Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sharon is my Best Friend

Sharon just wants peace, love and joy

Now before some of the ladies out there get your panties in a bunch and start up with, “Hey, I thought she was MY best friend!”…maybe even about either of us, I’m going to explain a couple things about the whole “best friend” thing, as it applies to me…and Chicks with Balls.

I’ve actually always hated the term. I feel guilty using it to describe someone I think is wonderful to someone else I think is wonderful. So I always try to qualify it…best friend from college, high school, art school, work, Boston, North Carolina, Solon, and so on…as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. I always imagine someone feels “not best” when I say someone else is “best”, so I avoid it.

Similarly, I don’t like when people who may well be MY best friend tell me about THEIR best friend…who is not me. I always feel like saying that phrase I’ve hated since I first heard it on the Brady Bunch, “What am I, chopped liver?” But I don’t ask that, ’cause that’s what losers say…losers who are obviously NOT your best friend. And then what do you do during the polite awkward silence and hurried friendly uncomfortable back-peddle. I’d rather have them think that I have someone else too…lots of them…from different stages of my life, because I’m most definitely NOT chopped liver.

And then there’s the mother of all avoidences of the topic, which some lucky ladies can say, “I married my best friend”…and yes, of course, I can say that too. My husband is my soul mate, the light of my life and my angel here on earth. But, sometimes you need to talk to your actual working best friend about the angelic best friend you married…along with sharing all the other baggage the angelic best friend you married just doesn’t understand as well as the actual working one does.

And many of the Chicks with Balls who posed actually ARE some of my best friends, from various times and stages of my life. They trust me and have indulged me in this outlandish CWB adventure I started, so I do not use the term lightly. I very much cherish them all, and the fun can be rekindled in an instant when I see them again.

That out of the way, I humbly declare that Sharon is my active and actual working best friend. And I know you would want her for YOUR best friend after hanging out with her for a beer or two.
She is the one I would call if I needed bail money and didn’t want my husband to find out. She’s my take-her-for-granted…best friend. She’s my emergency contact on the kid’s school forms…best friend. She’s my crack-up-laughing-whenever-we-see-the-word-“bag”- written-or-spoken-anywhere… best friend (Yeah, picture middle aged lady Beevus and Butthead with cute jeans…and drawn better) Our kids have grown up together, we’ve taken vacations together and had blast after blast…along with some hellish baby/toddler/child experiences that all go in the “stories” pile we laugh at now, even as our torturous teenage experiences pile up. We both have only sons, so we always say, when we’re grandmas and have granddaughters (which of course we will…how could we not?) we’ll have old lady playgroup with them…like we did with our toddler sons. We’ll have walkers and they’ll just be learning to walk…what could be more perfect!

This isn’t going to be a heavy post with a heavy punchline, like some of mine are. Please exhale if you’re waiting for the “Sharon Bomb”…though if we did start digging from the past 14 years or so, there would be loads of family challenges, incredible courage, strength, loyalty, resilience, and support galore…and of course Sharon’s big beautiful curly haired balls. So much impressive courage in such a small friendly woman, it would make your hair curl. Balls so large in fact that a single portrait could not contain them…thus the double portrait.

When I asked her to pose, Sharon agreed instantly but spent months and months mulling over the concept for her balls. She finally decided to make the balls her own and drew a peace sign on one, a heart on the other and flower on the third…because, really, her needs in this complex world are simple and few. For herself and her family, Sharon really just wants peace, love and joy.