Thursday, January 20, 2005

Just Didn't Have Much To Say

While I was pondering why I hadn't posted anything in a while, I thought back over the last week or so and how I just didn't have much to say. This in turn reminded me of an old friend, Camille. Now this was before everyone had answering machines or voice mail, and the only way to really screen a call was to have someone else in the house that was willing to answer the phone and lie for you. Upon inquiring what she'd been up to since I missed her when I'd called the day before, she was the first friend who said, "Yeah, I was home. I just wasn't receiving." Not receiving visitors. What a genteel concept in these technological days of instant access.

Camille was one of those people who could really stir up love/hate feelings, And the story continues here. and she was certainly memorable. And I learned a lot of lessons about friendship from Camille. This lesson in "Not Receiving Visitors" was a good one for someone who always wore their feelings on their sleeve. To have a close friend (and running buddy at the time) who didn't want to talk to me, but it didn't mean they were mad. What a concept! haha

And I got to see some lively JoMille fights, too. The only time I'd seen couples fight was when they were on the verge of breaking up and just couldn't hide the animosity anymore. But I got to see JoMille fight and make up just like longterm couples do. More than one egg flew across their kitchen, I'm sure. And they did make it for another ten years or so after that. Given different circumstances, they might have weathered the bad storms that came their way.

One of my most important realizations about friendship came during our association. If you commit to being a friend, accept them like they are. Don't try to change them. A brief mention is one thing, but reminding someone of their bad habits at every turn only builds resentment. I remember distinctly the day I went over to Camille's house, handed her a grocery bag and inside was a box of salt, a six-pack, and a pack of cigarettes, and I told her, "I love you unconditionally."

And I did. Our friendship continued and things were much more mellow without the nagging. We talked gardening and plants, the country life, the local characters. We would read each others writing and being the achiever she was, she went on to make a career of it. My only friend nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

She did like to talk and I was primarily her audience. But she moved away. We exchanged letters (I still have hers) and phone calls. And even though the closeness faded over time and distance, we still kept in touch. And she continued to achieve all sorts of accolades.

And she embraced those old bad habits and held them dear no matter who was in her life at the time nagging her about it. The candle that was her life burned out fast, but it was hers to burn and I think she was quite determined to do so. Hmm. Camille. I still think about her after all these years. We had some fun times.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this story a lot! It gave me warm fuzzies!

7:35 AM  

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