Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Other's Gold

Not the best shot, I know.
We were in a restaurant.
It was late and rainy.
I know. I know. It's the Brownie's mantra:

"Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, and the other gold."

I quit the Brownies after just a few weeks.

Knowing me, I didn't like the uniform.

And, here's the thing. I'm not really a "saver."

Maybe I'm a little bit buddhist in that way. . . people come and go from my life; material things are just that. When I'm done with them, I'm done. My children aren't their childhood drawings or crappy ceramic pots. Or maybe it's just too painful for me to look back. . .

Either way, I'm not a scrapbooker, and I'm usually pretty good at moving on.

I've been blessed to make many friends in the last several years, and many amazing women friends,

my wonderful writer friends, Christine and Megan
My gorgeous, peachy friend, Heidi, who makes
me laugh and keeps me stocked with dizzy skull bags.

A few of my swimmy women friends who save me...
with my friend and partner in crime, Annmarie
More swimming girls, after a swim.
which is something I never truly appreciated as a twenty or thirty-something.

Maybe, it's because I'd been burned plenty of times in my life by my female friends, or maybe it's because I was insecure. Take your pick. One is no more right than the other.

At any rate.

April, 2012 in Columbus Circle, NYC
Yesterday, I spent the day in the city with my best friend from high school.

Understand, we were joined at the hip in high school.

We shared clothing, adventures, boyfriends,* and plenty of heartache.

As always, the relationship was fraught with complexity. The truth is, I envied her: her athleticism, her particular type of smarts, and her beauty.

As a teenager, I wanted to be her.

During periods of my life, when we weren't in touch, she permeated my dreams, and arose with love and, yes, pain in my writing. Here, from a still-unpublished manuscript of mine, is a snippet of my very-fictionalized first view of her:

"The first time I see Joanie, she is in fitted Lee jeans, a white button-down shirt and cowboy boots the color of wet sand.  A cherry red wool sweater drapes across her shoulders and her flaxen hair slips midway down her back in a perfect blunt line.  But it is not her hair or her moon-shaped ass I am in awe of, but rather the ease with which she wears the battered leather boots."

Maybe that captures some essence of the childlike awe I felt for her.

Jennifer, this month in Hawaii. :)

Yesterday, I spent the day in the city with her.

With my best friend from high school.

I still envy and admire her all the things I did when we were 16.

I still love her with a connection that is deep and visceral.

Turns out, the Brownies were right.

- gae

*rarely at the same time ;)


  1. Wonderful post Gae. And just looking at the photo of her, she is enviable, but so are you in so many ways. I think if we'd took little bits from each of our friends and made a whole woman out of them, she would be perfect.

  2. Ahhhh. I cried when we met in person the first time. I was just so happy. It was like I had known you my whole life. I keep my circle of girlfriends small. I value each one. They are a blessing in my life. You my friend are truly a special blessing.

  3. Maybe it's true, Megan, or maybe we're just not meant to be perfect. How boring! ;) <3

    Back atcha, Heidi. You know.

  4. I so so so relate to this. And have had a similar experience learning to really appreciate (and discern) my special women friends in my more "mature" years. It is a process, but without it, our relationships would be so much more superficial.