I had dinner with an old friend last week. This friend was a former co-worker and a confidant. We shared lots of good times at the daycare and even better times away from it. We took a vacation together, my first grown-up vacation, and had a blast. I will never forget sitting in the airplane ready to take off and she looks at me all panicked and says, "You know? The last plane I was on had to have an emergency landing, with foam, blowup slides and the whole bit? I'm kinda freaked out." (paraphrasing) Serious, she waited until we were ready for take off to tell me this! We had some times! We were hit on by the mob, I held her hand through her first tattoo, and I still think of her anytime I hear the word Hoover. We were a dynamic duo!
We shared our joys and several heartaches. We watched one another get married and embark on a new life. We kinda lost one another as life and husbands, and babies got in the way. I always spoke fondly of her and her humor. I missed her.
About 6 months or so ago, we reconnected through the magic of facebook! (hardy har har!) It was funny because we both frequent the same small restaurant here in town and it always happens to be within days of one another. We still laugh about our adventures (we actually nearly broke the door off a rental car on the war to Disneyworld. Good times!).
I became obvious due to our conversations on facebook and our status updates that we are still the same people, but our worldview is a little different. She would refer to herself as conservative, and I am anything but. What I like is that we respect one anothers opinions and the right to have them. I got a message from her a couple weeks ago saying that we should plan a playdate and talk about things people say you shouldn't discuss, religion and politics. We set a date.
Last week I got to hug the neck of my friend. She is a mom of seven and homeschools. I have 3 kids and a liberal hubby. She is very grounded in her catholic religion, I attend an evangelical church. She is not happy that Obama is president, I worked for him in the election. We talked and talked and talked until they kicked us out of the mexican place at closing. We laughed, boy did we laugh. I thought I may have an asthma attack at a couple points.
We broached the hard subjects. We talked about politics, we talked about same sex marriage, we talked about welfare, and we talked about religion. Mostly we talked about our lives and our beliefs. Do you know what we found? We found that even though we may disagree on the big stuff we can still see one another's points. WE found we are not that far apart on most things.
She was talking about how she has a friend who closely resembles her beliefs even though she is not catholic. This friend, while holding most of the same values and principles dear, aggravates my friend. Do you know why? Arrogance. She does not value differing opinions. She is right and if you disagree, you are wrong you are of no worth to her. In her book wrong = bad.
My friend gave me an example. She told me about a coworker she had while she was working part-time. This coworker and her were close. They talked, they hung out. This coworker went to Canada and married her partner. She is still friends with this person. She loves this person. This person is welcome in her house. My friend wholeheartedly does not agree with her choices. But she still loves her. She "allows" her children to be around her. This boggles the mind of the arrogant woman. My friend said, "The problem is, she doesn't see her as a person first. I do and I value that."
My friend did not judge me and my choices. She was more than happy to give her opinion and tell me about her choices, but FIRST she saw me as a person. She saw me as a PERSON who happened to vote for Obama, not an Obama supporter who is her enemy. Just like she saw her friend as a PERSON who is homosexual, not that "gay girl". My friend said that her children were aware of this woman's choices and her lifestyle. They know what they as a family believed, but they know that people are able to make their own choices and we cannot disrespect them for that.
In my book she embodies the "love thy neighbor" rule. And I am glad I can call her friend.
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