Do you ever hang up the phone and think back on your conversation….and come to the conclusion that you are a complete ass??
Is it just me?
It’s not my fault really, I blame it on my best friend.
This friend and I share the same first name, the same birth month, the same sarcastic sense of humor and the same thoughts on so many things. From the time we met, it was inevitable that we would know each other forever. We talk almost daily, tell each other EVERYTHING, offer support, criticism, and chocolate to each other as needed. She is the person who inspired me to recycle out of guilt, has me terrified of putting plastic in the microwave, and does not call child services on me when I vent after a long day with a million kids.
It just so happens that she also has a couple kids of her own, and her oldest was born with Spina Bifida. She needed to have surgery once she had doubled her birth weight, and recently had another very extensive surgery to help improve her ability to walk. I am being extremely general here with the details. I just want to give you a little idea of life in her household…. lots and lots of therapy, and although Maddy can walk, she can’t run, she can’t wear “pretty shoes” which is probably one of her biggest issues with her condition. Leg braces, patchy sensation in her legs leading to pressure ulcers because she hadn’t felt something rubbing on her foot…or stepped on something and didn’t realize it… these things have led to weeks or sometimes months in a wheelchair, wound debridement, LOTS of frustration as she has to wait for healing before she can get on with her life.
My friend has cried in the face of an uncertain future… will her spinal cord retether? Will she lose bladder sensation? My god, when she was younger, any pee accident was cause for major concern and surveillance. Yet, at 13, Maddy is a completely normal teen in all the ways teens are normal. She knows EVERYTHING… she has more attitude than she can responsibly handle. Sarcasm??? OFF THE CHARTS. She likes boys, she feels like she can’t breathe without texting or face timing with her friends, and she has confidence that neither I or my friend had at her age. She’s beautiful and definitely knows it.
Clearly my friend is an amazing mom, and she is dealing with so much more… her husband has a genetic kidney disease that her kids have of chance of inheriting, it was found completely by accident. I could go on, but you get the picture…she’s got a lot on her plate.
Oh, yea, she also thinks everyone is going to have cancer…. her daughter was having some stomach issues….BAM, she’s got stomach cancer… Oh, your leg hurts??? Oh my god, it’s bone cancer!! Her period was funky that month, Crap…. definitely uterine cancer…. I think this stems from being blind sided by her husbands and daughters issues….. in a way she must think if she just expects the worst, at least it won’t surprise her when it comes.
Over the years, I’ve developed a very therapeutic way of dealing with this. It goes something like this……
Her: I’m so worried, Maddy still says her stomach doesn’t feel right….she’s getting kind of nauseous after she eats….it’s been like 2 weeks, what could it be?
Me: Cancer. It’s definitely cancer.
Her. You’re an ass.
Or sometimes I will call and catch her crying. And those calls will typically go like this:
Me. Are you crying?? (bitchy sounding)
Her: a little.
Now there are two tactics I like to use. I either yell at her and tell her how stupid she is for crying, or act like I’m thrilled to catch her crying because I love nothing more than to wallow in the misery of others. Makes my day when I know other people hate their lives.
The end result is usually her calling me an ass, again…. but at least I can get her to laugh for a minute.
I love my best friend. So much. Partly because she doesn’t hate me for being a completely horrible, shitty friend. I am, frequently.
Here is a conversation we had today, literally….:
Her: “I was asking Maddy what she would prefer to be called instead of “disabled”, neither of us like that term. She said she doesn’t know”….etc. etc. etc….
Me: God, I hate that my hair is so freaking curly now, I wish it was straight again-it looked so awesome when it was straight, I didn’t appreciate it enough. I’m so depressed….
Do you know how much this happens?
She will be freaking out that she, or someone in her family has cancer…again….and I will totally make fun of her, and then complain about a “real” issue, like how I hate the pacifier but my husband keeps giving it to the baby anyway.
Sometimes I catch myself, like today. I asked her, how are you not offended by me constantly? She said that most of the time she just laughs at my stupidity, and she knows I’m not being maliciously selfish. It just sucks sometimes. She is such a better person than me…even without her amazing efforts with her kids, and her ability to help her daughter grow into the confident and beautiful young woman she is….. my friend is still better overall. She has no microwave, doesn’t use plastic, is at war with GMO’s, artificial food coloring and all preservative. She COMPOSTS!!! She recycles EVERYTHING. (she came to my house once because I was moving and told her I was throwing away some books etc…). She actually removed all the “trash” from my home and sorted it herself, dropping off what she could to be recycled.
Oh My God. I probably just need to kill her.
I’m not going to kill her. It would take way too long to break someone else in, I just don’t have the time for it!
No, I’m just really thankful for our friendship. It works for us, and although it could appear very dysfunctional and even hostile to outsiders, we’ve developed the ability to read each other, and truly appreciate the sarcasm each of us has to offer, as well as the support and caring we have for each other and our respective families.
So while she’s waxing on about how the high school needs to have wheelchair access, and I’m fantasizing about cool laser lipo, we manage to forge ahead in this completely unbalanced but somehow very satisfying friendship.
I plan to make her blog on here…. in the meantime I did get permission to talk about her and her daughter…. I’m not a COMPLETE ass.