On Sunday, after some public griping on the blog about my single woes, I went out and had a perfectly lovely day: I took Bon Bon to a new dog park where we met a lovely dog-owning woman–a local journalist and musician who told me about some new local spots. I caught up over the phone with an old girlfriend and talked about her potential skype sex. I took a rare trip to Trader Joe’s for some peach salsa and other things-I-don’t-need. And then to a low-key house party/rock show where I saw the first 40 oz. bottle of malt liquor I think I’ve spotted since high school.
And in the midst of it all this loveliness, I must confess, I thought of yet another recurring single-girl grievance: the dilemma of, “who to call?” As in, I just had the loveliest afternoon, and who do I have to tell about it? (I mean, no offense to my mother, but I can only call her so many times in a given week without starting to feel completely pathetic.)
First, I thought: “That’s why I have a blog!” Second, I thought: “I can only exploit my readers’ sympathies so much in one weekend” and “Actually that’s not why I have a blog, it’s why I would have a diary if I was somebody who didn’t feel ridiculous whenever I kept one.” In other words, I imagine that most of you who read this–with the possible exception, perhaps, of my mother–do not do so out of strange fascination with the quotidian details of weekend adventures related to grocery shopping. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I got home, shrugged it off, contemplated what it might mean to simply enjoy the experience of happiness for a moment, and then checked my email.
Miracle of miracles, there was–for once–actually something there that fulfilled my hankering exactly. It was a note from my NY best friend S, the one I went to London with. The third of our high school troika, R, recently was traveling on the opposite side of the world for several months, and while she was gone all of us exchanged frequent three-way emails. We wrote about things both profound and mundane: emotion-drenched thoughts on life and love mixed in with pithy reports on our daily goings-on.
Since high school, the friendships between us have vacillated: R and S went to the same college, but ended up in different friend groups. I, meanwhile, went a couple thousand miles away and took a few years to figure out what it meant to keep up with people outside my biking radius.
In other words, we haven’t always been the best at being in touch. But thirteen years (yikers!) since we first became friends, I feel as close with those girls now as I ever have.
There was a moment during that stretch when we were all emailing when I paused to recognize a certain internal contentment whose source I couldn’t immediately locate: I soon realized exactly what it was. There’s a profound (I am loathe to use the word spiritual, ever, but this is one place where I am tempted) satisfaction in connecting regularly and meaningfully with loved ones. In having people with whom you can share just about anything.
My point, though, finally, is that what I realized when I saw that email from S–an email calling for a revival, despite R’s recent return stateside, of our triangular exchange–is that they care. They are the ones I can call for no reason besides the fact that I made a nice new friend at the dog park or bought some good produce or met a semi-cute guy at a party.
It was an important reminder: I might not have a partner to share my daily thoughts with these days, but I will always have those girls–girls who, if conventional wisdom, science, and collective as well as personal experience all prove correct, will likely be better listeners than any man I may meet.