Everybody has that one friend whom they don’t quite get. Your friend seems to go in all the wrong directions. They zig when you think they ought to zag. They’re late when you would be early. They date someone highly unsuitable and marry worse. They don’t call then call too often. They change jobs or stay in a dead-end job that you think they should leave.
Or maybe you are that one friend. I think I am for several people.
That one friend doesn’t have a regular table at which to dine on their birthday or holidays. Their roast burns; their tires go flat on the way to church. Their bangs are uneven and their high-heel breaks on the curb as they hasten into the funeral home for their mother’s service. They have a smudge on their blouse; a stain on their tie; their handbag spills open at the doctor’s office when they’re hearing the cat-scan results. Bad news, of course. They bonk their head standing too quickly when someone important comes into the room.
They cry easily.
They’re a good sport; stalwarth; they hide in their bedroom when everyone else goes out for the night. They empty the ashtrays at the after-party. They bring a tuna fish casserole for a vegetarian potluck. They smile. Endlessly, they smile. You don’t see the quivering.
Find the person who fits this description in your life. Take them to lunch. Listen to their stories. If someone calls you and invites you to coffee, suspect that they consider you to be that person in their life, and accept their invitation. Whether you’ve been invited or done the inviting, when you enter the cafe, embrace your friend — for at least twenty seconds. Put your cell phone away. This is that one friend; you are that one friend. Connect.
Just eight more days in the twenty-fourth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.