Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cats, Lunch, Towels

I don't have many friends. I can count three, really. Lots of aquaintences but few friends. One was forced upon me by virtue of being sort of related; one lived down the street and was the only other girl my age in the neighborhood; one came to me late in life when I was trying to pick up the pieces.

Sorry, Steph - your birthday post will have to wait until next year. The idea only occurred to me today, and your birthday was Monday. But you've stuck with me this long - hopefully you'll still be around next year to read YOUR post. But I'm glad you came along and lived with your grandma two doors down.

And Kelly - you're not getting older until next month. Thanks for helping me figure out what happened next.

So that leaves Liane. Liane was just part of the package. We grew up together from diapers on. My grandmother married her grandfather. There's no blood between us, but we're family just the same. And tomorrow, she turns 44.

There are 11 months between us, so every year, Liane and I got to be the same age for a little more than a month. I would call her up on her birthday and she would brag that we were the same age now. Once we passed the 40 mile mark, that boast lost a little of it's luster. If we make it to our nineties, it might be something to brag about again.

Liane and I always had a psychic connection. One would often call just as the other was reaching for the phone to call. Sometimes a year or two would go by without word, the the phone would ring and whoever answered would exclaim in surprise, "I was JUST thinking about you!" We've grown together and apart many times during the course of our lives. And she'll be horrified, but I'm going to share some pictures of us during some of the growing together times.

I'm standing on the far left. Liane is sitting immediately to my right with the long, dark hair. This was taken at one of her birthday parties, pretty much the last one we shared. The sepia tone to this one has me a little spooked.

Mirror Picture
This was the same birthday. Liane is far left, I'm on the right, with her sister Laurie's elbow on top of my head. We're looking at each other and making faces. A really good photographer, who was a family friend of Liane's took these pictures.

We kind of drifted apart after this. We went to the same high school, but she was a year behind me and we ran with different crowds. We dated different people.

She will shoot me when she realizes I still have this picture. Which will probably be tomorrow. If you don't hear from me again...

I got a job, she was still in school. I got married. She lived with a guy. When my husband and I moved to Oklahoma, she moved into our half of the duplex.

When I came back, Liane had changed. She was recovering from being a wild child. It's almost like she lost her way when I left. And then when I came back, she started getting it back together. The two probably aren't related, but the timing was pretty coincidental! I was divorcing, she was getting married. We lived in the same city again, but operated on different planes. She had two babies. I finally hooked up with Darling Man. Her babies were well into childhood before mine made the scene. But we were starting to reconnect, so she make the trek down to darkest Wakulla to welcome my new boy.


But we still had separate lives. Phone calls every once in a while, a visit here and there. Then we discovered that we work less than a mile from each other. And there's a VERY good restaurant smack in between us. So we started meeting for lunch every Thursday and sharing cheeseburgers and stories.

It's been an eventful year for Liane. She and her husband of 16 years are separated. She's living on her own and having to manage her money and fix things for herself. She's learning how to be a single parent, and about the sacrifices and the rewards of finding yourself.

You go, girl! Happy Birthday!

(Oh, and you may be wondering about the title of this post... Most of my cats have come from Liane, we eat lunch together, and I gave her towels for her birthday. See her blog THE WORLD ACCORDING TO LIANE to get her take on things!)


Mama Drama Jenny said...

What a fabulous tribute to your friend!

I'm not good at making friends with girls so the ones I've managed to make I try to keep.

It's not easy.

quinn said...

hi LIANE!!! happy birthday...

Very cool..I too have a few good pals from way back one pal..Lee and I have been friends since grade 2..when she came to canada from jamaica...i remember the first time she saw the snow ..she was a crazy gal running and rolling in it ...that memory is one of a million I have with her..we still chat , and get together a couple of times a year...she only lives about 30 minutes away.

I would have to say that she is probably the only person on this earth that truly knows me..heart and soul..we talk alot..and help eachother...I am sooooooooooo lucky to have her..

You and your friend are too!!!!!!!!

Oh, The Joys said...

That first picture is so amazing - I hope you have it framed and hanging!

Vancouver mermaid/Montreal photographer said...

Wish your friend a happy birthday from all of us too.

You're right, I'm sure she's gonna call you up after she sees the post...but not to kill you, just to say "thanks" for having been a good enough friend to talk about her on here.

Happy Thursday,


Liane Michel said...

Well you went ahead and made me cry. And, yes you're dead meat for including those photos!!

You are so special to me. Thank you for this post. It's the best present I'll receive.. yes even better than the towels!

I love you.

Me said...

How sweet...
I love the photographs. I read this article in the NYT about these friends who gathered every now and hten and would take photographs of themselves holding photos from the past, (I am not explaining this well) but basically, they would sit in the same position as the old photos and you could really see how they've grown.
You guys should do something like that.

nikki said...

Happy Birthday Laine!

Don't shoot Sayre! We'd miss her!