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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Comfort

The other night I was at a friend's house. She's a fellow teacher and is one of my all time favorite people on the planet. I went over to help her grade papers because she was behind because earlier this year she found out she's... sick. So I went to help her mark papers.

I love her house. There is something about her and her homes that are wonderful. I say homes because I've been in four of her homes (that's how many times she's moved) in the 15 years she and I have been friends, and they are always warm and welcoming places. Comfortable. Cluttered. Pretty. They smell good. I can laugh or cry at her house and have done both. I can sit with her alone o in a crowd of her family and friends or with a passel of her students and it all feels good- and I have done all this. I've sat with just her, in silence or watching tv or listening to music or working. No matter what, her house is just a haven of comfort. There are times when I feel distressed in life and I want to go to her house and just smell it, and sit on the denim couch, pet her dog and just "be." She is a good person and would let me, too.

I learned to bake bread there. She gives me books. She burns candles and has scented lotions. Her dog is kind, and her husband is a dry wit who understand her quirks and those of her friends. She always has fresh brewed ice tea. She has colorful post-it notes and colored ink pens. She has blankets and quilts scattered around, the carpet is squashy in your bare toes, the hardwood isn't sticky, and her bathroom always has three-ply Charmine and Bath & Body Works soap pumps. She's a photographer and she decorates the walls with her prints; not a way that's "prima donna" but because her work is beautiful and simple and pleasing. She has piles of books and magazines, camera parts, and a cat who steals things out of your purse; her name is Kitty, the cat not my friend. I love that her couch is a sectional, wrap around denim thing that you sink into and it's comfortable and perfect and safe. She still has her Willow Tree Nativity set up in May. I love her space. I want to spend a week at her house and call it "vacation." And I can only love her space because of her, and I love her. She is me, but the good version of me, who I used to be. It's also what I think of as 'home,' or a version of it. Maybe it's what I want my home to be, when I have one, what I try and create in my own space. She never changes and neither does her presence, no matter what shape her dwelling takes.

The other night when we were grading, at her instance we had to go to the supermarket to get "grading food." I understand this. We had to have the right snacks at our elbows. We got Double Stuffed Oreos, Pizza Flavored Goldfish Crackers, and Hershey Nuggets, milk chocolate flavored. I had Pepsi, with caffeine, and there was the always present ice tea for a back up. Yes, we are grown adult women and this is the food we choose because, we are grading and you must have grading food; we are quirky.

And I consumed all that junk. I never batted an eye over doing that, either. It what's done. That's how it works. It was the plan. I would never, at home, in a million years, eat an entire container of Oreos, a bag of fish crackers and a bag of chocolate, over the course of 7 hours. But the other night was a grading marathon and we did eat all the crap- together- so I guess I only ate half. And I don't feel guilty, not even now. Because it's what she said we do and she is right in all things, kind, good, and so that's what we did.

I giggled before I wrote this post because I was just sitting on Daddy-O's couch, reading and thinking I wanted something to drink and I didn't want to have anymore caffeine soda since it was so late. Then I had to giggle because that never crossed my mind the other night, and it was a school night, too! I smiled in spite of myself, over all the food I ate, because it was the right place, the right event, the right time, the right person, the right firend, and it was just.... it just was.

And until then I didn't even know Goldfish came in pizza flavor...

Mags

9 comments:

Lottie said...

Wonderful post. I love the description of your friend and her home. And I didn't know Goldfish came in pizza flavor either :-)
Have a great week!

Jimmie Earl said...

I know of whom you speak. She is a fine lady. She will never know or realize how my talking to her right before your mom died helped me make decisions that were too hard to make.She is surely a blessing to many who know her. I am glad she is your friend.
JE aka Daddy-O

Curley said...

She sounds like a wonderful person. I am glad she is in your life. And I knew that goldfish comes in many flavors and colors.

D-nice said...

I'm pretty sure I know of whom you speak. I remember spending the night at her house once. I remember how the bed cuddled you. I have compared that sleeping experience to all other beds since. Hope she's well and send her my best.

TaDa said...

did you get sick? ugggg I am drooling just thinking of an oreo.. yup I am still on my diet and doing great..

Maggie said...

Lottie- thanks for visiting and commenting; I hope you come again soon.

And thanks for the compliment. (Try to pizza goldfish...)

JE- she's amazing, isn't she?

Curley- she's awesome; you 2 will meet sometime!

D-Nice: your description of that bed is just like her personality, isn't it? I'll tell her you send your regards. Pray for her, if you don't mind?

TaDa- I can't catch the sort of "sick" she has...

And congrats on doing well with your diet!

Bragger said...

You are such an awesome friend.

When I fell behind in grading, I used the stairwell method.....

Maggie said...

Bragger- aw, thanks...

Okay, I've got to know- WHAT is the stairwell method? I have some guesses but?

Wiley said...

I may have used the stairwell method when I graded papers at university... It's remarkably effective. All you do is throw the papers down the stairwell. Those that land face down fail and the ones that land face up pass. Then you grade the passing papers according to how high up the stairs they fell.

It's quite therapeutic, really