lot of people are surprised we haven't "hooked up." They think it's an obvious match. But we both know it wouldn't be a good match so it isn't even an issue to us. We just laugh and agree that as a couple...we would end up living in a cardboard box under some bridge where we would sit and have a never-ending deep philosophical discussion about how we ended up homeless and broke. In other words, we know we would ultimately be very bad for each other. We're too much alike. We need partners who are grounded, not partners who will fly off into the cosmos with us. Besides, we've just never felt "it" for each other "that way." It isn't our destiny and we know it.

We're just two people who share an insatiable curiosity about strange and unusual things that we love to discuss, and the same somewhat warped and twisted sense of humor. We can almost hear each other's thoughts and crack-up laughing at the littlest things because we're simply on the same wave-length. That's all. And the fact the romantic or sexual attraction doesn't exist between us, actually makes it better...because we never have to worry about the other misunderstanding anything or taking something we say "the wrong way". Our friendship is so completely safe, it's liberating. We can just say whatever we want and "let the chips fall where they may." It's a risk-free friendship and it is priceless.

So, last night he entertained me with tales of his return to the world of dating after 42 years of marriage. He shared about first dates and blind dates and online dating and his new-found empathy for the stallions locked in stalls in his barn; denied access to the mares. His stories were so funny I thought I would pass out from oxygen deprivation because I just couldn't stop laughing.

I was happy to learn I'm not the only one who thinks today's dating world is a scary place. I also learned a LOT about "the male point of view." I must say, it is not surprising men and women misjudge each other so much. I'm sure glad I have a best friend who will fearlessly "tell me how it is" without any kind of self-serving agenda attached. I think he felt the same way as I explained why women are reacting badly to what he thought was his best "good guy presentation."

Ultimately, this friendship is without a doubt the greatest friendship I have experienced in this life. The only friendship that could possibly top it would be to share the same kinship with a Love-match.

I can hope, right?

I like to believe this friendship has taught me valuable skills that can be applied to creating that relationship....I just need to find that one guy who wants it as well. After all, I've already learned the hard way that if your partner doesn't share that desire, or is too stuck in controlling patterns to be able to open up to it, you're not going to make it happen by yourself. It takes a courageous person to set aside their fears and be completely transparent with another. But it is so worth it when that other honors and respects the gift you're offering when you do.

I hope all of you have at least one friendship like this. It is a truly amazing experience....