Love is Everywhere, Especially In Your Friendships

I was at the movies with my husband for Valentine’s Day. We were watching the year’s Oscar-nominated animated shorts – something we do every year.

Seated next to us were two older ladies in their 70’s. One gave me a big smile as she sat down. “Want some popcorn?.” We had just come from a Yakitori dinner where I ordered one too many skewers, so I politely declined.

“Have some!,” she insisted.

“I’d love to but I’m honestly stuffed.”

She said ok and turned to her friend, who was also holding a bag of popcorn. “So what have you been up to?”

They reminded me of Grace & Frankie. I love seeing friends doing things together, especially on a day like Valentine’s Day.

Lily & Jane, who are besties in real life! To see photos from an event I photographed  for them, click here.

In my 20’s and early 30’s I felt incomplete if I wasn’t in a romantic relationship. The lesson eventually came that happiness and fulfillment is in all sorts of places, not just a romantic one.

Friendships, particularly with my female friends, are fulfilling. There is an understanding they can give me that a male partner never could (through the years I’ve come to accept that men and women are simply wired different, and that’s ok). Like one time my girlfriend sent me a photo of a loaf of white bread. She said she told her husband she was hungry and asked if he could bring something back. All she said was “WHYYYYY?.” Why out of all things would he bring a plain white loaf of bread with nothing to go with it? Peanut butter? Baloney? Anything??? All I responded was, “Some things your girlfriends will always do better…”

And for reference, I would have gotten her something heavier if she was in a “mood,” like a slice of veggie pizza or old-fashioned donut, and something healthier if I knew she was on a health kick, like a well-massaged kale salad. I’m not a huge fan of kale but know she is.

Anyway, I’m at an age where a lot of people are starting to get married and have kids. Some people fall off the face of the earth, and some make time to maintain their friendships.

Recently someone said to me, “So-and-so has disappeared since meeting so-and-so.” I asked, “Did I do that when I first met Pete?.” She said no.

Oh good… I practice what I preach.

Besides my marriage, having a healthy community is important to me. I want to be the person who makes effort to maintain friendships and other areas of my life that I associate with “me.” My husband feels the same and has his guy time, soccer, etc.

With some of our friends at our Chinese Wedding Reception. I’ll share more photos from the party soon!

One of my pet peeves is when someone calls and awakens from the dead when their romantic relationship ends, or if their partner is out of town and they don’t have anything to do. Are other people here only when it’s good for you?

There are times I get anti-social or caught up in work and know I’m showing up less for others. Guess what? You get what you give, and I know that if I’m not showing up well I can’t expect to get much back. The correlation is clear, just like how much money I make is determined by how much I’m showing up to work.

So this is a reminder (mostly to myself, because whenever I write these blog posts I’m really talking to myself) that if friendships are important to you, make time for them. Then you can happily be at the movies 30 years later watching cartoons and eating popcorn, knowing they would never bring you a plain loaf of white bread.

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