Posts tagged ‘Find Out Who Your Friends Are’

December 5, 2011

Always Look Again

by Cait

from here

For the past two years the holidays have sent me into a tailspin thinking about the loved ones who aren’t with us. Both the ones who’ve passed away, and those who are right across town, who we don’t talk to for reasons ranging from the petty to the-lawyer-to-us-not-to. For me it’s the latter that is harder to handle. Yes, decorating the tree with ornaments from someone who passed always is difficult, and Christmas morning or Christmas dinner is rough with place settings missing, but at least that also brings some happy memories.

found here

The other only brings bad memories, especially after the anger fades and you let yourself feel it. Especially when you remember they’re just on the other side of town, celebrating without you, probably not giving you a moment’s thought. One of life’s little secrets, the things people don’t tell you about having close friends is this: the pain that you think you’ll never have to go through after you get married? That’s exactly what you go through when you stop talking to a close friend.

It’s always heartbreaking when someone who was such a big part of your life suddenly isn’t there anymore. When that person is alive & well in the same city it’s heartbreaking over and over and over again. You avoid Facebook or places around town to keep from seeing pictures of them laughing & smiling or running into them. Then when they pop up in unexpected places it makes you sick to your stomach and the pain you thought you had gotten past comes back all over. Your mind might reenact the scene from Sex and the City where Carrie wants to get back together with Aidan and he yells “you broke my heart!” at her. You feel like the 16-year-old version of yourself, the one who saw her exboyfriend at a Starbucks on her side of town and wanted to yell “this is my side of town, go back to your side and let me drink my coffee in peace!” but instead quite literally ran away. True story. Sometimes you don’t even have to see them for it to happen. A song, a movie, or an entire tv series will do the trick. You long for a color coded map of the city with all the safe places clearly marked. You long for there not to be a legal reason forcing you to be in the same room with them. You long for there not to be a legal reason keeping you from running to them, apologizing, and hoping they want to be friends again, too. You’d like to think that it’s the kind of “break up” where you can call crying and they come running over as soon as they hear the message, but it’s probably more the type where they take their boat out of your garage without saying anything.

from here

It’s cyclical, these things. You’re angry, which is why you stop talking, then you cool off and there’s nothing but sadness. The sadness makes you want to apologize, but the stubbornness and the knowledge that you always the one to apologize makes you angry. The anger fades to sadness over the fact that they probably won’t apologize. The sadness spirals into anger that they were in the same room as you and didn’t say anything. And on and on. Aside from the anger and the sadness, there is also a tiny bubble of hope, “when this is all over things will be better”, which bobs to the surface now and then, but also slowly erodes over time. Until you’re sure they won’t make the first move, and that if you make the first move they won’t reciprocate. It’s enough to send you reaching for the Toblerone, the chocolate milk, the Publix cookies, the vodka. Pick your pleasure.

from here

When the tiny bubble makes its way to the surface you think “they know I’m here for them if they need me”, but when it begins to sink down again you think “when have they ever come to me in the past?” You wonder why you’re clinging to the memory of a friendship when it’s brings you so much pain. And you start to doubt the friendship you had, wondering if you’re looking back at it with rose-colored glasses. And you think “if it was what I thought it was, and they miss it to, how do we get back to where we were?”

from here

from here

from here

April 11, 2011

Find Out Who Your Friends Are: Emiley

by Cait

As I mentioned, I’m going to write a couple of these about the important people in my life and link to them in the About section.

Emiley, Kyle and baby Carter

It’s hard to find people who will love you no matter what, and I am lucky enough to have several. Ryan may sometimes be the closest, but that definitely does not discount the others who have always been there for me.

Emiley and I met the first or second day of school in 9th grade World History. We had a teacher with a propensity for giving good grades to students who brought her food and making microwave popcorn during our class (and usually burning it). We passed notes throughout most of that class (I found some of them recently, they’re about typical things like boys and how boring our classes were), and we probably only passed the class because when asked to do projects we incorporated food. History that semester and gym the next were the only classes we had together, because of the way our school worked she was technically in another program, so we kept up with each other by instant messaging, dropping notes in each others’ locker, eating lunch together (if we had the same lunch period) and lots of emails. I can only ever actually calling her once in high school. We were in some stupid fight (that I don’t think either of us remember the root of), but I still called her when my then-boyfriend and I a complete blow-out fight. I said “It’s me, I’ll be at your house in 20 minutes” and she said “I’ll be outside”, and then we drove to the beach and I cried to her about my boyfriend being a complete jerkwad. There were also many nights spent buying bubbles at Walmart, going to Homecoming dances & a few football games, and daydreaming about life after high school and college.

We were there for each other through several boyfriends, especially during a break up, whatever our opinion was of the guy that broke the other’s heart.  When Robert and I got back together in college everyone thought I was insane. A masochist; didn’t I remember how badly he hurt me the first time? It caused a fallout or two with some friends, but Emiley gave him a chance. She was cautious because she’d seen what it did to me in high school (it was ugly), but she was willing to forgive him, just like she was willing to get to know him in high school. And while it took more than bonding over Garth Brook’s In Pieces cd while driving around at the beach that time, she did give him that chance. A few years later I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, and she was a bridesmaid in our wedding.

Em & her husband Kyle at Robert’s and my rehearsal dinner

We got married & bought houses a few months apart (and our houses are two minutes from each other) but our lives keep us so busy we hardly see each other.  Recently we are in a terrible “we’ll get together soon” loop with absolutely no time to actually get together. It isn’t that we couldn’t be there for each other at the drop of a hat, it’s just that she knows that if she needs me I’m here, and if I need her she’s there. From my end it is only out of respect for the fact that she has a 7 month old son that I don’t call her at 2am when Robert is out of town and Freckles won’t stop faking me out that there is someone outside (BTW- hi Ryan). She knows who to call when their fridge dies and they need a truck to bring the new one home, and I know who to call if my car won’t start and I need a ride to work.

Whenever we do see each other we pick up right where we left off. We might miss out on some of the everyday things, but we make sure to hit all the important milestones in each other’s life. I was there for her on her wedding day, and she was there for me on mine. We helped each other move, and painted each others’ houses (and I still have her paint brush from when she helped paint the library, dining room and living room in one day- oops). I made the invitation for her baby shower, went matternity shopping with her, bought Carter way too many Baby Gap clothes & FSU socks, and manned the present table at her shower. Robert and I were there the night Carter was born, and I know she’ll be there for me when I’m pregnant and freaking the hell out during labor. I will always been “Aunt Catie” to Carter (and Robert will be “Crazy Uncle Bob”- as in “go ask your Crazy Uncle Bob why jumping your dirt bike off the shed is a bad idea”), and Carter will be the big brother to my future kids.

Occasionally I leave green ceramic elephants, giant tubs of animal “cookies” (long story) or birthday cards (when I’m sick and don’t want to get the baby sick) on her doorstep. I frequently use her line “I try to be as hilarious as possible at all times” and she doesn’t call me out on it. Somewhere down the line our favorite colors went from blue (me) and yellow (her) to green, but there is a distinct “Emiley” green and a “Catie” green.

In short, Emiley is sweet, loyal, funny (ok, hilarious), creative and stubborn.  She’s the happy-go-lucky to my cynical and sarcastic. She is the firey, passionate and protective redhead everyone needs in their life (she may not cuss you up and down like I would, but you will feel about an inch tall when she’s done). She definitely gives Ryan a run for his money as the person with the biggest heart that I have ever met (let’s just say there is a reason she and Kyle have four dogs and a tank full of fish). We have tried to run each other off with stupid fights, but after ten years it’s pretty much been established that we’re not going anywhere. There is no doubt in my mind that Emiley will always come through for me when I call and say “you. me. gelato. Kleenex. beach. now.”, and she knows I would do the same for her. She has long since surpassed the role of friend, she is family.

PS- I accidentally left my birthday card that Carter made me at your house. Copper didn’t eat it, did he? I need to frame that.

April 8, 2011

Find Out Who Your Friends Are: Ryan

by Cait

Being that it’s Friday and Robert&I haven’t DIYed anything recently, I thought it might be a good time to formally introduce* Robert’s and my best friend, Ryan, on the blog (and post a smattereing of photos from his Picasa of the random things that were born in his dad’s garage). Here’s hoping he doesn’t kill me later for posting these (despite the fact that they’re linked on his Facebook for all to see) and saying some fairly sappy things. 

As a bit of back story, Robert and Ryan have known each other since they were 4 and 5 respectively. I met Ryan 8 years ago standing on the end of Robert’s parents’ driveway shortly after he moved back to Florida from Virginia. Not long after that, Robert wrecked Ryan’s Suzuki GT750 into a telephone pole (the story at this point generally involves Ryan chiming into say “I had just gotten that running right, too”) and then Robert and I broke up (as most high school romances do), so  I didn’t get to know Ryan again until Robert and I were starting talking again two years later. The three of us lived together before  Robert and I bought our house, so Ryan and I became close friends. He was also the best man at our wedding.

That’s Ryan on the right in his standard grey pocketed t-shirt.

It’s always awkward to sing the praises of someone of the opposite gender without it resulting in a lot of raised eyebrows, but when have I ever been one to stray away from awkward? If you had to describe Ryan in two words you might call him extremely loyal. Since I prefer having a flair for the dramatic, I sometimes refer to Ryan as my In Case of Emergency Person. I’m pretty sure he has never seen that episode of Grey’s Anatomy though, so generally he responds to my saying that with a gruff  “as long as I hear the phone” and an “I’m a guy, I don’t talk about feelings” look.

Ryan is one of about five people who I’d trust with my life. He’s the kind of guy everyone wants to know. You can call him when you can’t call anyone else, like when you’re a 20-year-old girl coming home from college, your car breaks down on the side of the highway and the state trooper just dropped you off at a truck stop on Thursday night. (Yes, that really happened, but in that instance I was lucky enough to have both Robert & Ryan come to rescue me.) All I heard in return from Ryan was “I never did get that $50 that we tipped the tow truck driver with back”, but he didn’t even say that until several years later, at the time he just mentioned that he was going to be really tired the next day at work. Applying that to your life, Ryan might be  that friend you have who you were in some stupid fight (that neither of you remember) with, but you still called them when you & your boyfriend have a complete blow-out fight and you say “It’s me, I’ll be at your house in 20 minutes” and they say “I’ll be outside” and then you go sit on the beach and cry to them about your boyfriend being a jerkwad. You know, strictly as a hypothetical (BTW- hi Emiley).

If you’ve ever wanted a 6 foot (possibly larger) dragon sculpture, I know a guy…

In addition to his unfaltering loyalty, Ryan is the go-to person to ask when you have a “how the heck did they do that?” question.  (As a reminder, he’s the friend who once welded a rather large dragon out of rebar that was left over from a project Robert did for school. Getting him and Robert together often results in both amazing things you never imagined possible, and singed hair.) He might never admit it (because he’s incredibly humble and sometimes self-deprecating), but he’s brilliant. The running joke is that if you locked him in his dad’s garage and came back a few hours later, the roof would open like a clam-shell and a spaceship would take off (I think it would probably be made out of a dryer, a stop sign and a lawn mower engine).

He’s kind of like a real-life MacGyver. I’m no stranger to making something from nothing, I grew up with a father and grandfather who did the same thing (in our house the line was “Daddy can fix everything, except broken erasers” which is a long story…although then my dad fixed those, too). And it’s not like Robert is a slouch when it comes to tools, it’s just that Ryan does everything to the extreme. He pours all of himself into what he’s doing, which can often result in ignoring text messages, phone calls, etc. If he is working on a car and he doesn’t have a tool that he needs he just makes one, usually out of an old jack and a piece of pipe. If he doesn’t know how to fix something, he researches it until he figures out how, and then he teaches you how to do it. He has experience with plumbing and remodeling, so he was the one I called when our roof was leaking and Robert couldnt answer the phone because he was in class. And then (as I am apt to do) I accidentally insulted him when I jokingly said “How Not To Fix Your Roof” about his $20 fix (which is holding up perfectly fine, of course). I am excellent and sensitive like that.

Pneumatic can crusher

His smile & laugh are contageous, he says completely poignant things that really make you think (often in five words or less), and he’s listening even when you think he isn’t (that may sound creepy, but I just mean he can seem to be focusing on something else, and then say one of those über poignant things).  He is never anything other than completely himself, take it or leave it. He’s like a brother to Robert, and for me he’s both the big brother I never had and best friend I never knew I was missing. Robert and I both miss talking and hanging out with him when we go any length of time without at least sending each other a funny picture text, like when every May when he goes to Deals Gap and has spotty cell reception. In short, I hope that Robert and I are half the friends for him that he has been for us.

Best way to plan Gran Turismo.

L: the way his dad’s garage gets heat; R: The Incinerator, may it rest in peace.

Electric bike

*I think I’ll probably write a few more of these (about friends like Emiley and Lisa, and since I wrote a bit about my mom here, I need to write about my dad as well) and add a link in the About section.