Saturday, January 10, 2015

These Women

My friend list has 17 names. These are all people who I consider true friends... they wouldn't be on my list if they weren't. Some of them I haven't talked to in ages but they're still in my heart so they remain on the list. These are the people I know I can reach out to, no matter what, no matter when.

Of those, nine are women. Of those, there are two particular names that I consider incredibly dear to my heart. While all nine of these ladies are incredible for a bazillion different reasons, and I simply adore all of them... these two are essential to my world.
I have trouble, have always had trouble, with being close to women... and maintaining that closeness. Maybe it has to do with growing up with six older brothers... I've just always related better to men. Find them easier in many ways. Even my real life BFF. We've been besties for over 25 years now... a quarter of a century of having this woman in my life. Her front door is a five minute walk from my front door. Her family is my family, and vice versa. The niece that she raised is the closest thing I'll ever have to a child, and I couldn't love her more if I'd given birth to her myself. My bestie is my sister in a way my own biological sister has never been, and never will be.

Even with that closeness, we haven't talked in a week. It's not that we're not talking, it's just that there hasn't been a reason to. We're both broke right now, so there's no going out and doing anything. Her niece is home from college so she's spending all her free time with her, and we're both recovering from the holidays. She is much more extroverted than I am, though, and if there's ever been one hitch in our friendship, it's that. While I'm perfectly content spending my free hours home alone, she'd rather be socializing somewhere. I don't understand that aspect of her, and she doesn't understand the introvert aspect of me. But we accept it anyway because we love each other, and after 25 years, we've learned to deal with each other's quirks.
For a very long time in Second Life, I had no female friends. This wasn't an accident... I actively avoided friendships with women. For me, Second Life was for sex... and sex was with men.

And now I have NINE female friends! I don't even remember how some of them came to be... I connected with a few over Flickr, a few by going out and seeing live music in SL, some through their friendships with Hugh.

And, holy shit, I've been a rotten friend to them recently. I can make excuses... the holidays, fighting a little onslaught of depression, work, Hugh, whatever...

But none of those are acceptable reasons. The fact of the matter is that I haven't been there for them. I'm not the only one who has tough times... and even though my instinct is to crawl inside myself and hide away... that's not what friends do. I haven't reached out to them,  haven't made time for them. And shame on me for it.

The title of this post comes from an episode of The West Wing (best TV show EVER), "The Crackpots and These Women". In it, Josh Lyman has this to say on the subject of friends:
"I want to be a comfort to my friends in tragedy and I want to be able to celebrate with them in triumph. And for all the times in between, I just want to be able to look them in the eye."
Yes. Exactly that. And I haven't been there for these fabulous ladies... their tragedies or their triumphs.
I promise to do better... because they are important in my world, in my heart. It's hard for me... in real life and in Second Life. But I promise to do better. And when I'm being neglectful, and deserve a smack on the head, please feel free to deliver that smack. I do cherish these friendships... these amazing women. And I am so, so sorry for not being there.

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