Wednesday, December 15, 2010

LOFT LIFE: Addicted to friendship

When I was 12 years old, a new girl moved into the house catty-corner to mine. I took the first opportunity to greet her, say welcome, and went a bit farther in stating that since she was new, and probably didn’t know anyone, I would be happy to be her friend.
Her response: “That’s weird.”
Okay, so she didn’t appreciate my bold beginning. I guess that’s when I learned that people need you to walk them into things gradually, like in The Little Prince, where he learns that even though he wants to befriend the fox, he has to tame him first. Seems like a lot of energy for what you know is a done deal, but then, socialization has always been my weak area.
So I haven’t repeated that social faux pas in 50 years, dutifully taking the time to behave as though we have to do the taming thing. Until this fall. That’s when I met Sue T. at a trade show booth in Hartford, CT. My instantaneous intuitive assurance that this was going to be a good friend took over.
Strangely, we had booked a weekend in the Lake George area, and the only room available in the Lake George area in order to attend a Christian conference my husband found out about. The problem was, I read the reviews for this motel, and the reviewers said it was dirty, smokey, and “don’t stay there.” Ick. So I was reluctant until discovering the Lake George booth at the expo. The Lake George booth was the ONLY tourism booth at this trade show. Now tell me THAT is a coincidence!
So for some unknown reason--ok, it is a known reason for anyone who truly knows me and my wild intuitions--I said to this perfectly normal looking woman--”Hey, haven’t you always wanted to have a B&B?”
She looked a bit shocked, and then admitted that she really had thought about it. I wasn't shocked at all. As I said, I am intuitive. In the Myers-Briggs thingy, I am one BIG "N" (intuitive). The other areas pale in comparison to my somewhat mystical (Christian) awareness of the spiritual.
“Well,” said I, “this is your chance to try it out. Why don’t we pay you instead of this horrible motel, and we could stay at your house.”
“I don’t think so,” she replied, a bit taken back.
“But, really, it would only be sleeping there. We will be at this conference all  day and most of the evening--and it’s only for three days.”
She was silent.''

I suppose caution is necessary. I mean, there are axe murderers and such out there. So I in no way begrudge the hesitation, even though I knew she knew this was an intriguing, and positive, offer. I thought I would help.
“Do you pray?” I asked
“Um, my husband does,” she answered. And there was more discussion about the merits of Promise Keepers for our men, because it was that org that got her husband and mine praying regularly.
“Well, here is my card. Why don’t you ask him to pray about it, and get back to me. Oh, and would there be breakfast too?” I pushed, chuckling to myself that even I really could see how strange this sounded.
About a week later, after what I suspect was much churning, and maybe some praying, I got a lovely email telling me that she had a gut feeling this could be OK and that we could, indeed, stay with her family, in the spare room.
Wow. I was a tad uncomfortable that my nudging had really resulted in affirmation, but I, like her, had a gut feeling. This was a person I could relate to, and she was someone I really saw as becoming a long-term friend. And, she reads my blog. And, she LOVES making breakfast.
So we stayed, and upon arrival, I think there was an appraisal by Sue's husband and son that perhaps we weren't axe murderers, even though this request was a bit scary in this strange world of ours. It was a lovely two nights with amazing breakfasts--better than at most B&B's, made with such TLC that I know this will not be the end of Sue's breakfast culinary career.

We had a lovely weekend at the conference, but truthfully, I was more excited about finding Sue and her family than the messages, albeit inspiring, at the conference.

Sue and I have become correspondent friends. I don’t know if I will ever actually see her again, but I hope so. She is a fabulous cook, and I suspect that a little encouragement will find her doing what she loves--cooking for people and sharing her talent for seeing the exceptional in the ordinary, which she applies with flair in the kitchen and on the domestic front.
“You could be the next Rachael Ray,” I encouraged.
“I was thinking more, Martha,” she said.
I guess that says it all. Deep down inside she knows she is destined to share her homemaking talents with many. I hope I have been a catalyst to get her moving sooner in that direction. That’s what friends do. What a trip!