A Christmas Hug

I hope you don’t mind a little extra saccharine with your blog reading today. Christmas brings out my schmaltzy sentimental side (although I admit I’m guilty of it at other times of the year) and I’m hopped up on sugar.

I must have been a really good girl this year. Not only do I have a few gifts under the tree, but yesterday I got the best gifts of all – a 75-minute visit with an old friend.

We don’t see each other much anymore; our parallel and busy lives keep us apart. Email is good, but seeing each other in person is a rare treat, a delicious gift of catching up and thinking back. There’s no one else I’d rather talk to about snow-packed mountains, distractions and turkeys, the decadence of eating strawberries in March, and which I-80 truck stop makes the best shoo fly pie. There are some things no one else would get and I couldn’t possibly explain.

He was never my boyfriend, my husband, or my boss. We simply met in a windowless room in a building on the campus of our local university and found each other interesting enough to become very good friends. My husband isn’t jealous of our relationship so I make no apologies for it, and I stopped trying to understand what it was we felt about each other years ago. It is what it is and whatever that is makes me happy.

I know he loves chocolate and lemon poppy seed muffins. If he doesn’t agree with me he says so. If I ask for his advice, he gives it without prejudice, bias or fear of saying something I don’t want to hear. His honesty is refreshing, as is his laugh and beautiful smile. I would be content to just sit near him, not saying a word. Of course if we were to try this we’d probably bust out laughing. We do that well.

I can’t compare our hugs goodbye to any other embrace I’ve known. It’s not fatherly or brotherly; it’s not that of a lover or gay friend. He’s a man I’ve thought about on so many levels that there’s no way to nail down one precise familiar relationship everyone would understand. And so I just call it unique. We had two very long, very loving unique embraces yesterday and his warmth and kindness will keep me smiling into the new year.

Yes, I was a good girl this year.

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