The Friend That Made Me Me – Ginny

I debated running this post because making it public makes me feel reserved and British and oh-this-is-far-too-self-aggrandising-and-good-Lord-stop-trumpeting,-woman.  But I’m doing it.  In the name of ignoring our critical voices, I’m doing it.  Because it’s beautiful writing and if it was written about anyone else I’d have it up on the blog in a nanosecond, no questions asked. 

This is a post by Ginny.  It’s brilliant.  That is all:

 

She’s the sort of friend I wish I had back at university. You know the type I’m talking about; the kind of friend who would talk you out of one kind of trouble only to place you at the epicentre of another.  She’s the kind of woman who would have done me a damn lot of good during my ‘dark days’ in my early twenties.  I’m sure, with her in my life at that point, that darkness would have lasted mere months rather than the two years it did.  I’m sure she would have told me that quitting school was okay and being unrestrained at that age was limitless; I should sow my wild oats, I should travel the world, I could always go back to school, it would still be there-  but I should always make sure to ring my mum on Sunday, just to let her know I was okay.

She’s the sort of friend I should have had back when I was eleven.  You know the type I’m talking about; the kind of friend who’s the first ‘nerdy girl’ that gets to kiss the boys and lets you know what it’s all about.  She’s the one who would have taught me how to play backgammon (because she learned how to play when she was three, or some other crazy age when no child should be interested in backgammon).  She’s the friend who would have regaled the playground with stories of her already colourful childhood, while we all sat entranced by her beautiful words- only having travelled as far as our front gardens.

At 16?  She would have stayed behind after that covert party I threw while my mum was out of town on business, helping me make sure my house was in pristine condition so I didn’t get found out by my cat that was caught playing with the one bottle top left over from the whole thing (true story). After being caught?  She still would have vouched for me.  She would have been part of the debauchery, but owned up to being part of it, so my punishment wouldn’t have lasted until I was 30.

She’s the sort of friend I could have likely done with when I got engaged.  She would have been the best organisational monster you could ask for.  More anal retentive than I (oh yes, friends, it is possible).  Spread sheets and time charts and gift lists, oh my! Her ability to span continents would have been unmatched by even the best 747.  Helping me plan a transcontinental wedding in less than a month probably wouldn’t have even made her break a sweat.

As it happened, I met her in my mid-20’s…on the internet. 

We met in that age old format known as the chat/interest forum.  Don’t freak out now n00bs, that is what some of us interweb nerds used to talk to one another on before the proliferation of Facebook and Twitter.  Only more geeky, yes, a bit less about that-one-guy-you-met-that-one-time-at-that-one-thing-who-was-interested-in-that-one-thing-you-did-that-one-time-and-then-made-you-his-friend-on-Facebook-so-you-can-know-every-time-he-does-that-one-thing-that-he-does-with-those-other-people-you-don’t-know-the-other-times-he-does-that-one-thing-again-and-again. (phew!)

I can say that we didn’t always agree, and probably got the wrong idea about one another once or twice because-try as you might- you can’t always convey what you think is clever sarcasm in writing. 

But that b.s.? All the stuff above? Well, I would say it doesn’t matter. She’s three years my junior. Had I met her in my teenaged years, I probably would have thought of her as an annoying little sister type (rather than friend).  You know, the little sister that always seems to do things bigger and better than you in school?  I’m glad I don’t know her that way.  I’m also happy that we met when things on the internet seemed to move at a snail’s pace, because I’m pretty sure that I would certainly feel like an old lady running a double marathon these days where the dissemination of information goes worldwide before you can think to stop and catch your breath.

I’m glad I know her as the woman she is.  I’m happy I got to know her the way I do.  She and I are the type of friends who should never have been.  Distance and circumstance attempted to push us apart on numerous occasions.  Both of us powered through somehow.  How?  I dunno, ask fate- that crafty lady, fate. She sometimes gets her wires crossed makes you look past the people you should be looking at.   We became friends as ADULT WOMEN.  I say that in all caps because you can’t mess with that shiz.  She’s who she is and I am who I am.  Yes, we have grown a bit in one another’s presence, but we were pretty much fully cooked when we met.  We will continue to be who we are with input and influence from one another but in the end we’ve already been fired in the kiln, we can change our colours, but we’ve already been moulded.

I think about it now.  I think that if we had met back in the day we might have been enemies or, worse, indifferent towards one another.  I may have seen her as a pain in the ass rather than a stich in my side.  If it were ‘modern days’ I may have passed her over on the Facebook because she listed the wrong political stance (you’ll have to let me know if FB actually has a political stance as I’m not on it) that was opposite to my own, even if she did it as a joke.

As it is…

 

She’s in my life now.  We made it as friends, even if it started over the internet and even if it wasn’t always easy. She made a 5,000 mile move less harrowing for me because I knew I already had a friend waiting for me.  We’ve spent birthdays together and danced until the early hours of the morning in too high heels.  I went to her wedding. On her invitation.  That shit’s real.  Real…friendship.  I’d like to think so anyway.  I want to be in her life. I want to be there to toast her when she gets a  promotion, or she’s decided to move to Fiji, or maybe for the big announcement that she’s decided to swim the Atlantic, just because (I’d likely join her).

 I want to be there when she tells me she’s going have a baby. Or she’s finally getting a cat.

Meeting someone IRL from the internet can be a huge let down, or it can exceed your expectations.  We took the risk. And we did this many years ago when people generally didn’t plan parties/meet-ups.  That long ago time when you looked at invitation for lunch from an internet friend with a wary eye.  When it was completely feasible that the person on the other end of the computer was a sexual predator with a penchant for nail polish and Smurfs.  Or worse, you think you’re meeting Bonnie and Bruce shows up.  

We forged a friendship.  If you’re thinking about meeting that person you find interesting …take the leap.  It seems to be a lot easier these days.  And maybe Bruce will turn out to be a nice guy in the end.

Believe it.

Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Friend That Made Me Me
22 interesting thoughts on this

21 Comments

  1. Posted March 14, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Look! The friend is Anna K! Awww. Such a lovely read. Brought a tear to my eye. Fabulous fabulous writing Ginny. Long may your excellent friendship last.

    X

  2. Posted March 14, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    You guys have got to stop making me cry in the morning!

    Xxx

  3. Rach M
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous piece. Wholeheartedly agree that Anna K is the bee’s knees. Xx

    • Ginny
      Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      So are you Rach!

      She may be the bees knees, but I’m am definitely the horses forehead…you could print a magazine on that thing! x

  4. Posted March 14, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Whooooooop!!! Amazing. Hooray for internet friends and people you meet and love as an adult.

  5. Posted March 14, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Oh you gave it away the twist at the top! Stop being all modest and let the lady spin her yarn! Love, love, LOVE it. I need to know if you really were the first nerdy girl to snog a boy now, K.

    Px

    • Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Ah, Pensky, i debated just letting the story be told, but I figured not everyone would guess, and also the “critical voice” thing is a valid conversation to have…why should I feel like I’m trumpeting just because someone wrote nice things about me, you know? More on this in another post!

      And I was a nerdy girl who had my first (proper) kiss at 14…I remember thinking OH MY GOD THIS IS EASY WHAT WAS I WORRIED ABOUT?

  6. Mahj
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Oh man, im totally dim and didn’t see the twist till the photo!
    This was monumental. Ginny and Anna K are both monumental! Best friends rock!

    xoxo

  7. Zan
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Awww just fabulous! Great writing, everyone should have a friend like that :)

  8. Alex D
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Lovely piece! I met three internet weirdies from an internet forum a few years ago & can honestly say they have become my best friends. Our meeting was pure happenstance & I am so grateful for the medium that brought us together – the t’interweb. Huzzah for the internet weirdies!

    P.S. Ginny I still love you a little bit, although today you haven’t mentioned cake…’tis therefore a good day for the diet. x

    • Ginny
      Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Alex, I just made a banana walnut loaf with sweetened cream cheese filling. Would you like to come round for tea? x

  9. Alex D
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Damnit, it’s Fat Fighters tonight! Tomorrow won’t count though, so save me a slice or ten. Will reciprocate by bringing sugar free, taste free diet cake. You can use it as a doorstop or similar.x

  10. Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Ah you lot, I’m glad you like this post. I love it, and I’m very lucky to have a friend like Ginny who can make feelings words.

  11. Lucy
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    My cats are called Bonnie and Bruce – true story :-)

  12. Posted March 14, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Hoorah for internet friends! (and for Anna K)

  13. Steff
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Most heartwarming story ever – I now have a huge grin painted on my face which is in stark contrast to the stressfest that is my day at work (and it’s not even 11am!). Thanks ladies!! x

  14. Posted March 14, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I confess. I read the intro and skipped to the photo to check I was right in my guess. Bad me. Nonetheless, a fantastic piece of writing Ginny. Put a huge huge grin on my face!

    I met quite a few people on Internet forums back in the day. Several of them are still very excellent friends and are coming to my wedding. One of them is the groom. I think it’s an interesting but brilliant way to meet friends, it forces you to become friends judging only on words and thoughts and opinions and humour. Being liked for myself online gave me the confidence to be myself offline.

    K x

    • Emily
      Posted March 14, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Me too! Never did have any patience….

      What a fantastic piece of writing. xxx

    • Roz
      Posted March 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      I also sneaked a peek at the photo! What a lovely piece of writing, it makes me wish I knew Anna K too :D x

  15. Posted March 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I am SO glad you decided to post this, K.

    Ginny, it’s an epic piece of writing and so, so beautiful. You should be really proud.

    This has really made me smile, I’m going to make sure I tell all my friends how much I love them…

  16. Gemma
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s actually true that Anna is all those things, and I don’t think it’s at all creepy that I can avowedly say that having only met her 1 1/2 times. Yay for Ginny for showing her the love.

One Trackback

  • By Owls, Vows and Cupcakes: A K Wedding on January 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    [...] A very good, married friend of mine gave me the slap I needed.  “Anna, fuck “should””, she said. “You’re marrying Mr K.  Everything else is secondary”. [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About

Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

More here.

image by Lucy Stendall Photography

Find me a random post

Find:

Follow: