“A good friend is a connection to life — a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”
~~ Lois Wyse
“Friends are relatives you make for yourself.”
~~ Eustache Deschamps
We’re not even sure how or when it happened, but she’s one of my best friends. There’s no story, no real beginning. It just happened over time. With so many friendships there’s that moment, or humorous anecdote, something that marks in the memory when the friendship began. Not so with us.
We were talking the other day, Cricket and I, and we just couldn’t figure it out. It was a series of things.
A dinner when her then partner asked me to join them at the Science Fiction Hall of Fame presentation—one I couldn’t afford (and as it turned out, she paid for, not him).
Then there was the time—it was a surprise—she asked me to co-chair ConQuesT, Kansas City’s big science fiction convention. She’s an expert at running and organizing things, but at the time, she wasn’t happy about being front of crowds. She knew I could be an extrovert and figured we make a good team. But then circumstances made her drop out so it wasn’t working together that made us friends.
There was the Laid Back Labor Day weekend at Camp Gaea when we ran into each other and would up spending a lot of time together. That might have been the real seeds of oru friendship, but neither of is sure about that either.
Cricket says a big deal for her in out friendship was when I offered to ride with her when she took her son to college. It as a good two or three hour drive, one she didn’t like to drive back home alone. I just wanted to be with my friend. That was the trip that we bought some pumpkin wine at a liquor store out in the exact middle of nowhere. And it’s what inspired a road trip some months later where we tracked down that winery and took a day trip. We bought some wonderful wine. Who knew that Missouri had a wine country?
Cricket, like several of my friends, has cable. So when there is a show I really like, there is more than one place I can go to watch Game of Thrones or True Blood or The Leftovers or Penny Dreadful. The thing is I like to ogle the hot guys and get excited when there is actually some male nudity instead of the decades of female nudity that has been thrust at me (not that there is anything wrong with naked women—but come on! What’s wrong with equal opportunity!?)
But some people don’t like that—my ogling that is.
Cricket doesn’t get upset.
See…. Cricket doesn’t ask me to edit myself. I don’t have to think about what I’m saying. I can say anything and she either agrees with me or rolls her eyes and says, “No way!” and we go on! Cricket likes it that I like to ogle guys in the movies and shows we’re watching and she likes to do it too.
“Ben, you don’t know how much I enjoy watching shows with you,” Cricket told me one day. “Don’t you worry about their opinion. I love it when you think some guy is hot or you say the fun things you say.” She went on to say that it was entertaining to take an hour and a half to watch a sixty minute episode is some show because of all the times we’d pause it to Google some aspect of what we were watching; the accuracy of a detail, a historical point, look up a word we didn’t know, to figure out who and actor was and what we’d seen them in before, trivia, and more. She didn’t care if the TV needed to be paused for Googling, bathroom breaks, to answer the phone or get a snack or drinkie. We had fun! We laughed! We cried! We cat called!
And we still do.
We finish each other’s sentences. We break in on each other’s thoughts. We’ll be watching something or reading something or listening to a song or…whatever…and one of us will say something and the other will say, “Oh my God! I was going to say that!” and well laugh!. And then bump fists.
We’re very close to the same age, although she’s about four months older. I love to tease her about that. Being older than me. Although I don’t know that that has anything to do with anything.
We like so many of the same things. For instance we both love horror, science fiction and—depending—can take or leave fantasy. We both agree that Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings was beyond amazing and fell asleep every time we went to one of his Hobbit movies.
I love Cricket!
We do fun things together, like this big Oscar party and a movie theater where the Academy Awards are projected on their huge screen and everyone dresses up and it’s almost like really being there. And we see as many of the nominees together before hand as we can and then we study (she does a lot of it) all these different critics and the major awards ahead of time like the Screen Actors Guild Award and the BAFTAs and then we vote and several times we were the big winners of the evening!
We both love animals.
We are both crazy about cheese. Especially really sharp cheese and not that stuff that tastes like thick air.
When we agree—good gracious!—we agree!
And when we don’t—we don’t!
She loves Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods and I angrily want one hour and thirty five minutes back. Hate that movie! (although I do love Joss) Contact just might be my favorite movie of all time and Cricket thinks it’s booooooring. I totally loved the show LOST, or at least the couple seasons, she thought it was downright stupid.
Cricket hates broccoli, cooked cabbage and…well, just about every other vegetable on this planet. But she’ll eat a pound of bacon and I can’t eat more than a few well-cooked pieces once or twice a year. I think she’d eat it on vanilla ice cream. *shudder*
If she were a guy or I was straight we might have been perfect for each other…except of course I am married to the guy who is perfect for me.
Thing is, we totally accept each other for who and what we are in every way.
Hell! We’ve seen each other naked! Physically, mentally, emotionally, and more. I love the hell out of her!
And it means a lot to me that she loves me too.
Today is my friend Cricket’s birthday and she is much, much older than me!
And today, I am really grateful that Cricket is my friend.
PS: Cricket does my taxes. Hey! What can be better than that!?