Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Whenever I Call You Friend

Friendship happens when you're not looking for it.

My first best friend took the position using the direct route. My family - and I only had three sisters, not five, at that point - was moving from an apartment in D.C. into a new house in Maryland. A little girl knocked on our side door and inquired of my mother, "Do you have any little girls I can play with?"

Little did she know that she'd hit the mother lode. Cindy Smith was five years old and serendipitously, so was I. We became friends that May day and remained so for years.

Of course, these days if an unattended five-year old knocked on someone's door, they'd probably call Child Protective Services on the parents, but back then, even a five-year old was allowed to walk two houses to inquire after friends.

In college, I worked part-time at a department store and on a night when store employees were taking inventory, a process that lasted until midnight and involved as much laughter as work, I was sent to the hosiery department to help out.

The college girl working the department looked none too pleased to see me when I showed up. Once we became friends, she admitted that she'd hated me on sight. My sin? Apparently I looked like the type of girl she disdained.

Before long, we were sharing life stories, learning to drink together and spending every warm day laid out in the sun hoping to achieve the perfect tan. Even when she moved many states away, our bond stayed strong and we were always able to pick up conversation as if it had been days and not months or even years since we'd last confided in each other.

Work delivered me another girlfriend back in the '90s when I was managing editor and she was art director of a couple of monthly papers. Even when the publisher decided her services were no longer needed (although they definitely were), we'd discovered so much in common over shared deadlines working at her studio on southside that we carried on outside of the publishing world.

Our friendship of almost two decades continues unabated, having weathered break-ups, the trials and tribulations of having sisters and acceptance of the aging process, meanwhile road-tripping to Washington, D.C., Baltimore and the Outer Banks in between our monthly wine-down conversation marathons.

Over the last six tumultuous years, I've stumbled onto new friends while out and about, hardly surprising given my vigorous social schedule. Out is where you found me.

One time I went to meet a casual friend only to find that she'd invited Pru, a woman I'd met a few years back, to join us. Pru and I clicked immediately and that friendship took off while the other withered and died. You know when it's right.

Another time at a party, the hostess came up to me to tell me how much she loved my blog for its positivity and particularly its odd slant given my detachment from mainstream media. When I found out she was a Gemini, too, you could almost hear the heavenly chorus of angels singing above us.

Some friendships are just meant to be.

Months ago, a blog reader messaged me saying she'd like to join me for my daily walk if I was amenable. Somehow, I lost that message until last week when I responded, albeit four months late, with a heartfelt yes.

Since she'd left comments on my blog before, I knew a little about her (such as she didn't like going out alone and took inspiration from my many solo outings), including that she was an avid walker. Today we met at the Oregon Hill overlook to walk together, both happy to have a companion, agreeing that most people we know can't/won't walk as far as we like to.

Five plus miles later, we'd had a satisfying walk on the Pipeline Trail, down to Great Shiplock Park and Chapel Island before meandering up through downtown during worker bee lunch hour. Despite how recently we'd first laid eyes on each other, we had almost non-stop conversation getting acquainted.

Best sign seen on our walk: Our beer is as cold as your ex-boyfriend's heart.


By the end of our adventure, I was asking if we could walk again and even meet up for an evening since she doesn't like flying solo and I'm always looking for company.

I may be a Luddite, but look at me, a blog reader may become a friend.

Arriving home, I found a message from another reader suggesting we do lunch. I agreed post-haste to his invitation because life has proven I have absolutely no idea where new friends may come from.

Chances are they aren't going to knock on my door and ask if there's anybody to play with. Too bad because I'd love that.


  1. nice story..


  2. You really think so, cw? As always, thanks for stopping by...

  3.'ve been at this a while now... you don't lack confidence do you?


  4. No, it's not that. Just never sure what's going to resonate with readers. That's why it's so great to get comments and feedback.

  5. love feedback...[constructive] all it's forms


  6. It was a great afternoon, to meet a new friend. Hopefully we can do it again, sometime.