Strap On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

by gillis

I missed my daughter’s house league championship game this past weekend. I didn’t see her 4 baskets. And I missed the way she intentionally and aggressively caused an opponent to foul out of the game. I also missed all the high fives, the medals, and the photos. I didn’t sit in the stands and shout the usual cheers that always come out slightly off because I don’t fully understand the game. And I wasn’t there to console her on her team’s second place finish or to tell her how great it’s been to see the team finally come together during the season. And I’m fine with all of that. Strangely fine.

Instead I spent the weekend in New York laughing my ass off with two friends I’ve known since high school. This trip recharged my spirit in a way that I didn’t know it needed. I think I had given up on feeling this light, happy. My heart remains incredibly full from the laughter and loving acceptance that we shared. Lest it sound too much like a Hallmark moment spun out over three days, I should say that much of time was spent overeating, drinking too much and talking about the relative merits of a coffee table photo book of stranger’s crotch shots. And, no, I didn’t take any pictures of strangers’ crotches, but I will neither confirm nor deny that photos of that nature were snapped and swapped over the course of the weekend. When we get together, we are 16 again, minus the zits. Sure the hair is gray, or thin, and the waistlines are thicker (okay, maybe just mine, they’re both pretty fit), but we slip back into our roles.

There is something so delightful about someone else knowing all of the ugly bits of your life and still wanting to be a part of that life anyway. These two people know things about me that could keep me from running for public office. But they’d never divulge them, they just enjoy using them as horribly inappropriate punchlines. In fact, they’d work on my election campaign so they could come to the inauguration party and get any future parking tickets fixed. And vice-versa. Hell, I’d give them each a kidney, but not at the same time. Unless I was brain dead. Then I totally give them both of my kidneys at once. 

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