AKA: Step into my parlor, said the Rae to the Sha.
*I’m turning this into a mini-series. If you missed the previous post, click here.
This is me and my friend, Sha. She was my next-door neighbor when I lived in Mexas. (She was powerless to stop my shenanigans when this photo was taken, due to an intense Wii Fit battle.)
I spent literally three months trying to figure out how to make Sha be friends with me.
Here’s a thing: My mother gave me the gift of “connection.” Thanks to her, most human beings are an easy read. I can usually figure out how to make myself interesting or useful to them, thus insinuating myself upon their lives. But I could not, for the life of me, get a lock on Sha. For months I just made dumb small talk or waved in passing as we went on our separate ways.
Finally, I randomly invited her over to the Mexas front stoop one night. Victory. (Few can resist the Front Stoop.)
I’m going to go ahead and say that I still do not have a lock on Sha. For all our similarities (Irish mothers, Atticus fathers, joy of northern sports and random music and strange TV shows) (and beer) (and at least two mutual, excellent amigas) I don’t actually know that much about the inner workings of her brain.
For instance, I still have no idea what kinds of things make her hulk out.**
(I’ve known her long enough to suspect that she DOES, in fact, hulk out. I just don’t know when or why.)
In most friendships, this lack of information makes me uncomfortable so I either overwhelm acquaintances with questions and attention until they spill their guts (or get really angry at me) OR I slowly back away and let them be friends with other, less amazing (less modest) people.
But with Sha, I’m okay with it. Know why?
Sha is queen of the little things. She’s the kind of person who sends you a note or shoots you a text when she gets a hint you’re feeling down. She’s the person who manages to say, “I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but whatever it is, I’m sorry and I’m around” in about three words. She surprises me with random movie or music or literary recommendations. Every time I bring up any hairbrained get-fit-immediately-and-epically-scheme she is a willing participant. She invited me to her wedding even though I’d known her for a total of two months at the time.
Last year, on day one of Recovery, she. Baked. Me. A. Cake.
She went out and bought the pan. And the lid. So I didn’t have to worry about washing or returning. She chose the funnest possible innards (ie: Funnfetti). Even with her temporary gimp neck (no idea how that happened, so I can’t tell the story) she managed to find a way to procure and execute the Wonder Woman logo.
I didn’t need the cake to seal the deal. It has gradually become official (despite her sustained aura of mysteriousness) through a myriad of small, thoughtful interactions: I’m glad I met Sha, and gladder I had a Front Stoop from which to lure her into friendship. Three months of plotting = worth it.
**Edit: “hulk out” is what Lou Ferrigno does when he turns from a normal human being into the Incredible Hulk. It means getting outstandingly angry. Furious. Enraged. Etc…