The perfect friend…..what does that mean. I think back to my school days when I looked on in envy as many of the popular girls hung out with each other. It always seemed I was on the outside looking in. There they were with their perfect hair, their perfect jeans and their perfect little cuteness all about them. They even had the perfect little laugh when the popular boys walked by. I used to think if only I could fit into their perfect little mold I would be so happy. I didn’t fit. I wasn’t cute enough. I didn’t have the right clothes. And most definitely my glasses were too large to be anything but perfectly cute.

I longed to fit in. I longed to be their friend. I longed to be included in their gatherings. I wasn’t. I didn’t get invited to their parties. Oh, I think I went to a few birthday parties in elementary school. That was back when the mom’s invited almost every girl in your class I think. By the time the girls got to choose the guest list I wasn’t included. I have no idea if asked now what these girls would say about why they didn’t invite me. Sometimes I want to know and other times I don’t. I was ugly. I know it. I have seen pictures of myself back then. I think I was nice enough. I was just ugly. And while I didn’t really know it back then or I was oddly oblivious to it, I was poor. I think the ugliness and the lack of money was what got me nixed from the guest list, but those are just my assumptions.

I suppose I could ask some of the girls as they are now my friends on Facebook. Isn’t that interesting? Now some 20 years later, we are friends. I am sure time, age and distance have a lot to do with it. I can’t help but think that my change in appearance helps a little (I was a late bloomer so to speak). I’m not poor anymore. I’m not rich either (some disagree – it’s all relative), but I’m not poor. Our 20 year class reunion is this summer and I believe I am attending. I won’t have a lot to talk about as I really didn’t go to any of the events the other kids did. I wasn’t invited to the parties and I didn’t stick around my senior year and take part in any of the activities. I have no real memories of my high school experience that involve any of my classmates. But I digress…….

I find it interesting what I thought would be the perfect friend in high school is not at all what I see as the perfect friend now. Now what I want is that person who wants to know who I am. Someone who is interested in knowing what makes me laugh, makes me happy, makes me sad and makes me cry. Who wants to know what makes me tick or what would send me over the edge. That person who is willing to hear about my past and challenge me let go and move towards my future. The one who won’t let me wallow in my misery for too long but will slap me out of it and tell me to get on with it. The one who will stop me in my tracks and tell me when I am wrong even if it means I might get mad at her. The one who will put honesty first. The one who cares whether I live or die and would tell me something even if I didn’t want to hear it. The one who would have my back and hold my hand when life was rough and yet, she would remind me if it was rough by my own doing. And then, together we would pick up the broken pieces and move forward.

The perfect friend isn’t always the one that looks perfect or sounds perfect or appears to be perfect. She is the one who knows you perfectly well and loves you anyway. The one who knows where you came from, who you were, who you are and who you want to be and helps you keep on the path to get there. She’s there when the going gets tough. And she even brings you a chai now and then. The perfect friend has her own issues too. She has a past, a present and a future. And the cool thing is I am okay with all of that too. I will be the perfect friend to her just like she is the perfect friend to me.

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