This post goes out to my dear friend.
This morning my friend’s husband texted me to tell me that my friend was sick. That she had a stroke. That she is recovering slowly and that she is weak at the moment.
I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. I never thought I would get a call or message like that about any of my “core” friends. Of course there were plenty of moments in my life when I felt deeply sad when someone I knew went through tragic illnesses or worse with their loved ones. Somehow though I must have been thinking that my “core” friends are untouchable when it comes to diseases or accidents, just like super heroes. If my post were a movie I would definitely play the first few lyric lines of Pat Benatar’s song “Love is a Battlefield” in the background where she sings:
We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises, no demands
We are strong, no one can tell us we’re wrong
Just that part and then it would tune out. ...
I’m glad it was a text and not a call. Bawling my eyes out on the phone is the last thing her husband needs at the moment. I couldn’t help though thinking strongly that I wished I could be there for her, for them. I wished that I had enough money to say “I’m getting on the next plane” and a couple of times I cursed the ocean between us because I can’t just go and visit her in hospital.
It’s really difficult to stay away from drama, strong emotions and unhealthy thinking patterns when you have Kurdish blood in you.
I wondered if there was anything I could do instead. Something realistic. Something to cheer her up.
And then I remembered …
About five years ago that dear friend had asked me to do a speech at her wedding. The fact that she was about to marry an awesome bloke with a name as hilarious and cool as Indiana Jones, composing a speech for her using that information should have been a piece of cake and a guarantee for laughter.
I turned her down though. I told her that I didn’t know what to tell the guests besides stories that would make her mother fall off her chair. I was simply an air head who didn’t realize what an honor it was to do a speech for her.
You’ll want to smack me upside the head when I tell you that years later I asked her to do a speech on my wedding day and she said yes without any hesitation.
I’m five years late, it’s not her wedding day, and there are no guests staring at me but if I could do a wedding speech today, it would go like this:
We met 17 years ago as two German au-pairs in the States in a small town in the Midwest and we belonged to the same agency, which arranged regular get-togethers for all the au-pairs in the area. For us two to become friends was as unimaginable as a kitten becoming friends with a duckling or a giraffe with an ostrich.
And yet, it happened, just like here:
She was a city girl and had a lot of experience in a lot of different things. I, on the other hand, grew up in a small town with parents from Turkey and when I started to have the first signs of becoming a woman, I’m sure my father would have loved to just lock me up in a tower like Rapunzel. He didn’t have to because I wasn’t rebellious enough do anything to rock the boat at home.
Until I met my friend.
Who rocked my boat.
Until I almost fell out of it.
And I can’t thank her enough for that because for the first time ever I had real fun in my life and I felt safe with her. She always had my back when I dared to break out of my small world in small steps.
I remember some jaw-dropping memories:
· In a family restaurant she explained to me different positions for sexual intercourse by drawing them on paper napkins, which were spread out on the table when the waiter served us. You can imagine his face.
· When we were staying with a friend at a hotel and they locked me up in the bathroom as part of a “truth or dare” game and I wasn’t allowed to come out until I was able to fake a loud orgasm.
· When we went trick or treating on Halloween in proper costumes and giggled every time the door opened and we were asked if we are not too old for this.
· When she explained to me how to put in a freakin' tampon without having a trauma for life and I wrote the steps down like I was writing notes in a lecture at university.
She is the only one I know who can still look stunning when she goes to a barber and gets a five-dollar haircut. At a party she can get into a heated discussion about manual transmission with a bunch of guys and turn around to the girls five minutes later to tell them where to find the best lip-gloss on the net. She is a pure Gemini – witty, smart, soft-spoken and versatile and simply fascinating even when I think I want to jump on her throat when it takes her a full hour to decide which of the two Onitsuka Tigers sneakers she is going to buy.
Our personalities and lives couldn’t be any more different. One day before my wedding at the last get-together I had trouble with my PC and she came over to help. She shook her head with a smile about what an illiterate I am when it comes to computers while she fixed the problem within a second. I couldn’t help but think how this girl wants to be friends with me when I seem to be ten years behind her in my life choices. And yet, we are friends! I’m really proud of being able to say that.
It’s no surprise that a gorgeous girl has found a wonderful man and that the two of them are a safe recipe for a happy marriage.
A pat on my shoulder! I managed not to use “Indiana Jones” in my speech. I’ll save that for another time.