Saturday, October 16, 2010

I made a friend today!

My children have always been quite the social people - ever since they were very young. They would just chat with people, pretty much wherever they went. Naturally, we taught them safety tips about not talking to strangers, etc.  Our daughters seemed to be especially talkative, and, as they got older, it became common for them to tell me about the "friend" they had made that day. This usually meant they talked to a person waiting in line with them for concert tickets at the Ticketmaster outlet in the local grocery store or had talked to another patient in the waiting room of the dentist's office. The new "friend" du jour (whom they would never see again) either had some common interest (i.e., were rabid InSync groupies or watched the most popular reality show) or had shared an interesting story about their life, which my child would then relay to me. It never ceased to amaze my husband and myself how frequently our children made new "friends"; we got quite a kick out of it.

Today, I made two new friends. Maybe they could be classified as just one "friend" because, well, they are married and they were together when I met them. Either way, I may a new friend or two today. I can't wait to tell my kids.

My "real" friend of 22 years and I met for a "give-me-some-sage-advice and kick-me-in-the-ass-if-you-need-to" get-together. She lives in Iowa, which is also where I grew up. However, where she lives and where my extended family currently live are 7 hours apart, on completely opposite sides of the state. I brought my mother back to Iowa (she lives with my husband and me in Georgia) and dropped her off at my sister's and proceeded on to meet my girlfriend halfway between eastern and western Iowa.

We chose a quaint little town in which to spend our few quiet days together, catching up on our children, our husbands, our friends, and our current struggles. We always laugh a lot and inevitably shed a few tears. What a gift a trusted girlfriend is!

As we always do, we found ourselves shopping on the vast two-block stretch of downtown that exists here (it's a really, really small town).   There were surprisingly some charming boutiques with fun, unique merchandise. Not what you'd expect to find in the middle of Iowa. Maybe Demi Moore comes here when her young hubby (who is from Iowa) brings her "home" - so the show owners want to be prepared!

The first store we visited was called "Sue Casa." We were actually in the car just driving past when the name caught my eye so I  asked my friend if we stop there. Her response was, "I don't really like Mexican food." I chuckled and told her it wasn't a restaurant but was a self-proclaimed (via signage) "one-of-a-kind" boutique. The sign jumped out at me because I refer to one of my sisters as "Sue Casa, " - or simply "Casa" for short. It's a long story... but even when I call her on the phone I say, "Hola, Casa!" when she answers. So I just had to go into this store called "Sue Casa" - and yes, I took several pictures.

My friend and I browsed through the store, which lived up to it's promise of pedaling unique wares. Just before we were preparing to leave, we began picking through the jewelry that was near the checkout counter. The owner or owners were seated at a desk/table just a few feet away, engaged in conversation with one another. The woman came over and was talking about some lip balm and we embarked on our new "friendship." During the next 20 minutes or so, we learned that she was from Texas and that she and I had both attended Texas A&M. She met her husband in Texas but he convinced her to move back to Iowa, where he is from. He had lived in the Iowa town my friend lives in (and where I lived for ten years before moving to Texas) and he and I both went to Iowa State University for undergrad. It was a fun and engaging conversation and we exchanged contact information because their child may attend A&M in the near future and my husband and I still own a house there, which they may rent while their daughter is in school there!

Aint it just a small world!?

The point is ... making "friends" can add an unexpected few minutes of happiness to your day, which is wonderful all by itself.  Many times it can lead to even more. Who knows - maybe we just met a future renter?

If you don't very often make "friends" through the course of your day, maybe you're taking life too seriously. If you're not a complete introvert (in which case I understand not making this kind of "friend") - then consider creating a win-win (happy for both of you) situation for yourself and a new "friend" today! The world is a better place when more of its inhabitants are chipper!

As always - if you need to - Get Help - but definitely - Get Happy!

Your "Recovery Conscience" - Connie Stapleton, Ph.D.

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