A friend? Her?

Fake Boobs

Went to visit my friend, M, last week. I met M five years ago and we disliked each other on sight.

I saw an attention-seeking bimbo and she saw a stuck-up bitch, and we were both spot-on. We met when we did the Landmark Forum together, and by chance or fate, we ended up doing the two subsequent courses together too. I’d walk in on the first morning of a new course, all eager and excited and then I’d see her. “Not her again,” I’d think. Meanwhile, she’d be doing the same.

Over a period of about six months, we put up with each other, or not, at least once a week. She’d turn up late, sit up the back with her arms crossed while either arguing or sulking and then, most nights, she’d leave early because of some “crisis”. She had a tiny frame and obviously fake breasts which I used to call the “puppies” and which were always on the verge of being let out for a play.

Sometime in the third course which extended over a period of 3-4 months, something started shifting. By that stage, we’d had several months of this transformation stuff and it was starting to have a lasting effect. We were becoming softer, more simple, starting to give up our fixity and righteousness.

After the third course, unexpectedly, we stayed in touch. And a few months after that we realised we’d become friends.

In the four years since, we’ve continued to grow closer and there have been many times when I’ve been moved to tears by who she is, and by her lovingness and courage. We love and admire each other, and often laugh about our first childish hatred.

When I was at her place the other night, she said a beautiful thing.

I was telling her about my new coaching practice and how much I was enjoying showing other people how to write and communicate. I said I felt a big sense of mastery and ease, and I was wondering why I hadn’t thought of it earlier and also, what had changed so that it suddenly occurred as something to do. And M said,

It’s because you’re no longer pretending or covering up. I’m still pretending in a few areas of my life, still not being real. You’re not doing that now. That’s why.

That’s another thing about M. She is generous and can nail something in a flash. Some bimbo.

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13 thoughts on “A friend? Her?

  1. I loved every. single. word.
    of this beautiful transformation of your friendship.
    How utterly fabulous that you got to know one another…makes me wonder how many times I’ve judged others (especially women) and never had the opportunity to truly get to know them on a personal level.
    Excellent Post.

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    • Thanks, Kim. I wonder that too: how there must have been so many others I’ve not gotten, missed, judged etc. And M and I came so close to it too.

      The fact M and I had to create our friendship makes it all the sweeter. Each of us has a stake in it that I don’t necessarily have in other friendships that occurred more “naturally”.

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  2. Years ago, I had a similar experience. You attribute your change of heart to the course you took, but I can’t come up with any easy explanation for my dislike turning to like. My friend was brash where I was shy, comedic where I was serious: opposites, for sure. We were assigned to a project together and I didn’t think she was holding up her end and told her so. She took it well, and stepped up. Maybe that was what changed my mind. We’ve lost touch in recent years: she moved to Australia! ;-)

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  3. Probably one of the best first paragraphs I’ve ever read! Years ago, when in my window display business, I hired a woman whom everyone else took to be a bimbo. Big boobs, too much makeup, and more to the point for me, she wouldn’t climb a ladder! She had such a winning personality however, that she was great for business. I wasn’t shy, but I was abrupt and wanted to “get the job done” and get on to something else. We used to joke that she honeyed up the customer, and when it came time to collect, I was the “hatchet man”. She was fun though, and we worked together for about 7 years. I found that she was kind-hearted and sensitive . I learned to loosen up a bit and be more patient. Great post Narelle.

    Thanks for your comment on my last blog, “Don’t Trust Your Mirror”. I don’t know how to transfer it over but I loved your comment about the “Afro” after a day at the beach. Mine just goes limp and strait as a string

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    • Hello Hatchet man. I was definitely the hatchet man in the relationship between M and I too!

      Talking about mirrors, M is one of the mirrors in which I get to see myself and my blind spots. She used to tell me I “didn’t give enough” of myself, and when she said it, all the justifications and denials used to crowd into my mouth and sometimes come out. And yet as the years have gone by, I see she could see what I couldn’t.

      And then when she was going through a shockingly painful divorce with 3 children under the age of 10, she used to rant for hours when we got together. For ages, I felt I just had to let her go and try to listen, but I’d come home feeling flat as a tack and voiceless. After a while, I realised I had to start being responsible for my own experience of her and of our friendship, so I started to refuse to engage in those type of conversations. Sometimes, I’d just tell her to stop, other times, I’d say she could have five minutes to rant and then it had to end. The thing is, she’d thank me profusely every time because she has a big commitment to being responsible for her life (and giving up blame and complaint), and it’s what she most wants to have her children get too. She’s taught me so much, and I her.

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  4. I once read that the thing we find most objectionable in another person is the very same quality we dislike in ourselves. If we embrace that person as a friend or teacher, we go a long way toward dealing with our own “stuff.”

    Neat story about how your relations morphed. You both were open to letting it happen. That says a lot about both of you. :)

    Like

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