Do you have chocolate?
There are some things about which I am only an inch deep. I know this may come as a shock.
You don’t have to be a chocoholic to enjoy my company. Some of my favorite people must avoid dairy, and we soldier on. At some point in our friendship, you just have to know that you may be yanked mid-sentence like a dog on a leash into a bakery with me if I see something that demands examination.
One of my favorite memories of living as an exchange student in Germany is stopping for kuchen, which is what they affectionately called the extra meal that many Europeans enjoy in the late afternoon. I lived with a family during my time there, and although my German “Mutti” and I did not speak each other’s languages very well, she was fond of taking me out for kuchen (cake).
I never refused.
She had her favorite places to go, sometimes underground, and always spectacular. I was 17 at the time, and Germany was magical, even in the February rain. We would duck in from atop cobblestone streets – and what greeted us in every cafe was a glowing glass case full of cream, fruit, nut, and chocolate-layered confections, each one taller than the last. My European blood lines cried out for this tradition that at home had been saved for celebrations. My memories of going out for kuchen with Mutti flavor my thoughts about serendipitous indulgence. I love to blend my friendships with a little chocolate when I can.
We all have our things, don’t we? When you’re getting into new friend habits, you start to learn what types of fun your friends like best. Will you be sitting-and-talking friends or going-and-doing friends? Or both?!
I grew up in a sports family but somehow I never caught the love of the game. You know, the game: baseball. My brothers, born first, soaked up all my mother’s sports-loving genes and I was left with a thimble full. Just enough to understand the romance of having a team that you call your own that changes the way you spend your time from April through October.
I’ll embarrass myself (or just stay quiet) with my ignorance of baseball slanguage just to watch Mark and Eric come alive. In October, the dream of the Red Sox getting to the World Series again causes heart palpitations almost unsafe for men their age. I love them so I know it’s not uncommon to be standing near them and to be abruptly shushed. The score. They must see the score.
We all have passions that bring spice to life, some of them culturally acceptable, and others, funky and idiosyncratic. I have a friend who is a mad quilter who makes wall-hangings that whimsically recreate landscapes. I love that about her!
Whatever it is that you and your friends hold dear, respect it. These things are attached like dew-drenched webs to our identities in ways we can never untangle.
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