My best friend lives in Cape Town. And we have gone years without sharing our lives together. We’ve even gone for years not talking. But after Mia was born, we rekindled our friendship, and for almost ten years have done what we can to keep in touch. She’s a terrible emailer, and I’m horrible on the phone, so in recent years I’ve flown out to South Africa and we have spent time together. My goal is to see her every year.
It’s not just that we’ve been friends since we were fourteen and experienced all of our teenage angst years together. We’ve seen each other in and out of relationships and through the experiences that form one forever. But it’s not that either. I think it’s the root of what our friendship is about: true understanding of what makes each other tick, and never fearing what the other thinks.
I’ll never forget when my sister was in hospital, one of her deepest wishes was to go to the beach, but there was no way that was going to happen. So Tanya and I brought the beach to her hospital room. We came in wearing flippers and snorkels, with beach balls and buckets. And we laughed and danced like maniacs, and I can’t imagine anyone else in the world who would have understood how important this was and who would be prepared to act like such an idiot with me.
When we were about 17, we were in the back of the car going on a weekend away with my mom and her boyfriend. I told Tanya that if she was really my friend she’d put a raisin up her nose. Which of course she promptly did. And then couldn’t get the raisin out. So we had to stop the car and pry the raisin out of Tanya’s nose.
And so when I phoned (yes, actually on the telephone) Tanya the other day, we ended up laughing to the point of tears, over the fact that her baby Isaac won’t sleep at night, and that I have no home, and I’m going to move into a neighborhood where we’ll be the “po” people. And we laughed in a way you can only laugh with your best friend.
I can just picture us, 50 years from now, laughing until tears about the things in our lives that would make anyone else cry, sticking raisins up our noses. Get your tweezers people.