1. characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits.
My friend had a girlfriend. She started bringing her along to events and I learned something really unpleasant. My friend was a total asshole. She had chosen the girl based on a set of criteria she had for dating.
- Higher level education; multiple degrees preferred
- Beauty and skinniness
- Family connections
I didn’t know this about her before, she was not a super close friend, but someone I hung out with occasionally and definitely didn’t date, therefore I wasn’t privy to the criteria needed to romantically associate with her. I found this out because I asked, after seeing her treat said girlfriend with an obnoxious, heavy-handed misogyny, which I didn’t realize could come from a woman, but have learned is pretty common sinse. She commented on her weight, figure and pedigree routinely, in front of people…it was upsetting. Despite the honking chip I carried about privilege, I started to realize that anyone can be reduced to the sum of their parts and not seen as the whole human they are, and I couldn’t play witness.
I started to speaking to the new girlfriend and found out she and I were much better matched, not romantically but as people. I told my “friend” that I had a criteria for friendships and she did not meet them, I chose the girlfriend instead. Thankfully she left my idiot “friend”, as she deserved.
She was quirky and a dork, but so was I.
Have I mentioned my unhealthy love of all things NPR? If not, well, now you know. I know more NPR and WNYC names than I do popular celebrities. She knew more than me. We traded stories, and unfinished craft obsessions. We wandered around Ikea for hours and bought nothing. We smoked American Spirits and drove for hours to nowhere often and to derelict buildings on occasion to sift through lives long past with cameras in hand. I do not how many hours have been spent over coffee at diners playing Scrabble. She wore highly starched skirts, button up shirts and penny loafers and I was in loose jeans, hoodies and Vans yet we somehow found out we were a perfect match.
She and I talked for hours and never ran out of words, stories or adventures. We found something within each other, someone to be naked in front of. There are not that many people you can truly be exposed to in the course of one life; someone for which it does not matter what you disclose, whatever peccadillo, shame or heartbreak, will never judge you harshly or with malice. We each had plenty of these hidden recesses, things too dark and painful to let the world see. We hid behind different masks, came from very different places and on paper had little to nothing in common, yet we found kindred spirits in each other. You never know where you might find them or what circumstance will be an opportunity.
Over the years we have changed, each of us has moved, broken and been put together again. We have been apart and found each other. I think that any life that has held a lot of trauma lends itself to many forms of rebuilding, it’s a necessary part of growth.
We have only fought in the sense that we have both been afraid of that closeness and run at times, but neither of us could ever close the door. I hope neither of us ever does, I need her to fill my hand of true friends at the end of this life, so I know I lead it well.
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”
― Bob Marley