Friendship, Utah, And Doris

4 Apr


I’ve been in Utah for the past few days, eating fry sauce and grasshopper shakes, seeing friends and family.  Utah, Utah, Utah.

I have such a complicated relationship with this state.  I wonder if everyone does with their home?  Is Utah especially fraught?

It seems all of Utah is a small town.  I know this can’t be true, and yet, while in line at Cafe Rio today, there were four separate conversations with four separate groups of people who knew someone I was with.  We are all interconnected.  Probably related, too.

It was such a needed day.  I MISS THIS.  I miss my friends who are really my sisters at this point.  How we can sit down and cheer on the big meal.  How we can share our deepest fears and hopes and ugliness, how we can support each other anyway.

There’s a thing with old friends that can’t be replicated elsewhere and every day I wonder if California is worth that.  How can I replace Amy, the girl who reads my mind, the girl whose twisted heart turns in the same way as mine?  My sister, after 16 years.

How can I replace Breanne? My friend whose knowledge on every subject baffles me, whose opinion I want on everything?  How can I replace her humor, her resourcefulness, her absolute Bre-ness?

Or what about Mandee?  The most gentle, kind, graceful soul in every room.  The girl who tries so hard, who never gives up, who loves our friendship like I’ve always wanted a friendship to be loved.

And then there’s Caitlan.  With her way of bringing spirituality into all conversations.  With her intense passion for EVERYTHING, with her concern for random celebrities, and her pet causes and her desire to save the world.

These girls are part of my soul, the people I choose to surround myself with because they understand me and accept me in ways I can’t find anywhere else.

I miss them every day.  In an ideal world we all live next door, watching TV together, playing Rock Band through the night, living and laughing and just being with each other.

I recently saw the movie Hello My Name is Doris which is wonderful and you should see it right away.  It’s a character study executed flawlessly by Sally Field, not Sally Fields as I always have to look up.

It’s the story of a woman with my perfect fashion, a woman who wonders what she’s done with her life.  Who daydreams and hoards and falls in love with a coworker.

My favorite scene in the movie, though, doesn’t have to do with any of those things.

It takes place after Thanksgiving when Sally (Doris) is quite upset.  Her best friend Roz hurries over with a bag full of Thanksgiving leftovers.  Sally sobs into her arms and says she’s a joke to everyone and she has nothing to look forward to.  Roz simply says, “You have two kinds of stuffing.”

There’s no judgement in this scene, though there could have been.  Roz shows up.  She doesn’t berate Doris for any of her actions.  She just gives her two kinds of stuffing and tells her it’s all right.

There’s another scene, later, where it’s Sally and Roz and some other girlfriends helping Sally address a lifelong problem she’s never tackled.  Sally surrounded by those who love her.

I’ve been thinking about female friendships lately and always.

The advice they give you when you’re young, how boys come and go but friendship is forever, that advice is solid.  That advice, I’m learning applies even to adulthood when we think we know the boys we will always have.  When even long-term commitments and we-think-forevers are called into question, it’s Roz at the door with two kinds of stuffing and no judgement.

It’s your girlfriends who come help you with your big, lifelong struggles.

Or least it’s mine.

The worst part of adulthood is being away from those you love every day.  Childhood with your family all around and your friends for 8 hours a day, no one tells you this is it.  It only happens once.

Because I know, even if I lived in Utah, I couldn’t see my girlfriends every day.  They have jobs and children and husbands and mortgages.  They have families of their own, obligations and real life.  I would see them, more, sure, but not enough.  Never enough.

And so I press on.  I don’t know the answers to all of this, nor do I think I’ll ever have them.



I do know, however, that I have two kinds of stuffing.


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