|Lovely items at Adjectives Market|
But I like adjectives. Words like loyal, generous, encouraging, thoughtful, supportive. These words describe my friendship with Diana that began nearly 15 years ago, when we worked together and shared an office. We found we liked a lot of the same things, grew up in the same part of the country, and came from close-knit families with similar backgrounds. But Diana often leads the way. She tries out new technology, joins groups, attempts new activities. She shares, convinces, recommends, persuades. Not me. I’m sort of a late-to-the-party kind of girl. Not always that eager to try something new.
But my friends don't always pay attention to my protests and give me a push off the deep end. Into waters I eventually rather enjoy after I get past the initial fear and shock. Diana introduced me to the pleasures of coffee, inviting me on my first day at work to accompany her to the coffee bar. She demonstrated the wonders of the first iPhone, persuading me to trade in my old, definitely not-smart phone. She took a part-time job in a jewelry accessory store and then brought me on board to work weekends. Even though I had no idea how to make jewelry, she proclaimed it was easy and taught me how to string beads into pieces of sparkly bling. Although I never did get the hang of crimping bracelets, I’m happy to know a few techniques so I can repair my vintage jewelry. Just this week, she created a Facebook page for me. Since I’m not part of the one-eighth of the world’s population using Facebook, I was a little intimidated by it and she graciously accepted my reluctance and tolerated my deactivation of the account. Maybe someday I’ll be sharing status updates, but she accepts me for who I am.
I like it that she’s eager to share her favorites with me, knowing that I’d enjoy them, too. Instead of pushing her opinion or reveling in her superiority, she freely shares only what she knows I would appreciate. It’s rare to find a friend so lavish with her resources and knowledge without competitiveness or an ulterior motive. I want to practice this. I want to avoid the creeping vines of self-promotion that try to invade my relationships. When I try to make myself look or sound superior, I feel inferior. When I give in to the urge to play the comparison game, I end up with the I-don’t-have-what-she-has syndrome. I don’t want to allow these untruths to make me feel angry, ungrateful and empty. They rob my soul of what it longs for. Acceptance, kindness, encouragement, affirmation. These nouns may not need adjectives to describe them. But I do. I need adjectives to chronicle a friendship. Describe the affinity friends can share. Illustrate the experiences of my life.
When Diana decided to be a stay-at-home mom, we went from seeing each other every day to getting together for coffee every few months. As we browsed through the vintage market last weekend, we both found silver handcrafted bracelets shaped from spoons. We bought them to remind us of our enjoyable day and our valuable friendship.