Sunday, December 13, 2015

If it's Friday, I'm there

Let me tell you how lucky I am. About nine years ago, when I was starting a radio show/podcast, my friend Shirley burst into tears. She was selling chocolates in the shape of affirmations (“You are special,” “You are beautiful.”), and she had LOTS of inventory sitting in her garage. So I invited Linnea – who was starting Alaska Dinner Factory – to my house because we were all in the same boat: small businesswomen floundering.

We added Rebekah and Kory, Lori and Aliza. We talked about printers, web developers, PR needs, pricing. We invited guests to talk with us about various subjects. We promoted each other’s businesses; Lori even volunteered on mine, helping in the radio station. And we did this every Friday at 9 a.m.

We hung on for those Fridays. First we met at Superstar Bakery, then – when Linda joined us – we relocated to Terra Bella. Some businesses closed, some babies were born, some relocation happened. Eventually, we were six: Shirley, Linnea, Linda, Lori, Ellen, and me. And then, we were way more than our businesses. Every Friday at 9 a.m.
We hung in with Linnea through all her lists, thoughts of selling, and the realization things were finally working well after all. We hung in with Shirley through chocolates, a children’s picture book, and a CD. We hung in with Linda through endless staff turnover, remodeling, and now, the launching of brunch and dinner at Terra Bella (!). We hung in with Lori through her phase down and phase out. And Ellen till she moved. They saw me through the end of one thing and the beginning of another. Every Friday at 9 a.m., give or take an hour if it was hard getting up that early.
We hung in with Linnea through her grandmother’s illness, death, and the garage sale because by then, the businesses took second stage. (And because the garage sale saga was such good sitcom material.) After one morning, I actually wrote down the 16 illuminating moments our conversation had sparked: Death, Race, Compassion. Then we added weekends, other little adventures, a special birthday party, field trips. But always Friday. Now maybe more like 10 a.m.

Slowly, as people added friends, the group got large. We couldn’t fit at one table. I had trouble with side conversations, lots of things going on at once, the resultant rattling in my brain. I stopped going. I slept in. But I always knew my Fridays were sitting at the table in Terra Bella.

Things shifted. I returned. We were now a slightly different six. Judith was there, and we took her through garage sales and a new home. Sunnie – who did not have to dance on the table to get in this blog! – joined me and the guerrilla knitters with amazing creations. She sent her husband to argue with Judith’s carpet installers.

Friday night, Judith organized Joke Night at her house. We had to come with at least three jokes. Linnea had a CD of jokes to practice; she wrote them down. Linda brought New Yorker cartoons. Sunnie was sick (second appearance in blog!). We feasted on Judith’s Som Tum, ginger ice cream, and more, and we laughed and laughed. (Judith says I got some bits wrong writing about her winning the Leonard Cohen contest, but she’s okay with it.)

What has this to do with my Third Third? Every now and then, I think our friend-making days are winding down, that most people have already made their bosom buddies. That we did that in college or when we had young children. Then I realize friendships can blossom because we’re all in some new, shared stage. And that friends and getting together can be one of the structures we create for ourselves.

So what about my Friday morning group? Some of us are working, some not. Some have children at home, some not. Some are married, some not. Some are in our Third Third, some not. I don’t know where my Third Third will take me, but this I know: we’ll be at our table Friday mornings at 9 or 10-ish. Count on it.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful!! Barbara you captured Friday mornings beautifully! Also, may I say that I love my straight hair!


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