Friday and Saturday of this past weekend were spent completely absorbed in the London lives of Dex and Emma, characters in David Nicholls’ “One Day.”
It’s the book the soon-to-be-released movie with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess (yum!) is based on. After seeing the trailer half a dozen times recently, I decided I needed to get the book from the library. And once I started it, I could not put it down. I finished it within 24 hours of beginning, and wanted to flip back to page one as soon as I read the last word.
Toward the end of the book, a lengthy passage stood out to me. A portion of it is below:
“Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.”
So I have been focusing on doing one of those things in particular lately:
Cherish your friends
Over the past week or so, I was reminded of the true value of friendships in my life, and how much my friends really can control my moods and my perspectives on life. And I’ve realized that…
True friendship is:
- The mood-lifting power of a text conversation with a best friend. Even when she’s in NOLA without you (I was invited, but I couldn’t swing it!), knowing she’s thinking of you when she sees certain things or hears certain songs is pretty cool.
- Feeling instantly happy the moment you know that friend is back in the state, because you know it will only be a day or so before you see her and get to catch up.
- Spending an hour-plus on the phone with your college roommate after not talking on the phone for over a month. Laughing and giggling make up about 50% of that time, and your smile feels natural for the first time in a while. When you go back downstairs, your mom says, “It’s nice to hear you laughing again.”
- Going to an 11 o’clock showing of “Bad Teacher” on a Friday morning, because it’s cheaper and you just can’t wait to see Jason Segel aka Marshmallow and J-Tim. You catch up during the previews, you suffer through Cameron Diaz and a sub-par plot, and then marvel at why there were four under-15-year-old kids there with their parents.
- Sharing your Old Navy Groupon because hey, you’re not finding anything, but she is. Go forth and spend, friend.
- Meeting three friends for a picnic lunch on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Cheese, fruit, hummus, Sun Chips, chocolate wine and some neon-frosting birthday cupcakes led to full bellies, happy hearts and laughing until you cry. And lots of hugs.
- Surprising one of those friends later that evening with a birthday dinner at her favorite sushi place with eight other friends. Sharing sushi, three separate birthday desserts, and singing “happy birthday” twice, drawing the attention of everyone in the restaurant, and laughing to the point of tears yet again.
- Catching up with the newlyweds at their house, drinking champagne left over from the wedding, hearing about their honeymoon, and talking about everything from eye exams and contact lenses to speed dating and relationships with moody emus.
- Having an impromptu dinner date with a long-time friend and laughing about things such as the musical chair semifinals set up in the restaurant and the awful playlist that would only be rounded out by Marvin Gaye.
- Spending three hours at the library with a friend because, hey, let’s pretend we’re back in college, but really, let’s commiserate about being unemployed and help each other with résumés and cover letters and staying motivated. (And hope you both get the jobs you applied for!)
- Telling friends your new career goals and greater life plan and getting a response of genuine enthusiasm and pride.
And last, but definitely not least, would be what happened on Tuesday night:
- Getting a phone call from one of your best friends / roommates from college asking you to be a bridesmaid at her wedding next June. Feeling like your face is going to crack because you can’t stop smiling. Waiting for the other member of your trio to get the phone call so you two can celebrate. Bombarding facebook with statuses and comments and absurdities expressing your excitement. And it’s not about the “status” of being a bridesmaid. It’s not the formality. It’s not that at all. It’s just knowing that someone who means a heck of a lot to you (understatement) wants you by her side on the most important day of her life.
Friendship, man… pretty powerful stuff.