We’re laughing hysterically. I’m spraying the blood on the wall with a little purple bottle of home-made all-purpose cleaner. This scene would look right at home in a horror novel. We don’t care though, all we feel right now is love, love, love. But maybe I should back up just a tiny bit….
Yesterday/Friday. We are celebrating the baby of the group’s 30th birthday at her new place in Chicago. We are FINALLY all together. We’ve been trying to get all of us together, husbands too, all year but it hasn’t worked out. Schedules are a little crazy. There are kids, pets, careers, new homes and a never-ending list of wedding activities and baby showers to attend. There’s family, holidays, and quality time that needs to be put into our own marriages. Not to mention the growing physical distance between each of us (which just increased again with A’s move here to Chicago). It’s not for lack of trying, or caring, but it is simply HARD to plan something we can all attend! So….mad props to A’s hubby for successfully arranging the impossible.
Today/Saturday. Whirlyball and mid-day cocktails (Fun!). Football. Upscale dining. A brand-new, up-and-coming, night-club…VIP style. M’s job gets us a hook up that our 22 year old selves would have died for. So obviously we soak it up in our current 30 year old selves’ full-appreciation style. That means we (look incredibly awesome on the dance floor and…) have an unbelievable time. Plus…US! We are just loving being US being together.
10 minutes earlier. We have no idea what happened to M’s dog while we were out wining, dining, and dancing the night away. But when we get back to the apartment, poor little X got so excited she peed. M was embarrassed and took her outside immediately. It was when we were down on the floor cleaning up the first mess that we noticed the second one. WTF!? Is that BLOOD!? Yep, Sure is. The line of blood smears on the wall was right in front of our faces. We look down a little bit further….more blood. And further…..more blood. The bloody trail is literally lining both sides of the hallway. It IS a bloody mess!
After inspecting the apartment (Phew! No blood on the furniture!) and figuring out that based on the height and direction of the blood smears, the injury must be on X’s tail, we realize that M will be horrified if she sees this! We can’t have that and so we have to clean it fast! I pick my squirt bottle back up and start spraying. A is diligently wiping the wall after I spray and K is giggling while she points out the spots that we miss. We are trying to be fast but the more spots we find, the more hilarious the whole thing feels. By the time we’re done, we are hysterical. M comes in and (she still feels bad when she finds out what happened but…) joins in the laughter as we love on X and make sure her tail gets bandaged up (We still have no idea what happened).
This group of women and I have been helping each other clean up each other’s messes (and the messes our loved ones cause) for as long as I can remember. So this feels normal. Natural. Comforting even!
Friendship changes when everyone marries off. The drama of adolescence, dating, college hookups, and broken hearts disappears. The day-to-day drama of this new life is eased and tended to by the hubs (there are exceptions, but Ill save it for another blog), especially when you are lucky enough to have married your best friend. Lucky for us, I can confidently say that each of us has. And this is good….but it DOES change things.
You don’t see each other as much and the time since you last chatted seems to get longer every time. Time seems to pass faster every time you notice it. There are entire new groups of friends, events and interests in each other’s lives. Sometimes you see a Snapchat or a Facebook post that stings a little bit. A picture in the group chat (an effort to stay connected through random one-liner life updates) may cause a pang of jealousy: “Who ARE those people enjoying MY friend?” Or “When did the mini-K’s get so damn BIG!??” Some days/nights, especially if you’re feeling lonely or nostalgic, you have to stop yourself from validating the fear that inevitably creeps into friendships that have lasted as long as ours, “Is this it? Is this that part of life where we grow apart and stop knowing each other? ”
But then you get to spend time together, quality time. And you come across (insert your best British accent here) A BLOODY MESS! I mean, BLOODY HELL…an awful bloody mess!
And suddenly you find yourself on your knees cleaning up another mess in life with your best friends, laughing, and loving every single beautiful messy second of it.
Friendships DO change. And so do the messes. But no matter the mess, they are still best when shared with your friends.
~Be Gentle. Be Beautiful. Embrace the mess.