Shoes are for Wearing

My husband is my best friend. He has been for almost 17 years. And I treasure that relationship with him- he’s not just my husband, but a true friend, whom I trust with everything, and who loves me no matter what. I realize how fortunate I am in this, and not everyone has that kind of friendship with their spouse. I am blessed.

But… it’s been so long since I had a close girlfriend, someone who I could hang out with and feel relaxed and easy in my skin. Until now,  my two closest girlfriends both live in other states. We keep in touch with phone calls, e-mails and even occasionally get to see on another- but they aren’t a part of my daily life, and as wonderful as my husbands is, sometimes I miss hanging with the girls.

I’m cagey in my friendships with women. I’ve been burned too many times, and I hold out, wary of trusting other women. My past is colorful, and the women I meet at church don’t usually give me impression that would be OK- more likely, it’s probably just a lack of relate-able experiences. So, I keep my cards close to my chest. Sure, there are some people I genuinely like, but in four years, there is no one who has gotten closer than “casual” in our friendship.

Perhaps that’s part of the appeal in blogging- I can be me, and worse that can happen is you won’t read what I write. And as much fun as comments are, not reading isn’t going to hurt nearly as much as bailing on me two weeks after you were my maid of honor at my wedding.  Know what I mean?

When I meet someone new, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, for them to decide I am too coarse, too loud, too curly, too big, too happy, too funky, too artistic, too something, and to take off.

Through blogging, I have met some astounding women, women who are as real to me as my own family, and I have only met a handful in real life.  The women who have come into my life though this little blog experiment have changed my perspective on friendships. It’s been gradual– you don’t turn an ocean liner around on a dime, but because this medium is so safe, it has been a fabulous vehicle for meeting people I can love and admire, and even admit to my real life.

So ladies, thank you for being you, for being the stellar example of good, kind women-hood and mama-ness. Thank you for restoring my faith in friendship, and for teaching me by your example that not all people suck. And to the one nearest and dearest- I never let you know how much that card meant to me. It said:

“Shoes are for wearing…” and inside, “… not dropping.”

That’s how I knew I had real friend.

14 thoughts on “Shoes are for Wearing

  1. Awww!
    I can relate completely about relationships with women. While my husband and I are close, there is just something to be said for a female friend you can talk candidly too, laugh with and share shoulders.
    Merry Christmas.

  2. I like “being myself” too on my blog. At church or in person there are physical, visual things that make people make assumptions and decide what a person is like and I like that on a blog it’s nearly all communication that makes up a relationship. You’re right too, you’re lucky you’ve got a good marriage, it makes life so wonderful. I feel the same way about my man and I haven’t got a lot of girl friends (though don’t really miss it). My Mom and I are really close though and she lives nearby. Just found out early this month they’re leaving for a mission for the next three years. I’m happy for them but bummed for me because it means I’m losing my next-best friend. Lucky there’s phone because I plan on using it.

  3. I don’t trust women either. I can’t say I have any wonderful girl friends right now. Most of it is my fault I am sure, but I can’t say that when I reach out to those friends that were once my closest friend it is not returned.

  4. I think one of the main reasons why I’m drawn to your blog is the similarities between us. I scare most people away with my very loud personality. I feel you completely. I too am most cagey with women friends. We tend to be quite fickle I’m finding. I’m of the opinion that “who cares what your opinion is, I’ll respect it if you respect me.” Many women I’ve found in the church aren’t as generous, even though we are taught to be. It’s a “if you aren’t doing stuff according to my opinion than I can’t be your friend or really even talk to you.” People don’t show the genuine unconditional love needed in friendships.
    The shoe dropped for me again this past month. Sigh. Here we go again. I guess many people don’t have the love and the mutual respect of others to carry off a good friendship.

  5. I think so many of us women lose touch with our “girlfriendships” after we are married. I too have a choice husband; we both agree we could spend 24/7 together and love it. We have. In the early years of our marriage I didn’t seek for outside friendships, it was my hubby and my babies. I became very introverted. I was fake around other women, and didn’t appear to have much backbone. Somewhere after thirty, something woke up inside me and I longed for the days of friends and fun. I found that just being me; just being real and genuine went a long way. I sought out friends that just want to be around me, even with my quirks…and decided to love theirs quirks! I think that the realness you read in these blogs is just that, who we really are. If only we can break down the walls and fears we will find the truest friendships. I know friendships are a blessing from above, why would he want us to go without them?
    My family is still my world…they always will be. I just learned to extend my world, and am so glad I did. By the way loud personalities do not scare me, they make me laugh. I like to laugh!!

  6. Great Entry. Did I ruin it for you by promising to send baby clothes (actually collecting them and boxing them…but never following through?) or by meeting you and then immediatly dropping of the face of the earth (not you….just baby stuff…). Bah. I always am afriad to meet new people because I just know they are waiting for me to let them down..

    You are wonderful. I enjoyed you before I met you and now that I have, I like you even more. Your boys are sweet and your daughter is delicious. I wish we lived closer, but until then, I will be better at e mailing and bloggind and counting the days until you feel the need to come back to CA and see everyone again.

    I’ll bring the burgers.

  7. OH Bek! No, not you! It was some crummy people in my real life. You’re awesome, and I totally wish we lived closer to each other- I loved hanging out at the park- you felt like a sister or something to me- familiar and comfortable…

    As far as the baby clothes- yipes- you have a girl now, and Abby totally doesn’t need a single THING. If you could see her closet, you would totally laugh- she’s a fashion plate and has far nicer clothes than I do!

    Do bring the burgers, though. They rocked!

  8. Thanks for voicing and articulating what a lot of us feel. That was a great post! I wish we could all just respect each other better and realize that we don’t all have to be alike. In fact, it is good to have diversity and there is so much we can learn from each other.

    Friendship is an amazing thing, especially when it works like it is supposed to. When you find a true, loyal and dedicated friend, it makes all the difference in the world!

  9. Actually, Tracy is twice as awesome in person as you might think she is online. Twice as nice, twice as fun, AND twice as smart too.
    Think of all those missteps as paying your dues. All these great people didn’t just happen to find you Tracy, you earned them.

  10. I can so relate! I was just trying to explain this to my Bishop, same day you wrot ethis. I have 2 close friends from growing up. And when I moved to Idaho, lived there 3 yrs I had finally made 1. Now we’re in Montana, and once again I am friendless. I told Joe all I wanted for Christmas was a friend. One who I could call and cry to after a negative beta, who woudl go with me to get news that I was certain woudl be bad. SOmeone we could meet up at the coffee shop, have a bagel and some milk/coconut/icecream concoction.

    I can’t grasp my bearing here.. which is why I too have come love love blogging so much more because of it. People who get me, who have been there, and the support. It’s astounding isn’t it?

  11. It really is.

    And it’s something non-bloggers just don’t get. These are real people, and since we’re all moms or women (and a few men, too) doing relatively the same thing at similar junctions in our lives, it is indeed a wonderful thing.

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