Friendships are amazing and wondrous things. In one of my past posts I shared how my female friends are lifesavers for me and that they do so much for my soul. I have friends in my life that date back to my childhood and ones that I have recently met. Each and every one of them brings something to my life that I didn’t know I was missing until I met them. What I find most fascinating about these friends is how much I gain from them even if a few of them are the complete opposite of me. That was never clearer to me until I met Linda O’Conner and discovered how much fun we have together, how similar we are on one level, yet how little we have in common.
I met Linda over a year ago at a writer’s group meeting. It was my first meeting attendance. I didn’t know anyone and kept quiet as I listened to the conversations around me. A woman entered late and as I had an empty seat next to me, I offered to move over and she sat down. We introduced ourselves and over the course of the next hour discovered that we both hailed from New York State; she from Albany, me from Rochester/Buffalo area. We graduated from high school the same year and our birthdays are 10 days apart (she LOVES to remind me that I’m the older one).
We decided then that we needed more time to get to know one another so soon after we met over beers (she likes the dark Guinness kind, I like pale ale) and talked easily for three hours. A new friendship was created, one that I could tell from the outset that would be deep and long lasting. At that time we connected due to striking similarities: we are both writers and both have daughters who, at the time, were giving us major headaches due to their approach to life and the choices they were making. It was during the next year, however, that we discovered just how dissimilar we are.
Linda hates animals; I devote much of my life, time, and money to rescuing them and live with many. She is not at all domestic; she hates to cook whereas I thrive on it. Linda’s idea of a fun night out is sashaying (I mean that literally) up to a biker bar and engaging in conversation with men in leather; I like the Elephant Bar with its fancy appetizers and frosted beer mugs. I love to be surrounded by nature; Linda carries such a profound fear of birds that even the sound of fluttering wings has her diving for cover. She swears often and relishes in telling dirty stories; I slap my hand over my mouth if a profanity slips and blushed profusely during her stand-up comedy act. Linda loves to show off her sexiness in short skirts and cleavage-baring tops; I wear dresses down to my ankles and layer my clothes to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions.
It never occurred to me that we would differ on one thing though and that was at the Las Vegas show, LOVE. After all, we both love Beatles music and who doesn’t enjoy a Vegas extravaganza? Linda apparently. The show was spectacular. From the moment the lights went out I was in awe: the costumes, the aerial acrobatics, the light show, and the creativity that went into the production. I was astounded and clapped my hands in glee throughout. As soon as the show ended I turned to my BFF and exclaimed, “I loved it!” Her response? She hated it! What? How could that be? For Linda the show was too much. Everything I loved about it caused her to close her eyes because it was over-stimulating. For her take on the show, visit her blog post.
As we headed out of the theater we marveled at our friendship; how we could enjoy one another’s company with so many obvious differences between us. I guess it is true that opposites do attract. Linda is a great girl date, we have the best time when we go out together and last New Year’s Eve with us dancing on tables is testament to that. I guess we just experience things differently, that’s all. That’s fine with me; she is a hoot to be with and has helped me, as friends do, in more ways than I can count.
I’m looking forward to finding out more about Linda over the next decades of our friendship, even if that means she’ll never come over to my animal farm and I never step foot into her barren apartment with her empty refrigerator. Perhaps the two of us need to stick with what works best for us: beer and bars!