I hope you don’t mind a little extra stevia with your blog reading today. Christmas brings out my schmaltzy sentimental side, at least more than other times of the year.
Every year at this time, I exchange the gift of a hug with a particular friend and it makes me all warm inside, warmer than a cup of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea.
We don’t see each other much anymore; our parallel and busy lives keep us apart. Email is good, but seeing each other in person is a rare treat, a delicious gift of catching up and thinking back. There’s no one else I’d rather talk to about snow-packed mountains, distractions and turkeys, the decadence of eating strawberries in March, and which I-80 truck stop makes the best shoo fly pie. There are some things no one else would get and I couldn’t possibly explain.
He was never my boyfriend, my husband, or my boss. We simply met in a windowless room in a building on the campus of our local university and found each other interesting enough to become very good friends. I’ve known him longer than my husband, who isn’t jealous of our relationship so I make no apologies for it. I stopped trying to understand what it was we felt about each other years ago. It is what it is and whatever that is makes me happy.
I know he loves chocolate and lemon poppy seed muffins. If he doesn’t agree with me he says so. If I ask for his advice, he gives it without prejudice, bias or fear of saying something I don’t want to hear. His honesty is refreshing, as is his laugh and beautiful smile. I would be content to just sit near him, not saying a word. Of course if we were to try this we’d probably bust out laughing. We do that well.
I can’t compare our hugs goodbye to any other embrace I’ve known. It’s not fatherly or brotherly; it’s not that of a lover or gay friend. He’s a man I’ve thought about on so many levels that there’s no way to nail down one precise familiar relationship everyone would understand. And so I just call it unique. We had two very long, very loving unique embraces yesterday and his warmth and kindness will keep me smiling into the new year.
Now if I could just get my friends from Minnesota, California, Texas, England, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, Florida, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Canada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico and I know I’m missing a state together for a big old hug like that…