Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Funny Valentine; or You've Got a Friend

In case you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Saint Valentine's Day was yesterday.  I am quite proud to report that this is a day that I have become quite ambivalent towards. Granted, I worked a long shift taking care of all the couples who came to dine at the stellar establishment that I am proud to be a part of, but other than that, I really did not even notice it was Valentine's Day.  Except when I went grocery shopping, but I think my Facebook status for the day pretty much summed things up:

 "To all of the Valentine's Day shoppers at the Grocery Store who were giving me pathetic and pitiful looks as I was purchasing 40 pounds of weight control dog food and 4 bottles of Cabernet, Let's re-evaluate this situation: I get to get drunk and have David Bowie dance party with a bad ass little Hound Dog. You are shamed into spending money on subpar quality chocolates and flowers that are out of season. Looks like the joke's on you, Suckas!!?

Note: I did NOT get to have David Bowie Dance party with the Hound.  By the time I got home, I was dead to the world. Those bottles of vino are being applied to tonight, as I really only write well when my blood type is  Cabernet.  Take note of the timestamps on when I post, clearly I only channel my inner Fitzgerald when a bit schnockered...but that's how F. Scott rolled so it only seems fitting.

But I digress.  Moral of the story is I truly felt no bitterness towards the fact that I was not going to receive any flowers, chocolates or romantic surprises on February 14th.  Mainly because I am wholly content and happy with my life and the amazing people that are in it.  I did not need a "Valentine" because my friends bring me all the love and happiness I need.  It boggles my mind daily when I look at my circle of friends and try to decipher why in the Hell they keep me around.  And Valentine's Day reaffirmed this for me.  Despite the fact that I received no formal "Valentine" gift, I received a barrage of personalized messages from friends expressing their love and friendship.  Note:  It needs to be stated that I did, in fact, receive cards from both my Old Man and my Mom.  Mom, thank you for the sweet card, cash and a note telling me to buy myself beer or chocolate. I picked beer.  Old Man, I expect you to step up your game come St. Patrick's Day.

Anyway, as I stated earlier, it truly boggles my mind why my friends keep me around.  Anytime I spend time with one of them, I walk away thinking, "What an amazing person, how did I end up in his or her life?"  While I do this with every friendship, none boggle my mind quite like the relationship that I have with JP.

JP. Those two letters are probably meaningless to you, but to me, they represent the biggest mystery in the universe of how one person can tolerate another   (Also, we agreed to be each other's Valentine's, so there is your seque.)  While JP represents quite a mystery to me, those letters also represent the epitome of friendship to me.  Those who know JP and I as adults without knowing us as youngins' frequently comment that they don't understand how we are friends.  Those that knew us in our younger days know that we played sports together, attended Math & Science camp together, took 2nd place in the Science Olympiad as a team together and that we wore matching Mickey Mouse Outfits together.  It is only logical to those that knew us then.  But those that know us now?  We are an anomaly. She's quiet, I'm loud.  She listens, I talk. She cries when she laughs, I laugh when others cry.  She observes, draw logical conclusions and speaks with purpose, I spend most of my time thinking of me, how does the conversation relate to me and how can I work Cari into things.  To summarize, if we were birds, JP would be a sparrow whereas I would be a screech owl.

My little sparrow is also the singular person in my life who knows every thing about me.  I tell her everything (probably because she is such a great listener.) I always walk away wondering why she continues to keep me in her life and offer me such sage and thoughtful advice.  But when I say everything, I do mean everything, ranging from:  (Note: these are actual text messages and/or conversations I've had with JP.)

*Ahem* Ranging from:

The Mundane: "I just spent 15 minutes spinning hard-boiled eggs on my kitchen counter."

The Things She Could Not Care Less About: "My Red Line car smells like pee."

The Too Much Information: "I just got my first Brazilian and now I want to show off my oonie like a shiny new toy."  (My apologies to my parents and their friends for having to read that.)

The Philisophical: "Life is all about seizing the moment and throwing caution to the wind."

The Drunken Expressions of Love: "If you were the last frozen coke on Earth, JP, I still wouldn't drink you."

The Shameless Fishing For a Compliment: "I mean, I am cute right?"

These examples are only the tip of the iceberg in respect to what I share with JP.  And through it all, I almost always find myself telling her, "I don't know why you put up with me and I don't know what I would do without you."

And it's the truth.  The biggest mystery in my life is why this girl tolerates me.  However, it seems I recently found the answer. Last week I made the very difficult decision to end a friendship that meant a lot to me.  Naturally, JP is the only person who knows all the details, but the short story is that it is a person that I love and care about endlessly and I realized that having her/him in my life was detrimental.  So I called that person up, told the person how I felt and asked that he/she never contact me again.  Prior to making that call, I called up JP for advice and a pep talk. Afterward, I texted her all night about how I felt like my heart was breaking and that I was sitting on the couch eating mediocre take out and crying. The next day I told JP how I wanted to write a letter and could not decide whether to send it or burn it.

And then Whitney Houston died. Suddenly my pathetic heartache from cutting someone I love out of my life had an avenue for escape.

Naturally, I shoot off a text to JP to comment on the situation:

The Text: "Whitney Houston's death sure is convenient!  Now it is not pathetic that I am going to listen to I Will Always Love You endlessly while crying into a bottle of wine!  It's honoring her!"

Her response? Her response is what finally clued me in to why she keeps me around:

"And this is why I love you!"

After decades of being friends, I finally learn why JP tolerates me and my immense oversharing – because I can make light of celebrity death.  Or rather, I can bring her a smile no matter what we're going through.  Or most likely, she knows that I am the one person who would help her bury a body based on the sheer amount of blackmail she has on me, so she keeps me around.

Whatever the reason, I am grateful that JP decided to put up with me.  And if you have a friend that means everything to you, be sure that you let them know, and throw a few Whitney jokes in for good measure.

To all of my friends, know that I am listening to  I Will Always Love You while smiling into some wine because you are all in my life. Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

And if you will excuse me,  I have some hard-boiled eggs to go spin....

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