Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Vicious Circle

Three of my friends are facing cancer scares. Tomorrow I'm having lunch with one of them. Yesterday a friend had a biopsy. Over Thanksgiving another friend flew to Northern California to say goodbye to her sister who is in stage 4.

It's taken me a long time to make these friends. I'm a pretty shy person at heart. I can talk to anyone one-on-one, but walking into a cocktail party full of people I don't know is like agony. My three friends are all very different, have very different backgrounds but they share a common thread.

At this point in my life, I'm not interested in talking to someone who is all "Up with People". Actually another friend of mine just met an "Up with People" person. That's not for me. Unless she's willing to share some "Up with People" dirt, because you know there's dirt.

My three friends were all willing to share their flaws with me. That's what I like. I've recently become closer to a high school friend I didn't know very well. We ran into each other at the gym and I was explaining my theory of looking for chinks in the armor. She exclaimed, "Oh I love the chinks," which didn't come out right but I totally got it.

I know many women who put on that face, that suburban "my children are perfect, my marriage is perfect, all is perfect" face. Well I am deeply flawed so I don't know what we're going to talk about after I run out of nice things to say about my son. He's perfect or nearly. I am not.

My three new friends, and all of my friends that I have now, are willing to admit their flaws. That quality makes them perfect to me. Those flaws are the things we laugh about or cry about. It's the imperfections, in my humble opinion, that make us interesting and beautiful.

Sometimes when I run or sneeze, I wet my pants. Just a little. Hey I had a ten pound baby, okay? One of my friends lost custody of her young son to a jerk of an ex. But they've spliced together a close relationship as adults. One of my friends admits she's not that close to her dying sister. One of my friends has a daughter that doesn't fit the timeline of her marriage. One of my friends is almost surely getting a divorce.

We're all flawed and imperfect and ridiculous. For me, it's easier to let it all hang out.


  1. Right on, Becky. I call this "radical vulnerability". We are of an age and stage in life when we can own up to what makes us "us" - the good, the bad, and the ugly. And love ourselves and each other that much more for it.

  2. I like that "radical vulnerability". I'm glad we found each other again after many, many, many moons.