Recently I received one of the nicest compliments about my writing when one of my oldest friends said “...Keep writing Manth, it keeps me sane.” I was touched by the fact that she eagerly awaits my next blog and even goes as far as “googling” the poetry site I belong to just to read my poetry. There is so much more to what my friend said then even she realises. She is not a sentimental person, nor does she throw compliments about like loose change. She is what I lovingly refer to as my “hard arse” friend. She is the friend I call on when I am drowning in self pity and in need of a “pick me up.” There is nothing better to drag me out of my “pity party” then her complete lack of sympathy and comments like “get over yourself.” One of my favourite stories to tell that demonstrates her complete lack of sympathy is this:
During one of our many discussions about falling pregnant we moved on to the subject of infertility and the cures or rather alternative options available. I mentioned something I had read which incorporated reflexology and acupuncture and how it helps. My friends response was, “So what your saying is, they press a button in your foot and you lay an egg?” Even now as I am writing this there are tears running down my cheeks from laughing so hard. It was such a callous and tactless thing to say, considering the six years it took for me to fall pregnant. If it had come from anyone else I would have retaliated with a vicious lesson in the art of tactfulness and thinking before speaking, but, when you have known someone all your life comments such as that are just part of who they are.
We have many years, memories and stories behind us that have us crying with laughter every time we retell them, from her little pink Uno the Mauritian nick named the “UFU” or “Unidentified Flying Uno,” to waving her police I.D. at some poor security guard telling him rather drunkenly that she worked for the president and therefore would park in his parking. The fact that the parking was likely reserved for the president of the rugby stadium she had park in and not the country’s president was lost to her “Corona” fuddled brain at the time.
Her latest jibs at me have been to get a job as I have "far too much time on my hands" so when I read her message this morning I knew that it was one of the best compliments I have yet to receive because it’s the time I have on my hands that allows me the time to do what I love. Doing what I love doing gives her something to look forward to and helps keep her “sane.”
I believe in the healing power of the written word, it heals both the author and the reader. Knowing that my sentimental ramblings helped someone in some way and that telling the slightly embellished stories of my life has made someone laugh or cry has strengthen that belief. That one simple message of gratitude has reaffirmed my determination to somehow, some day publish.
So here’s to you Inspector, may we forever avoid Blackcurrant Hooch and stick to the Bacardi and Tabs. May you never again have a blistered bum or compete with a bartender named “Flag.” May the friendship that started at birth continue on to the afterlife. Don’t change a thing cos I love you just the way you are but please remove that “Corona” from inside your jeans!