Here is something funny. I have two or three drafts of posts, which I never finished, and two of them have titles like "Procrastination" or "Why I am a lame blogger". And yet, I never actually posted either of them. Now I realize it has been a month and a half* since I posted, which is really lame.
Oh well. In my defense**, I did have a pretty busy couple of months. I went back to Ohio for the first time since I moved here last October, but not to Columbus; only to a family reunion in Appalachia***. It was interesting to meet so many people I didn't know I was related to, and a relief to think that I never have to see most of them again.
Then I came back, picked my dog up from the kennel, and discovered that she was as sick as, well, a dog. Really.
She rid herself****of everything she has ever eaten of drunk in her entire life in about two hours, and ended up spending a week at the vet's. She's fine now, but it was very, very scary. When she was a puppy, she wasted away to almost nothing and nearly died after eating a [live] baby bird, and this was like that. I can't even talk about how relieved I am that she's fine now, because it makes me sound a little crazy [er].
I also had my second farmer's market, where it was so hot I felt my skin melting, but where I talked to a lot of great people, sold some more dolls, and a couple of bracelets.
I discovered I am allergic to either strawberries or geraniums, by developing a pretty impressive rash, which is now gone, but was not much fun while it lasted.
And, my friend Mary came to visit!
I have known Mary since we were about two. Okay, more like ten, but whatever. We like to say we have been best friends since the third grade, although that is not technically true. I mean, we would have, if I hadn't lived in Missouri in the third grade, and then later if it weren't for all the clique nonsense in school. In 5th grade, she was in the smart kids class, while I, because I was new, was put in the class with the nasty old nosepicking teacher who told us that boys were evil.
Mary and I knew each other in middle school, where I was kind of afraid of her because she really had the preppy look down. Plus, she had way more button-on purse covers than me. In high school we moved in all the same circles, but she was cooler than me, and I had a boyfriend which meant I ignored all my girlfriends anyway and concentrated only on him which was a totally good idea since we broke up the summer after graduation and I didn't see him again for 11 years.*****
Luckily, though, when I was home for breaks from college, and then when I was in graduate school for about seventeen years, Mary and I really did become best friends. The kind of friends who are perfectly happy to hang out and read together [which is one of my favorite qualities in someone], or go out to a bar, or, um, go to Build a Bear at age 41 and spend three hours picking out animals, outfits, and taking full, serious part in the heart ceremony. (No. I will NOT explain it. Borrow a seven year old and go find out for yourself.) The kind of friends who are what Anne of Green Gables calls "kindred spirits", where you meet someone once and feel like you've known them all of this life and maybe a few past lives too. That friend who says out loud what you're thinking right at the minute you realize it, and who always calls right at the minute you feel really down.
Anyway, before Mary got here I was a Nervous. Wreck. Seriously. When she moved to Seattle something like 15 years ago, I cried for a month. Which, I probably never told her. And, being poor AND lame, I have never actually visited her. Partly it is because I really don't like flying, but a lot of it is because I was kind of scared that I would visit her there and it would be clear that she no longer really needed a breadstick eating reading companion. Especially once she got married. I mean, her husband is in a band. And he's Welsh. How cool is THAT? Plus, she, too is a librarian, and a much better and successful one than I ever was.
So, when she announced her visit, I was SURE that we would find out that we had totally grown apart and had nothing to say to each other anymore. And also that she would be so sophisticated, vegan, thin, intellectual, and knowledgeable about things like microbrews, Pilates and coffee that we would meet up once and then she would be "too busy" for the rest of the time she was here. Which, since she was here because of a family member's illness, would have been a totally good excuse and saved us a lot of awkwardness.
Except, of course, it didn't happen like that at all. We met for coffee (where she drank plain, drip coffee!!So boring and reassuring!) and it was like I saw her yesterday. I blurted out "OMG I was SO NERVOUS to see you!" And she said "So Was I!! I got all dressed up!!" We dissolved into giggles. And then we talked solidly for over two hours, and talked really fast because there was so much to fit in. Driving home afterwards, I kept laughing out loud, because of COURSE I should have known that if I was all nervous, Mary would be too.
We saw each other several more times over the 10 days she was here, and it was great. She wasn't just the same old Mary, she was better. I want to go to Seattle tomorrow and stay for a month. And I want to go during the summer, while her husband is on summer vacation, so that I can bond with him properly while she is at work. I can't wait to meet her italian greyhound and her brother's Bernese Mountain Dog, Shasta. I won't even have to worry about my ignorance of microbreweries, because Mary and her husband prefer Pabst Blue Ribbon. I don't actually drink beer, except for Guinness while in Ireland, but still.
And, since God knows I can't write a bunch of nice stuff about someone else without finally bringing it back to ME, I have to admit that one of the most interesting things about seeing Mary was that, at least for a few days, I felt like my old self again. Like the last two and a half years never happened, and I was still the same clueless, brash, but happy person I was until my life as I knew it ended in a library administrator's office. I even felt like the 8 years of working for literal psychopaths that preceded those two happy years never happened. I just felt like me, and like that was enough. Because if someone as awesome as Mary had liked be back before all of that, and yet still likes me now.....well, maybe, just maybe, I'm not as huge of a failure as I think I am.
* Fine, more like two months. I never claimed to be good with numbers.
**Like anyone gives a damn anyway
***Please pronounce that "apple-atcha". Thank you.
****Or, as I just learned from an article on the International Federation Of Competitive Eating, she suffered a "Roman Event".
*****Remind me not to tell you what happened when I saw him again after 11 years. And not to go into any details of the five or so years after that.