Sunday, September 9, 2012

the kindness of good friends

Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you."
"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.” 
 E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

It had been a rough couple of weeks. I'd  come face-to-face with what I perceived as problems in my long-distance relationship and had assaulted the love of my life with "why didn't yous" and "why don't you evers." He asked if I was breaking up and I told him I didn't know. We didn't talk for a week. My newly-married sister and her hubby came to visit and instead of taking on my usual role as perfect hostess, I drank too much wine and created a madcap scene that would have fit nicely into the movie Bridesmaids. To top it off,  it was an extremely busy week at the office, a couple of things slipped through the cracks, and my boss vocally expressed her disappointment in me. There was a scene. I clearly sucked. 

I cried a lot, moped through my 8-hour days at the office, and was generally the opposite of a joy to be around for a good part of a month. I called in sick one day. I didn't exercise and consumed a diet of tortilla chips, cookies, and white wine. Trying to make sense of it all, I wrote a pathetic blog entry which has since been deleted.

But I did something right. I shared my situation with a few friends, who in turn, went to great lengths to show me how much they cared. My coworkers delivered hand-picked flowers in vases, small gifts, encouraging notes, and candy to my desk. Some sweet girlfriends called and texted. I called my mom, who offered extraordinarily loving, non-judgemental support. I mustered up the strength to go for Saturday morning walk, and when my good friend phoned me and I didn't answer, she appeared at my house. Worried when I didn't answer the door she drove around the neighborhood looking for me. 

The dire days of a month ago are memories now. I patched things up with my boyfriend. He really is in my corner in life, and has made significant efforts in recent weeks to show me this. My sister was another one who reached out to me in my week from hell. She assured me there was absolutely no resentment on her part about what I shall hereby refer to as "the incident." It really was about me forgetting to eat all day (while trying to be the perfect hostess) before drinking some wine, and I am fortunate no false judgement was made on her part about it.  Things at the office have been fine too. My job is frustrating at times, but I enjoy a 3-minute commute to work, am in town for my daughter and whatever she needs from mom, and have a regular income with good benefits - not to mention working with some really cool people. Compared to so many in these hard economic times, I am nothing but privileged and blessed. 

Talk about blessings ...  I am knocked out by the quality of friends and family God has chosen for me. Is there anything in life more important than nurturing these relationships with every ounce of my being? I think not.

Photo by Melissa Mathieson


  1. Rooting you on from Michigan. I wish i could visit you more often. How about a short visit to Niles? Let's talk about that.....

  2. I'm so amazed at your ability to step outside of the drama of the moment and see things in a clear, more positive way. You've reminded me of what I need to be doing!

  3. Oh, Kirsten, my friend.... I'm so sorry you got caught in such a doo doo storm. You are SUCH and extraordinary person who has raised two remarkable children and heaven knows you are such a joy to me on the rare moments we ever get to see each other.... I'm glad those closest to you were there for you- you deserve it. You also deserve a good man and I'm particularly glad things are going more smoothly. Geez, sounds like you were more gracious than I-I-I-I would ever be in similar circumstances! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo You need a massage :)