reverb10-16: She freaks me out, but sometimes that’s a good thing

Umm. Susan that dude's made of stone, so he won't talk to you. Stop saying "hi".

Susan collects friends the way some people collect cats or pig figurines or spores.

If Susan doesn’t make friends with someone that would be weird.

Sometimes when we’re out shopping and we’re slowed down by the 20th person she wants to stop and talk to, I say, “Will you stop saying hi to everyone?”

But she wouldn’t be Susan if she didn’t.

Almost all the friends I currently have in Ottawa came my way because of Susan (except my high school friend Allison who saved me from jail time after Colicky Baby #1). In Malcolm Gladwell terms, she’s a connector. I’m a quasi-hermit.

Susan is charming and relentless (at times to the point of annoyance). The fact that she dropped my baby when I first met her and I still became friends with her is a testament to her incredible charm–or mind control.

We’re very different. She’s an art geek and I’m a jock; she likes to attend parties where she hardly knows anyone; I do not. She loves yoga dance and I will not.

She’s fearless in ways I’m not. When we had bed bugs, Susan came over and helped me steam furniture. When another friend was faced with the same scourge (not from my house, thankfully), I couldn’t bring myself to help with the work involved, except to leave booze on her porch.

She says stuff out loud like “post-coital drip” and talks about menstrual cups just to gross me out. I get grossed out.

But we’re similar in ways that matter, such as our love for our families and our endless appreciation for fart jokes.

How did she change my perspective on the world this year? I learned to not take her for granted.

She went away. She and her family moved to Brussels last year because of her husband’s work. I felt adrift. I managed. The network that she set up floated along, but her absence was keenly felt.

I was supposed to visit her in Brussels, but I planned a bike trip to Mallorca instead. She forgave me and then hopped aboard the trip, despite the fact that she doesn’t bike. She became the team mascot. We laughed and laughed on that trip.

When I cycled myself into oblivion during a mountain ride, she took care of me. She covered me in blankets and brought me tea and stomach-friendly foods.

Susan and her family have returned, and there was much rejoicing in this house and in many houses across Ottawa.

Susan is a great friend, who has taught me a lot about being there for others.


I’m participating in a 31-day blogging challenge called #reverb10. Each post is a response to a writing prompt from a different author. The goal of the exercise is to reflect on 2010 and set goals for 2011. My personal challenge is to respond to each prompt in an hour or less. So far, I’ve blown my deadline each time. But tomorrow is another day.

Today’s prompt was from Martha Mihalick:

Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?

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  1. I loved the tidbits of stories you mentioned in this post – together they paint such a beautiful picture.

  2. “dropped my baby”….Stop it….that is too funny. Not in a sick way but….reallly???

  3. Wonderful tribute.

    Fart jokes? Really? I didn’t think there were any women out there who truly had an appreciation for this highest of the high arts. I stand corrected!

  4. I loved this, but then I love all of your posts.

  5. Wonderful! “Charming and relentless.” She sounds relentlessly charming!

  6. Doesn’t Brad say that every time? ah, there are worse things to say.

    Susan is freakin’ amazing. When I met her she said “yeah, I met Patti when they moved into the neighbourhood and she didn’t think they’d be there long so she didn’t want to be friends…but I forced her.” And in her defense, your babies were very wiggly.

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Patti Murphy, Patti Murphy. Patti Murphy said: She's a freak, but I love her #reverb10 #friends […]

  8. I could only be so lucky as to have someone write me a tribute like this. She sounds like the bomb.

  9. Beautifully funny. Just like you and Susan.

  10. this is lovely. she sounds like a great friend ( and by the way, so do you) love the photo, too:))

  11. This is just the sort of friendship all women should have! You’re both lucky. I have a feeling both of you are hysterical to be around.

  12. […] know Susan, that whackjob you met at playgroup who dropped your baby and keeps trying to be friends with you? Go ahead and be […]

  13. […] it’s time to dance. I’m at my friend Susan’s place and I’m ready to party like it’s 1999 in my purple Dr. […]

  14. […] only to peanuts or people with IBS who have exactly the same food triggers as I do.  But you know Susan. She has to be friends with everyone and the more difficult your dietary situation the […]

  15. […] other day, I was in Chapters with my friends Allison and Susan. I reached into my pocket and felt a marble. The first thought that sprang to […]

  16. […] a lovely gift from my friend Susan, who is as much an appreciator of scatalogical humour as I am. Thank you from the bottom of […]

  17. […] look up and see my friends, Susan and Helen was humbling.  Helen brought her husband along too. Thanks, Rick for agreeing to come […]

  18. […] Susan read my last post and called me the next day. […]

  19. […] talked my friend Susan into going. I think she forgot about it because after I registered, I called her and said, […]

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