What Makes a Good Friend?

Once or twice a year, I get together with three particular girlfriends.

Back in the nineties, before natural geographic scattering, there were twelve of us. We called ourselves the “Supper Club,” and convened monthly with delicious and deliberate intentions. Over the years we shared more baby showers, bridal showers, marriages, divorces and funerals than I care to count.

We didn’t just stand tall out of limo sun roofs on Santa Monica Blvd., share joints in nightclubs, gorge on fast food, make out with limo drivers, and throw up together (ok, it was me: I made out with the limo driver and threw up). We rode horses, and learned belly dancing, and read poetry, and chanted “Ho” in a sweat lodge whilst suppressing giggles each time the oddly flatulent Medicine Woman passed gas.

We didn’t just make those stupid ribboned hats for each other from gift toppings, we attended birthing classes and gathered alongside the midwives and fathers during crowning and umbilical cord cutting.

We didn’t just think to send a sympathy card when a pet died, we showed up in the aftermath of grim diagnoses and laid hands on each others’ dying first children: our dogs and cats. We prayed for restored health. We believed it would come. We sat quietly beside each other when it didn’t.

Years later, when my faith suddenly and unexpectedly left, these women knew not to ask me to pray any longer. They watch for my restoration. They believe it will come. They will sit beside me whether or not it does.

Are these my best friends? Some of them. Are they good friends? Yes. Not because of our shared history. Not because of geographical convenience or met needs. Not because we speak regularly (we don’t). Not because we don’t annoy each other (we do). Not because we have no other good friends (every one of us does).

These women, they know who I am. I know who they are. We love each other.

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This post was inspired by a writing prompt from a reader. Have an idea for me? Suggestions welcome.

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