Worth repeating. Kettle or corkscrew?


I was thinking about friends and how very important we are to each other. Sometimes a mother won’t do, a husband won’t do, your dog or your cat, no matter how loving, won’t do. Sometimes you need a friend who can hear you and only you, they don’t see the daughter, wife or caregiver, they just see you.

I have some very dear friends and we have planned a girls’ weekend at the beginning of June. These are the women that I can’t wait to see. I hum with excitement when I think about what those three days will hold, for we will laugh, cry and tell stories. We have grown up and grown together.

It is not always laughter and parties though, we have each had our share of times when we simply can’t go it alone and we need our friends to guide us.

These are the friends who are there when you need them. They are women who can be there and will be there. One phone call. The women who spring into action. They come alone or as a group. Together, they are a force, they will move mountains for you or knock you about your silly head until you see the truth, they will circle you and form a barrier from the world if necessary. And you would do the same for them.

Many years ago, I sat in Sandy’s living room crying over something minor, a boy or work problem, I don’t remember now it was so inconsequential, but what I do remember is that when I was through crying and felt better, I thanked her. She laughed and said, “That, my love, is why I am here. If you want sympathy you come to me. If you want to hear the truth, you call Heather.” Heather is a very sympathetic caring friend, but she is also a hunker down at the kitchen table and ask the hard questions friend. She is the friend who helps you to look into yourself and see what you need to do. The beauty is that either friend can play either role and if you aren’t sure what you need, if you think you need to cry and hear the truth, just ask them both to be there. Sandy’s words were to make me laugh and cheer me up, but they have always stuck with me because I learned a valuable lesson, listen to your friend, figure out what she needs and be there in that way.

Over the years, we have developed a shorthand and when a rough time is upon us and the friends are called, one question sets the tone, “Kettle or corkscrew or both?” Do you want tea and sympathy? Red wine and the truth? Or should we just pour the wine into the teacups and give you both?

We are so lucky to have each other.



Written in 2010


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