Friend: noun; “one who knows you and loves you just the same”

-Elbert Hubbard.

 

My posts have been a little lackluster this weekend but I’ve had a good reason, I took a trip to DC to visit with some friends from college. We dubbed the trip ” The Frienassance” and it seemed wrong to waste any of our precious reunited time blogging.

Last night, as you can see from the previous post, we had a perfect evening. We stayed in and cooked, and baked, and drank entirely too much wine. It was glorious.

When we sat down to dinner we did a toast. Everyone went around and said something lovely.

Everyone except for me, who was bawling like an infant and completely unable to form a sentence never-mind a heartfelt one. What can I say? I get sentimental when I’ve had my fair share of vino….would have sobbed sober but whatever.

But sitting at that table last night was everything I’ve ever needed and more.

Because these are the people, who like the above quote, know me. I don’t have to pretend even for a second with them, and frankly if I did they would know I was pretending anyway. The get my sense of humor and I get theirs and with that combination it leads to an unbelievable amount of laughter.

And I find myself so proud of them.

So incredibly proud.

“That’s my friend!” I think.

They’re all actors and this particular trip we went to go see Andy perform in a play. He had a great role and this beautiful monologue in the second act. I found myself watching the monologue and feeling such overwhelming pride for having his as a friend that I started to cry. And looking back and realizing that I can pin point the exact time I realized Andy was an amazing actor was a beautiful feeling.

You see, Andy and I originally met in acting class but we didn’t become friends until after the class was over. He was a bit of a smart ass during the course and also came off incredibly pretentious. Early in the course we were assigned a project where we were to sit in a group and say the same words over and over multiples times and blah blah blah I can’t remember the reason. I was paired with him and another guy from the class. We went to the cafeteria and attempted to say the words “phone clip” 78 times or whatever task we had to do and he seemed so above it. And suggested we didn’t actually have to do it. Of course we didn’t have to do it because there was no tangible proof of this exercise to present to our teacher. But being a goody two shoes I think I tried to insist we say it anyway. I don’t remember who won this battle of wills but the point is that….I didn’t like him. In turn he thought I was a “dumb hispanic girl.” Where he got that ethnicity I have no clue but the dumb idea wasn’t too far off as I barely said anything in our class.

The next semester he auditioned for a show I directed and I cautiously cast him as the male lead. I remember during the casting I told my producer I wasn’t sure Andy would listen to my direction but it was very clear there was nobody better for the role and I was willing to sacrifice my pride for the sake of the production.

A few weeks later in a blocking rehearsal Andy reached out and grabbed his scene partner’s hand. And it changed my view of him almost instantaneously. The scene was one between two people who had at one point been romantically involved and his character was, essentially clinging to the other character who was slowly falling in love with someone else. He said his line and as he said it he reached out and grabbed her hand , it looked exactly like this:

Before that moment I viewed Andy as a hard person. He was private and also sarcastic and like I mentioned before, had that air of pretension. But in this gesture, the scooping up of Linda’s hands with a passion that would make most female’s hearts melt right down to nothing I saw something special in it.

I saw that he’d done this before. Maybe not this exactly but he had been in love and he had been desperate to keep it. He had cared for another person. I believed every iota of feeling behind that gesture. I believed it because I knew he had felt it before.

I mean, in the end I never asked him, so this is all speculation.

But this willingness to tap into his own self made his instincts on point with near alarming accuracy. I hardly had to correct them in a way that fit with my overall vision. This working relationship was beneficial for us both as we traveled through college and has lead to this brilliant friendship that I’ve grown to value in ways I never thought I would.

So, Saturday night as I watched him perform I felt this swell of pride I’m not even sure I should be allowed to feel. And its exhilarating to know he’ll only get better and better. I suppose this is a perk of friendship, getting to feel responsible in some very small way for their successes.

And after the show we went out to a bar, the four of us, and he leaned over to me in the booth and said,

“So, have any notes?”

and I laughed and said that no I didn’t. Because I hadn’t had the need to take them in all honestly, I was too busy watching him.

But it filled my heart right up that he respects my opinion still. Despite the fact that I’m horribly under-studied when it comes to theater and I don’t even intend to peruse it as a career.

 

I guess, what I’m trying to say is that I am the luckiest.

In the friend department I am the luckiest girl on the planet.

 

Guys: Thank you. You raise me up while keeping me grounded. You accept me and you applaud me and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I love you.