I spent today with a friend I have known more than 30 years.
Suzanne and I only get to see each other a few times a year. Moreso since our kids were born, as our daughters took to each other in much the same way we did, all those years ago. We get to use the excuse of "we have to get the girls together" as justification for the exquisite pleasure of sneaking off for a couple days of visiting time.
Today, we met for lunch, then ice cream at our favorite ice cream shoppe, followed by ice skating with the girls and post-holiday winter coat shopping. Suz bought two coats. I encouraged her to buy the second one because she looked adorable in it and, for heaven's sake; she eats too many chicken backs.
As I sit here, drinking hot wine because I'm still nursing a really nasty cold, I am amazed at what a comfort it is to have one person in my life who makes me feel unconditionally loved. Don't get me wrong; of course, my husband and daughter and parents love me. But each of these people wants something back from me. They all depend on me in some way, they all have their baggage and their agendas and to a certain extent, they all are obligated to love me in one way or another.
Not Suzanne. She and I have had the unique wonder of a relationship that has withstood boyfriends, family upheavals, 10th grade Biology, college, marriages, divorces, remarriages, children, jobs...and has emerged stronger and more beautiful each year. And it survives, not in small part, because we make no demands on each other. I accept all that is good and bad about her, without judgment and without explanation. Suzanne is always late. This I know. And it's OK. We just work on a different schedule. And she treats me with the same acceptance and accommodation. She just loves me for exactly the person I am. No matter how long we have been apart, it is like we just saw each other yesterday.
I always finish a day with her feeling better about the world than when it started.
I’m going to make a point of getting downstate to see her more often.