Every year at this time I, like a lot of people reflect on my past year. Friends and acquaintances have come and gone. The family‘s grown; the parental figures have aged, and so on. I’ve been fortunate in business and not so fortunate in budgeting my time between my kids, my marriage, my career, and my academic pursuits; so what else is new? This year, for whatever reason, I’ve come full circle in my circle of friends. By full circle I’m referring to the constant renewing of chains that bind, the revisiting of childhood dreams deferred, the playful taunts born of the Poly/City rivalry, and the realization of who we’ve all become. Through all the conversations, visitations, and manipulations, I’ve realized one thing: everyone I hold close to my heart is fucking crazy. Now before anybody gets all crazy about this proclamation, let me explain.
There are several definitions for the word “crazy.” If you’re checking, I’m referring to Webster’s third entry; intensely enthusiastic, passionately excited, and entry number seven, perfect (slang). If you’ve followed along this year, you’ve no doubt been introduced to some if not all of my dear friends. Without naming names, I’ll try to sum up each one. However, if you like playing games, you can match their actual names to the one’s given them during the year. The real names of the people I’ve written about are: Toni, Craig, Kevin, John, Eva,Trent, and Donna.
Toni, always enthusiastic and giving, but secretly claims to suffer from seasonal depression (yeah, right), was crazier than ever this year. She gave more than she will ever receive, held a family together, challenged a family to keep a tradition alive despite the divisiveness of another, maintained a career, launched a company, and served on a PTA board. She’s “freakin” crazy!
Craig, the only man I’ll ever love unconditionally, lived and prospered in a foreign country, maintained a loving relationship, philosophized about it all, traveled over an ocean to reconnect with a family, pursued a degree, and maintained a friendship twenty-some years in the making. He’s a lunatic!
Kevin started college, launched a writing career, repaired the relationship between him and his brother, said goodbye to a parent, checked into rehab, checked out of a bad relationship, stalked me relentlessly, and made a lifelong friend. He’s a nut!
John inspired a writer, cared for a child not his own, made someone laugh daily, took a walk that changed a life, made a dog’s last days wonderful and painless, lost a friend, and stalked someone from a far but not in a creepy way. He’s out of his mind.
Eva supported a family, took on more than any mother of grown children should have to, had more energy than people a third of her age, cooked like crazy, shopped for the masses, sponsored a family’s vacation, loved unconditionally, and did it all looking flawless at age eighty-one. Outrageous!
Trent reconnected with friends previously lost, wrote intelligently, responded with conviction, lived and prospered where others have failed, educated a nation, inspired spirited debates, and made someone think about something bigger than herself almost daily. He’s clearly gone around the bend!
Donna, craziest of all led a revolution, sent a child off to the Marines, maintained her role as “Ms. Dalloway,” got well, revisited a friendship, forgave a friend, cared for two wild and crazy pups, and made some really good decisions. She should be locked up!
I’ve often said, “The only trustworthy are the crazy people; at least they’re consistent!” My friends are consistently inspiring me to be a better person, reminding me that the world and all that’s in it is not our’s alone, family is non-negotiable, changing a life doesn’t mean changing who you are, and no matter where you are in the world, reach out, caring not who reaches back but about sincerity of the effort. Happy Reflecting!
- How do I explain my crazy family without looking crazy? (ask.metafilter.com)
- True Friendship (socyberty.com)