Friday, April 4, 2008

Flashback Friday - my Best Friend ever

I met K back in 1985. We were auditioning for a show together. I thought he was incredibly hot! He talked to me a little, but I was too nervous at the time. Later, he told me he thought I was stuck-up and cold...which only made him like me more :).

We lived on opposite sides of the city (a true east vs west story...made even more difficult by the fact that neither of us was old enough to drive yet) so our relationship, once the show was over, was phone calls and letters. He wrote a great letter!

Eventually, we gave up on trying to be boyfriend/girlfriend, but still remained close friends. We enjoyed each other's company so much, and never ran out of topics for conversation. We always respected each other's space and own lives, but by this time, had made a commitment to each other to always be close friends. It's a commitment that still holds true today.

When I was 18, I was out on my own, living in a studio dump (which I loved) just off of Hollywood Boulevard. K and I still talked often, and saw each other sometimes. We'd made plans for him to come over and hang out on a Saturday night; this was on a Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I learned that I was getting on a plane to Miami on Friday to begin rehearsals for my cruise ship gig. I was so excited, called K (who also had good news; he'd left a message for me that he'd gotten the part of the Wolf in Into the Woods - a performance I'm still sorry I missed), and canceled our "date." Which was sort of a date. We'd already talked about the idea of trying again as a couple. But there was so much to be done. I had to get a passport, pack, close up the apartment, talk my parents into keeping my cat, and go go go.

I spent the next 5 weeks living in a hotel room in Miami. I wrote K a 7-page letter while I was there. We were going back to our letter-writing days.

About a month after being on the cruise ship, I started a cruise ship romance. What was supposed to be a cruise ship romance anyway. Had I not been young and stupid, that's all it would've been.

The day after I started this new relationship, I got a letter from K, where he told me he'd planned to propose to me on that Saturday night. I literally hit my head on the wall behind me.

When I came back from the cruise ship, I was happily in love, waiting for my man to join me. K and I saw each other from time to time. He was one of the few men I've known who only truly wished me happiness, and if that meant someone else, he was not going to stop being my friend.

Needless to say, the cruise ship romance did not last. Of course, by that time, K had moved on to his own long-term relationship. We remained friends through it all.

Then came the father of my children. And the moves. And the children. K and I would go months without talking to each other, and then one of us would pick up the phone and the other would say, "I was just thinking about you." And we'd catch each other up, and laugh about anything and everything and nothing. I'd call him and cry...he'd listen, never judge, never criticize - but occasionally give me a much-needed kick in the rear. I lost count years ago of the times I uttered, "what would I do without you?"

Whenever I was in town, he'd be there. When I moved back permanently 5 years ago, he was there. He took me out for my first much-needed night of drinking. And took care of me when I lost control! He's spent evenings with me and the girls, helping them with homework, watching them sing and dance, and then keep me up WAY too late talking! There are still occasions when I call him with tears in my eyes, and he's still there for me every time. He even baby-sat a few times when I was in school and my parents were out of town. When I moved back into the condo, he was there helping to move a fridge, and going to the grocery store with us, and we all watched "High School Musical" (1 and 2) together.

When he broke up with his long-time girlfriend, of course everyone wanted to know why we weren't now together (even my own daughters). We'd made jokes for years about timing and Destiny hating us, and all sorts of excuses. We talked about it a few months ago, and came up with a list of about 5 reasons why we're not together. The last is really the most important, though. We just don't want to be! We're perfectly content with our relationship as is.

(Although, he did scare the heck out of me the other day. He was talking about his plans for himself over the next year and added at the end, "and then I'm going to marry you." My response, "oh, really?" had him busting up laughing, and I joined in. We agreed, we both needed that!)

We've never had a fight. Not in 22 years. Disagreements? Sure. But we've never been angry with each other, nor have either of us ever doubted our commitment and our love for one another.

Neither of us have made out too well in the marriage-type relationship aspect of life, but we've always had each other's love, respect, and friendship. And we always will.


KG said...

You know, there are people out there who just SWEAR that menand women who aren't gay can't ever really be "friends." But it's just not true! I have lots of hetero male friends but who I never wanted to be more-than that with.

Kori said...

You know, he sounds perfect-for ME! hahahahahha, laughing hysterically here.... :) Great post, April!

Anonymous said...

There is nothing more important than a good friend who is always there for you and for whom you are always there. Great story. I'm glad you and K are able to live in the same city again and be there for each other.

BTW, I LOVE Into the Woods. It may be my all time favorite show. :)

Tara R. said...

No rule says that a girl's best friend can't be male... sounds like you two have a great friendship going.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post about a truly wonderful friendship.

(The romantic in me wants the two of you together, though!)

Do you ever indulge in the what if's about that Saturday night?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Why do I think the curtain hasn't closed on this act yet? ;-)

Great story, and very nicely written.

OHmommy said...

Into the Woods?

That is my all time favorite show. I puffy heart it,

GREAT post!

April said...

LSHM & Tara - I totally agree! He's not my only male friend, either.

Kori - He is a great catch :)

CableGirl & OhMommy- I think all life's lessons are in Into the Woods. I may have even written about it - I'll check my archives.

A Bright Future - of course I've wondered! But I always come back to, if things hadn't gone the way they did, I wouldn't have my 2 beautiful girls, and K agrees that they're totally worth it!

Jeff - who knew you were such a softie :) And K & I still joke about it, but since it hasn't happened by now (when we've had ample opportunity), I highly doubt it. We love each other, but we're both still waiting for a "special someone" to sweep us off our feet. Our friendship has taught me the value of another kind of love.

hugabug1 said...

That sounds like a beautiful and special relationship. How wonderful for you and your girls to have him in your lives. And even more wonderful for him to have you in his.

I have to admit I'd never heard of Into the Woods, so I looked it up in Netflix. It looks like a great movie and I added it to my list. Thanks for the recomendation!

Tui Snider said...

What a beautiful friendship you two have! I love this flashback, it really put me in a wistful mood, thinking about some of the precious friends I have in my life. Sigh... Thanks for blogging about this. :)

Karen MEG said...

What a wonderful post about a very, very special friendship. Friends like him are very hard to come by; and it's easy to see why you would want to treasure it for what it is and not risk "spoiling" it with a romantic relationship.

Mind you, there's no guarantee it would be spoiled either; I mean, never say never, right? Reminds me of "When harry met Sally". Cliche, yes, but I'm sure it happens all the time.

This was a GREAT post!

MarĂ­a said...

I can't be friends with a guy without wanting to bang him. That's why Jason doesn't let me have any male friends.

I'm kidding!!!!

Single Working Mommy said...

I think girls can be friends with guys a lot easier than guys can be "just friends" with girls. While it never be, I think most guys always have that "What if" in the back of their minds.

I thought time and time again "Oh, he is just my friend!" only to find out the "friend" has wanted something more. Sometimes it was good, sometimes not so good. ;)

Nonetheless, none of my male friendships have made it to the 22-year-mark! Congrats on that, and having a truly awesome friend.

Anonymous said...

Rather than being a beautiful friendship, I find it quite sad. It's a story I've heard a thousand times. Guy courts girl, girl rejects guy, guy stays true friend, girl fails miserably at her relationships, guy stays true friend, girl is thankful for true friend. There's an obvious reason why the guy only wants to be friends anymore. You broke his heart one too many times. Like many other women, you just happen to be terrible at relationships. If you really love him, you should be begging him to take you back.

April said...

HugABug - I think you'll have a great time.

MM - I'm glad you liked it!

KM - When Harry Met Sally is a great flick, but just that.

Maria - sure you're kidding...mmhmmm...

Single - Yeah, I've had those kinds of friends, too. I've been very lucky with K that our friendship has survived as much as it has.

Anonymous - someone sounds bitter! I'm sorry you can't quite understand it, but I suppose it's to be expected.

Anonymous said...

I'm not bitter, just realistic. What's there to understand? That he forgave you, and remained your friend unconditionally? I understand that. You're a lucky one. He seems like a wonderful man. Many other women spend the later years of their lives bitter and resentful at their failed marriages and empty love affairs. They don't have anyone. You have a real friend. Not only longer lasting than your other friends, but longer lasting than any of your marriages. My suggestion to you is that rather than "ruining" it, having a relationship with this man would be even more fruitful and just as long lasting. I think it's a shame that it's already been 22 years, but maybe it's never too late to try.

Don't you think it's a little mean to compare this long time friend who has stuck with you through everything to the one night stands and short term marriages with men who are long gone? Admit it, we all know its true - it was a mistake not to have married him in the first place. You can try to rationalize it now, but it's still a mistake and he's still the same man.