Clean toilets and dirty sweaters

           “C’mon over. I wiped the toilets down so we’re all set.”
            My hope is that everyone reading these words knows the value of a real friend. The kind of friend who is there when you need one, and the kind that supplies the other end of a mutual comfort when it comes to getting together.
Easily related to dating, even grown women tend to begin relationships with a guarded eye. If we go out, we choose a nice restaurant. If we stay in, we clean our houses to a level of spotlessness that would impress the queen. We attempt to dress nice, smell nice, and act way more sophisticated than we really truly are.
And for some lucky people, we bumble and stumble through those first awkward times, and eventually come out in a relaxed and wonderful way.
We were recently invited to a friend’s house for the evening. It is apparent after reviewing the conversations that went on between my two girlfriends and I that we have reached the point of comfort in our family friendships that would be akin to being able to pass gas in front of your husband, which we all know is a true sign of a healthy gut and marriage. It went something like this:
“If you guys aren’t doing anything tomorrow, want to come over? Nothing fancy. I’ve got hotdogs and marshmallows.”
“Sure! We’ve got soccer games all day so we’ll probably stink.”
“No problem. I’m not cleaning my house; I just wiped down the toilet. How do men have such terrible aim?”
“Tell me about it. I’ll bring something. I think I have some cookie dough in the fridge that’s going to expire. I’ll throw them in the oven.”
“Perfect. Come comfy. I’m wearing sweat pants.”
“My pleasure. I just bought myself a new sweatshirt that is literally the color of dirt so even though it’s clean, you’ll never know when it isn’t.”
“That’s genius!”
            And then upon arrival:
            “Cookies on a paper plate, delivered.  Only the finest for you.”
            “Hey, c’mon. I wiped my toilet.”
            “You bought a cheap veggie tray? I almost did the same thing.”
            “Yeah, I went all out for you guys,” she said as she opened up a few bags of chips. “The Smith family is coming over, too. Also from a soccer games all day, so they’ll be cold and damp and stinky just like us.”
            In walks the second family, carrying their drinks and more chips.
            “We went all out for you guys!” she said.
            “We did the same thing!” we chime in unison.
            And down we sat, gathered round the table, eating hot dogs and chips at the end of a long day, simply able to enjoy a comforting friendship.
            “By the way, nice dirty sweater.”
            “Thanks, friend.”

Originally written 9.13.15            


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