I have a best friend, let’s just call her Georgia because she’s not dead yet and I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Actually, I don’t want to hurt anyones feelings. To tell you the truth, I believe offensive thoughts might place a curse on the person you’re talking about.
Forty years ago I read the book Fear of Flying. I suppose I read it because it was cutting edge and was touted as erotic literature. The only thing I remember about the book was the author, Erica Jong. She was convinced that her consistent worrying for the length of her flight was the only reason the plane didn’t crash. This type of thinking stuck in my impressionable mind for years and I worried much more than I should have. Thank God I only read one chapter. In lieu of worrying I knock on wood, spit over my shoulder and pray a lot. For me this is a much more rational solution.
Georgia on the other hand, says things like “I hope he dies” or “I want to rip his throat out.”
She never scares me because I know her bark is much bigger than her bite and that she’d give a friend the shirt off her back if they asked. She doesn’t say things like that as often anymore, because she wants to go heaven. I’m not sure if she wants to be saved or just would like to hang out with me in the afterlife. That’s a true, blue friend.
She saved my life once while snorkeling in the waters of Mexico. She saw the myriads of jellyfish and turned into the Incredible Hulk, putting herself between me and the school of gelatinous animals that were on a mission to deliver me their venom. She tossed me into the boat risking life and limb.
We’re like day and night. Georgia is my Bette Midler and I am her Barbara Hershey. Her motto is, “If one is good, then five is better.”
I, on the other hand have a meltdown every time I shop. I ask myself, “Do I really need this? Is it going to be this cute when I get it home? Is the quality worth the price? “Can I use this money for something else? Will it be versatile, will it shrink?”
Georgia thinks I am as nutty as a fruitcake and mockingly commands me to “Just buy the damn thing already,” and I usually do.
Speaking of fruitcake, she’s a gourmet cook. Everything she prepares is stunning. She spends days shopping, prepping, and creating dishes fit for a king. My specialty and claim to fame is a loaf of bread and pre-made spinach dip.
Spending money has always been a love affair with Georgia. If I were to buy a bottle of wine, she’d buy a case. In her heyday, she traveled abroad as often as possible, coming home with bags and boxes of glorious artwork, cookware, food and memories, reminiscent of a leading lady of an Oscar winning show.
Georgia is a long time successful business woman and has the luxury to come and go as she pleases. She offers wine to friends in the afternoons, has been known to take her staff on cruises. She’s given me a standing offer for a job. I came close to taking her up on it many times, but never acquiesced.
I was chicken, never wanting to leave the nest egg of my 401k, insurance and retirement. I wasn’t willing to take the risk. I admire her ability to throw caution to the wind. Her longtime mantra is, “I will die at my desk at 99.”
She’s still working on it and may very well meet her goal.
I’m retired now, because evidently that was my goal.
We met almost 30 years ago and she still laughs at my jokes and makes me feel like I can do anything. It was love at first sight.
She’ll always be the wind beneath my wings.
Happy Birthday MW