Saturday, March 23, 2013


I've written about single friends, blog friends, and even pushy (ex) friends. This is about the ages of my friends.

I suppose our personalities dictate our social habits--at least that's one aspect. Never the life of the party, my pattern was that of having a best friend to hang out with as a child and teen, a few treasured friends as a college student and during my twenties, and then back to a best friend at twenty-eight; however, seldom losing any of the treasured friends along the way. Marriage and children changed things. The single friends became fewer because they had time and I didn't. The pushy friends had to go; they were not a good usage of my time. Ahhh, but the rest of the bunch... I'm happy to have.

During my younger years, my friends were within four years of my age. I went to school with them which stands to reason why. When I began working professionally, I met people who were older, and then younger as I became older; however, the friends who I spent time with were still closer to my age.

Having a child opened doors to new friends. I hurried through the church halls with them as we dropped our infants and toddlers off at the nursery. I would eventually spend many years with my younger neighborhood friends in the classrooms of the elementary school. While this was going on, I'd notice women my age on the tennis court or getting into their cars, dressed in heels and cute skirts, going off to work. Our timing was different. Their kids were older.

As the years came and went, do did the seasons of my life. All three kids were in school. I was in my late forties, that time of life when women want to be more than what they've been. I acted upon that need which resulted in connecting with those women who were on the tennis court and elsewhere when I had toddlers. I walk with them. I do Book Club with them. I have lunch with them. Some are younger than me; some are older.

I appreciate them all.

With my few, young, "still-making-babies" friends, I respect this time in their lives; a time devoted mostly to the needs of their families. I know that they are at the play groups and in a teaching/nurturing mode all day long. From them, I am able to pull up happy memories of my kids as babies, and also to feed off of their youthful outlooks as they plan bright futures for themselves and their children. Funny, I'm old enough to be their parent, yet we share the bond of being mothers who have children at home.

From my friends who are a mere decade behind me (give or take a year or two), I keep up with the happenings of my children's peers; i.e. at school, church, around the neighborhood, on facebook, etc. I learn of "kid" opportunities to take advantage of and of situations to avoid. I exercise with these friends, have fun with them, and carpool with them; they are my village. Like the youngest group, though, they are not yet seasoned.

Which brings me to the last group of friends--the veterans who are in their fifties and sixties; the wedding planners, the grandmas, the travelers. From them, I can forget I have kids for a while... if I want too; even when they talk about theirs. Our topics of conversation have the widest range: from frivolous to funny to serious; and when challenging issues arise in their lives, they are calmer than my younger friends. I am one of them, too.

Eventually, I will spend time with friends who are over seventy because I will be closer to seventy, and I will enjoy them, too.

Do your friends vary in age? Are they women, men, or both? Who are you most comfortable with?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Do You Snoop?

Do I snoop? Hmmm... I'll let you be the judge.

One of my best friends and I babysit each other's dogs which is a very nice and convenient arrangement. As all pet owners know, "Who's going to watch the baby?" ...oops, I mean the dog, cat, guinea pig, snake, turtle, fish, or whatever dependent creature(s) residing with us, can sometimes be an issue. It's one of the first things we want to check off on our list of things to do before leaving our homes for an extended amount of time. My friend (I'll call her BFF) and I don't have to worry about our dogs unless both of us are on vacation at the same time, and in that case, we hire our friendly neighborhood pet sitter.

So BFF calls me to let me know she'll be gone a day and a half. "No problem," I say, "I'm in town."

On my first trip over to let the two pooches relieve themselves, I notice a pan on her cooktop--a shiny, pretty, new, pine green pan. I just bought a frying pan a couple days ago, an expensive Calphalon, that is a typical black and gray color. Darling Husband bought a smaller one a week prior to my purchase. Our scratched and peeling pans have been on our minds, hence, the sudden interest in cookware.

"Hmmm... I wonder what kind of pan that is?"

I lift it to find the brand name, and...

"Oops, there's liquid in it."

It's a cloudy morning so hardly any sunlight is coming through the kitchen window. Maybe that's why I didn't see anything in the pan; or maybe it's the ol' diminishing eyesight.

"Umph. Why is there water in a frying pan?"   *wishful thinking*

I put my finger in the water just to make sure I'm right.

I'm not.

"Oh, Snap!" as my oldest daughter says.

I grab the paper towels as I watch a line of it drizzle down the cabinet. Six paper towels later and I've hardly made a dent in the mess. And what do I do with them?

Over to the doggy box, I quickly grab a poop bag, a.k.a. a Food Lion bag, to put the greasy paper towels in.


But as you know, grease needs a serious combatant, i.e. soap or a degreaser. I look under the sink where I find Windex, but no Fantastik or 409 spray.

"I'd better spray a little of this Windex on the slippery spot on the floor; wouldn't want anyone to slip and fall."

"I don't know about squirting the cooktop; don't know the effect of this chemical when BFF turns on the burner to cook, plus the grate is greasy, too."

Sooo... I know what I gotta do--fill the sink with hot, soapy water to finish cleaning the cooktop and to dunk the grate.


I pour the remainder of the oil from the pan (that I've splashed soap suds in) into the mess of bagged paper towels and reinforce by putting that bag into another plastic bag. Food Lion bags are notorious for having small holes in the bottom.

My dog, Layla, during this escapade, has eaten a meal from one of BFF's dogs' bowls, so I refill it, say goodbye to the pups and leave; grease bag in hand to put in my outside garbage can.

Was I snooping?

Usually, when in someone's home alone, I don't touch anything that I don't need to touch. Of course, I couldn't help but SEE BFF's fancy cowgirl rainboots on the floor in the kitchen and a ladder leaning against the wall and her new vaccum cleaner still in the box and that!

Okay, so I have gone in the fridge once for some feta cheese. Oh, and once to the cabinet for some vanilla flavor.

But, I must say that I try to avert my eyes from paper work. You never know what's on a letter or document. I'd rather be told by the homeowner than to see and possibly misinterpret on my own.

But a shiny, new pan...