part three in a week-long series all about the rituals of being friends.
it's a complicated, nuanced dance: a conversation with a friend.
the laying it all out there
the pulling back
the checking in
the keeping quiet
the speaking up
the white lie
the glancing blow
the reminders of who you are
the reminders of who you wish weren't
in an effort to share, we are continuously, constantly making decisions, faster-than-fast decisions that we often don't realize we're making.
we are deciding whether our friend needs us to ask more so s/he can say more, whether we need to reach out or hold back, whether our tragedy-du-jour is worthy of the conversational airtime.
we are deciding how to support a risky choice, how to get all the topics covered in the space of one lunch hour, how to make the joke last longer.
we are deciding when to give the good news that might hurt a little bit, when to compare your stuff to my own life, when to keep our mouths shut thankyouverymuch.
in the best of times, with the best of friends, it's a nearly effortless ritual, heady and hilarious and heart-full. in the worst of times, with the best of friends, we are working our asses off to hit the marks, to point our toes, to relax our jaws, to remember to breathe.
it is one of my favorite rituals of friendship. not the easiest. not the most glamorous. but one of the most rewarding.