Judy B. was my best friend when I was about 7 to 15. She lived down the block and we played Monopoly all the time. Each of us was desperate to win. We wound up fighting a lot. I think she once scratched my face and I pulled her hair.
Ellen P. was my best friend when I was 16 to 20. We loved each other, but she got upset when I met Douglas. Our friendship fizzled.
L. was one of my best friends when I was in my twenties and into my thirties. She kept me around because I helped her with her writing assignments for work. I kept her around because she was pretty and connected with “in” people. Our friendship had as much depth as a kid’s wading pool. It still drowned.
Other friends came and went over the years. T, who pretended she liked me because I gave her a job, but really hated that I was her boss. Barbara, who let me talk incessantly about my miserable relationship with Edgar. K, who I befriended solely for the purpose of getting info about Edgar. (She was his executive assistant.) S, whose insecurity and passive aggressiveness was an unfortunate combination.
At last, I know the kind of friends I want around me and I want to be around. Secure, smart, challenging friends like Lina, who appreciate my energy, talent and generosity, but call me out when I get over zealous and demanding.
Honest, real, compassionate, friends like Lois, who has unequivocally accepted me back into her life, let us pick up where we left off many years ago and demands as much from me as she demands of herself . Friends like Colby and Simone, who happen to be my children but who think I can be pretty cool and smart and who teach me something new and cool every time I’m with them. Friends like Douglas, my first husband, and David, my current husband, who actually like each other and complement me in vastly different ways. Friends like my sisters who will never ever desert me and who make me happy, even when they’re poking fun at me.