Friendship At First Sight

14 Sep

Okay, maybe friendship at first sight isn’t always first sight — just like love at first sight — but it’s such a beautiful phenomena that I wish we wrote about it more. That first spark when you meet someone and think, “She is going to be a friend. A good one.”

Gwen Hayes and I had a lovely conversation about this spark at Nationals this year and then she did that reach back and smack me in the leg because she was sitting in front of me thing while Nora Roberts talked about it in her wonderful keynote talk.

You see, Gwen and I have a beautiful FAFS story. I’d had a horrible evening where my friend-heart had been beaten up at my first RWA conference and she told me there was no way I was going back to my room! No! Way! I was going to do what all the cool kids did –> crash the Avon party (shhhh Avon’s caught on but we’re still on the lam) and so, we get a kind of invite from a friend’s agent to head over with them and we’re on our way. At the hotel a bazillion people squish into the elevator to head to the penthouse floor party. Only, we get in and the person at the buttons says, “It only goes to the fourth floor.” So everyone piles out. Well, almost everyone.

Actually, the pile out and don’t go anywhere so Gwen and I are still standing in the elevator. When the doors start to close. Poor Rhonda Stapleton sticks her arm in the door to make it bounce open and rescue us (my hero!) only, yeah, they don’t bounce. So not only are Gwen and I still in the elevator, but we watch Rhonda almost lose a limb. She needs those to write more great books! And then, the elevator, that crafty possessed thing, starts moving – there aren’t even any buttons pushed! It just decides, “Hey! I’m keeping these two!” and takes off.

At this point, Gwen and I are laughing so hard we probably used most of the oxygen in there in the four floors we went up and stumbled out into the hall….where an amazingly beautiful woman in a to-die-for evening gown smiles at us (which was interesting since we were so not in evening gowns and huffing laugh-air) and says, “Are you here for the Avon party?”

Gwen looks at me. I look at Gwen. Gwen looks at the lady and says, “Why yes. Yes we are here for the Avon party.” At which point we are sent on our way to check our coats and given free champagne – all because of the magic elevator … and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I was thinking about this today, thinking about another FAFS today – KB Alan.

KB and I knew each other in passing from Romance Divas then I went on my drive around the country. She came to hang out with me and Rachel Jameson — the three of us laughing our butts off and driving around LA in her sporty little convertible. One of the things she asked was what was hard about the trip. The oddest thing came out of my mouth. “I couldn’t bring all my CDs and every once in a while you want a really specific one. Something you wouldn’t hear on the radio. I’d kill for a little Flogging Molly right now.”

KB reaches over my knees, pops open the glove compartment and hands me not one, but two Flogging Molly CDs – Insta-Friendship. No. Seriously. Insta, baby!

And then there was the ever lovely Vicarious Writing Girl – My long time FAFS.

I’d started going to a new church in my 20s and went on a retreat…for singles. Yeah, it was a big church so the single’s group was almost a church within itself. I’d never gone on one of these things and definitely was not loving the first night. I laid in bed the next morning confused about why girls were getting up and hour before they needed to in order to do full hair and make-up to go hiking (I have no comment that’s self-snarky enough, but pretend I did). Finally, after an hour of the giggling, me just hiding in my sleeping bag hoping they’d leave. When the door closed behind them and the giggling drifted down the hall, I sat up and said (out loud, but too myself – don’t judge) “Thank God their gone!”

No sooner does that slip out when I hear, “I’m still here.” I was just about to apologize until I was blue, when she continued, “I never thought they’d leave.”

Of course, she followed that up by telling me about the dream she had about getting a maggot burger instead of a hamburger in a fast food drive thru, and I was completely won over.

So, what’s my point (besides to brag that I have the best girlfriends ever?) These are, in so many ways, just as beautiful first sight stories as the ones with boys. I know, we all love storeis with boys – especially if there’s kissing, but I think I’d like to see some more loving on the BFFs… some more growth of those relationships that stay with us for life – that grow and change, that live with us in our hearts, that challenge us, support us, laugh and cry with us. Those things – those magic things – don’t happen at first sight.

But that, in so many ways makes them even more special. So, don’t mind me, but I’m off to look at my latest book and see where my girlfriends can show the love a little more.

Tell me your FAFS story – I bet it something you still laugh over together.

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12 Responses to “Friendship At First Sight”

  1. Chrissy September 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    I love that moment. You look up over a desk during a boring class, or end up sitting together at a conference, or…

    Any number of silly things. But the instant you meet it’s a soul-mate connection and you KNOW. There’s a kind of click in the tumbler of the universe, and it’s as if the friendship was there, waiting for you to arrive at the same time and re-claim it.

    Thanks for reminding me of that magic!

  2. briaq September 14, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    Gotta love the magic!

    I realize I’m amazingly blessed to have made so many beautiful lady friends as an adult!

  3. KB Alan September 14, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    This is so, so true! I’ve only had it happen a few times, but it’s so amazing when you have one of those moments and you know, yeah, this one’s sticking, big time. I think that will be even harder to portray than instant love/lust, but you’re right. It’s important, and I’m going to give it a shot.

  4. briaq September 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    You’ll have to let me know how it goes … and think of me every time you listeng to Flogging Molly LOL

  5. gwen hayes September 14, 2010 at 10:58 pm #

    That was one of my favorite memories ever, of my whole life. And you were so worth the wait.

  6. Laura K Curtis September 14, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    FAFS–the one that sticks out most in my memory, which is pretty funny given that I was appallingly drunk at the time–took place at a Halloween party. I was in college. And drunk. And when I got drunk, I tended to get a little belligerent. So I was at this Halloween party and this guy came in on stilts. No other costume to speak of, just stilts. So I said “what are you supposed to be?” And he said “Well, for Halloween everyone is something they’re not. So I’m tall.” And I thought, “oh, yeah. We’re going to be friends.” And we were, for years and years and years.

  7. briaq September 15, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    Awww Gwenny – I just got sniffy – me too!

  8. briaq September 15, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    That’s awesome – Also, remind me never to get you drunk – I’m apparently a funny drunk *shuts mouth right now*

  9. Laura K Curtis September 15, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    There are reasons I don’t drink in public anymore! LOL!

  10. Stephanie Smith September 15, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    Her name is Hillary. She’s a SCAD student I met when I was Script Frenzy ML this year. A 35 year old and a 21 year old? Yeeeeeeah. πŸ™‚ But she had me when I muttered “f*ck” during one of our write-ins when a scene wasn’t going well, then I looked up at her and said, “Oh God, I might’ve offended you.” She was like, “Oh, I cuss all the time.” (It’s a southern thing; I don’t hear people drop the f-bombs, so I didn’t know if she dropped them or not.)

    She was the *only* person who showed up to all the Script Frenzy write-ins I scheduled too. And I made her unofficial co-ML and the SCAD liaison. And before she went off to study in France for the summer, we had great plans to do NaNoWriMo (though probably not as MLs; some other guy has the monopoly on that); and she was going to be my official co-ML for Script Frenzy ’11.

    And she’s the reason why I’m trying to stick around in Savannah for another year; she’s just starting her senior year at SCAD. We both acknowledged we’d be heading in different directions between her being a senior and me being dumped… but she told me she’d hoped I’d still be here. Seriously, I only knew Hillary for a couple weeks in April before the ex dumped me. I had a virtual write-in scheduled the night I got dumped; had to send Hillary a text: “I’m not going to be at virtual write-in tonight; fiance dumped me.” She responded: “WHAAAAAAT???” We had texted back and forth that night; she wanted to make sure I was okay.

    The best was when we went to Carlito’s for Taco Tuesday after I got dumped to celebrate my birthday; she brought another SCADdie. I mentioned something to Hillary about Jeff (Hillary met Jeff a couple of times) while we were waiting for our table and the other SCADdie was like, “Who’s Jeff?” Hillary turned and shouted, “THERE IS NO TALK OF JEFF TONIGHT!!!” πŸ™‚

    I think that was one of my best birthdays ever. πŸ™‚ She drew me an elephant butt on my take-home box. “It’s the only thing I can really draw.”

    The sadly awesome thing is… she was dumped by her boyfriend last fall, so she got where I was coming from with dealing with getting dumped. (We occasionally stalk him for giggles at the ice cream place where he works. πŸ™‚ )

    If I could manage to stay here in Savannah for another year, and convince her to move to Philadelphia with me (she loves Philly)… I’d be more than willing to have a roommate. I haven’t had a connection like this since I was in junior high. A 35-year-old and a 21-year-old, yeah, I know, but it’s just fun. πŸ™‚

    — Stephanie, usually Allison Kelsey. πŸ™‚

  11. Rene September 26, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    So I’m a little late, but I ❀ love ❀ these stories!

    Mine began with me as a transplant college student. I left one fine arts school as a result of a bad relationship in favor of a university closer to home. I went from sharing a dorm with an older, got her act together, not wanting a BFF room mate to a single dorm about as big as my fist. Needless to say I was in there alone…a lot. I don't make female friends easily, never have, and I am friendly with everyone but "friends" with very few. (Despite what my way too huge facebook friends list says).

    I was in the dorm one weekend night early in the semester and heard there was a band performing in one of the other dorms. It sounded interesting, and I decided I'd check it out. I had never been to the other dorm and had no idea where I was going. One of the other girls in the hallway overheard my conversation with the girl across the hall and offered to show me where the building was…she was going too. On the way over, Danielle and I made small talk. What hooked me was the conversation we had about meeting the band. We WERE going to meet the band and hang out after the show. There was no doubt. It was written in stone. And I loved her from that moment forward.

    We DID meet the band…and we DID hang out after. And then we took road trips to see them in DC and they made trips up to see us. I have lost contact with the boys over the years, but not Danielle. She was the maid of honor at my wedding…almost 16 years ago. I might speak to her once or twice a year, and see her in person even less. She went on to become a doctor and I went on to have 4 kids…so needless to say there isn't a lot of time in either of our schedules. BUT, when I pick up the phone, it's as if there has been no time apart. And I truly am blessed to call her my friend.

  12. briaq September 26, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    OH, I love that – It’s wonderful to hear about them YEARS and YEARS later πŸ™‚

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