Is three days enough time to plan a proper farewell party for your very best friends? I mean a really good party that they’ll remember forever because they are moving so far away that it feels like they are moving to the other side of the earth and you want them to know just how much you are going to miss them? It’s kind of a tall order, right? That’s not nearly enough time to hire a Mariachi band or a sky-writing airplane, or even enough time to write a sonnet!
Then why did we wait until the last minute to plan such a thing? I have no idea. I guess we were in denial. How could they just up and leave us like that? It’s abandonment I tell you! No no no no la la la la sob sob sob…also I’m sort of on party probation since I just hosted the spectacular Seed Rainbow party and I happen to live with someone who isn’t as excited about party-planning as I am (and I’m not referring to Bug).
However they are our best friends and you know what? Best friends just want to hang out with you. They don’t care if your carpet is stained or if your bathroom isn’t sparkling clean. They don’t care if the meal is potluck and they bring the entire dessert course themselves. Coffee is fine, margaritas are nice too, but even tap water will do. Really all that matters is that we get together, all of us, one more time and do what we do best: talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
The thing that kills me is that before Bethany came to live in California I didn’t really have a group of friends like this. I had lots of friends but I didn’t have a group that all hung out together interchangeably. I remember talking late into the night with Bethany over instant message, telling her how I wished I had time to work on my computer or just plain sit with a cup of coffee uninterrupted but I couldn’t because I had a kid who needed my CONSTANT attention.
I remember Bethany telling me that I needed a play-group. I thought she was nuts. It sounded nice and all but I couldn’t put upon my friends like that. They all had their own crazy lives. There’s no way I could just drop in on them and say, “Ack! Can I come over so our kids can play and I can get something else done?”
But then Bethany moved here and in some strange quiet way she built a group of friends for me. It wasn’t so much that she organized a group. Nothing like that was ever said. I’m sure that wasn’t even her plan. It was just her way of sending out emails and not letting dreamed-up plans drop through the cracks. If someone wanted to do something, she was the communicator and it happened. No drama and no excuses for not having fun.
Before I knew it my calendar was covered in penciled dates and times. Not a week went by where I wasn’t going somewhere to meet up with somebody. Our kids got to be friends and now sitting around with a cup of coffee laughing my head off while my kid is off somewhere else in the house laughing her own head off is totally normal. There was a time when I wouldn’t have thought that even was possible. But now it is. Now I have a play-group.
And now she’s leaving! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
Just kidding. I am terribly sad. But in a way I think God sent Bethany out here so I could learn how to be a better friend. And now that I’ve figured it out, I don’t need her anymore. I mean I do, but not in the way I did. I’ll miss her fiercely but there must be somebody else on the East Coast who needs her more. So with a tear in my eye, I will let her go because I remember what it was like before she moved here.
Adios amiga. I’m gonna miss you. I’ll do my best to keep this group together even though sometimes it seems like you are the glue.