Irreverent Mama

Monday, July 23, 2007

My best friend.

I have two. Matthew is my first and foremost best friend. I don't say that just because he's my husband (finally), and I have this misguided notion that just because he's my husband he is obliged to be my best friend.

I say it because he is. Matthew has loved me for longer than I've loved him. He's supported me through stuff that would send most men skittering for the hills faster than you can say "tampon". Which he also buys for me, without a second's squeamishness. (While he does the weekly grocery shopping. From the weekly menus he's created. Yes, indeed.)

Matthew listens. Really listens. Matthew shares. Really shares. We talk for hours. HOURS. Every summer weekend, we go for an hour's walk, have a coffee, walk an hour home. And we talk the.whole.way.

He is kind, but he's also honest. He's courageous, but not macho. He doesn't confuse manliness with vulgarity. Burps and farts are unfortunate physical realities, no more, not great accomplishments warranting admiration and attention.

There is nothing I can't tell him. I am never afraid of his response. He has a brilliant mind. A brilliant mind of great integrity. He doesn't shy from realities just because they're uncomfortable or put him in a bad light.

He thinks I'm beautiful, smart, kind, creative, sexy, a phenomenal mother, a terrific writer; he thinks that my mind is much quicker than his, and that any man of sense is jealous of him when we walk down the street hand-in-hand.

With all that wonderfulness, who needs a second best friend? But I have one. Because I'm lucky that way.

My other best friend is Sophie.

On the surface, you'd wonder why we work so well together. Sophie's idea of heavy reading is Cosmo. I read voraciously 10 or 20 books a month. Sophie's kids are...well... Her son is into vandalism and petty theft; her daughter seems to have "tart" as a life-goal. (And Sophie's response is to cover up for the son. I heartily disapprove.) My kids are decent citizens, all in all. Sophie's love life is a mess: she specializes in unattainable men. She's bounced from an alcoholic (a man whose first love is the booze) to a gay guy, (how's that for unattainable?), and a string of others along the way. Much of her men woes stem from the fact that 'brains' take a distant second place to 'buff' (and 'young') in Sophie's list of attractive male features. Me, I like men with a bit of gray at the temples and some physical and mental substance. Unlike Sophie, I would not see it as a compliment were my teens to invite me clubbing with them, "because you're so much like the rest of us!!"

So, with all those differences, why do we enjoy each other's company so? Well, for starters, I give Sophie the dignity of her own life and choices. I'll give input if she wants, but never unsolicited. I feel no need to burden her with my advice and opinions. She's a grown woman, been heading her own life for two or three decades now, and is largely happy with her life. I accept her for who she is, and I don't judge her for having different choices/attitudes/values from me.

What we share is a sense of mischief. We've listened to each other's woes about the various men in our lives (Sophie dates from pre-Matthew days), and suggest often savage retaliation for insults suffered. We never do them: the imagining is enough fun.

We empathize with each other. She's cried on my shoulder about her kids; I've cried on hers about my ex.

We both know what it's like to worry about money. We love being with someone who never complains of being 'broke', while somehow managing a family trip to the Carribbean in March.

We are both annoyed by prudery. We love being with someone with whom we can chat about anything without pulling our punches: vibrators, oral sex, good sex, bad sex, group sex. Sex, sex, sex.

Sophie is spontaneous. Sophie's a party girl. Sophie's a bit wicked. Sophie is a bit of a bitch, frankly, though never with me. She's not squeamish - about sex, about morality, about her own foibles.

Sophie brings some much-needed frivolity into my life.

Between the two of them, I get just about everything I need in the way of human interaction: deep, mind-stretching conversations; shrieking, wine-fuelled gigglefests, and with both I share reciprocal, unconditional acceptance.

I am a lucky woman.

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13 Comments:

  • Great post! Sounds like Sophie and you are my kinda friends... blunt and 100% accepting!

    By Blogger Kaytabug, at 5:26 PM  

  • You sound so very different to your friend but as they say opposites attract and you both obviously get a lot out of the friendship which is brilliant.

    By Blogger ChrisB, at 7:11 PM  

  • Your Sophie sounds like one of my other best friends that I did not discuss in today's post. Not quite done partying or ready to settle down, but hell of a lot of fun!!!

    By Blogger Fianna, at 7:44 PM  

  • sounds like Sophie needed a friend.
    Glad you are there for her.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 12:47 AM  

  • You are a lucky woman to have two good friends that are so different. You have all the bases covered.

    By Blogger mjd, at 12:55 AM  

  • I agree with mjd, your life seems pretty sorted.

    By Blogger Beccy, at 4:59 AM  

  • Sophie is lucky to have a friend like you, and your husband sounds like a top bloke :)

    By Blogger uncaringbear, at 7:25 AM  

  • Katyabug - Sophie's great. 100% accepting is imperative in a friend. I don't need my friends to agree with me all the time, but I also don't want them trying to change me. Sophie and I are that way with each other.

    ChrisB - We are different. People who know us both are astonished we get on so well. I think we each provide something the other needs. It is brilliant! Thanks.

    Fianna - That's Sophie. I'm not sure when (if!) she ever will be done the partying, but fun!

    Pamela - We're good for each other, of that I'm sure. In truth, though Sophie has tonnes of friends, far more than quiet little me.

    mjd - "All the bases covered." Yes, I do - and I am lucky!

    beccy - My life is sorted? You know, I think you're right! Ten years ago, I'd have laughed in your face if you'd said that to me. I've come a long way, baby... :-)

    Uncaringbear - My husband is an amazing bloke. Prior to him, I thought the idea of 'soulmate' was sentimental drivel. Not any more!

    -Laura

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 8:58 AM  

  • Opposites attract - even with friendships, like chrisb mentioned.

    You are probably a good influence on her - maybe she will learn from you in the end.

    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 9:25 AM  

  • Wow! She sounds great! Address please!! lol.
    Glad you're happy! xx

    By Blogger john.g., at 11:45 AM  

  • Tiggerlane - and maybe I'll learn from her!

    John - I'll let her know this bloke (in her home country, once upon a time) is panting in her wake. See what she says...

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 12:09 PM  

  • I really enjoyed reaing about Sophie! This is the kind of blog that really fulfills the purpose of the assignment. Thank you for it!! (Willowtree would be proud!!)

    By Blogger The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!), at 1:14 PM  

  • Artist, etc - AGH! Willowtree! I was supposed to have linked to him! Oops...

    And thanks for the kind words. You dole out Quality Compliments, lady.

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 2:44 PM  

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