Thought it was gonna be rather a trial when an old college friend let me know that she was going to come visit me for 10 days after we hadn't seen each other for about 5 years. (College was in the 1960's btw, so we've known each other for a long time. And she's one of those very good old friends that, even though we may not have even spoken in a few years, we are automatically back in sync after just a few minutes of catching up. :))
Spent the day before her arrival picking stuff up and packing it away, 'cos she's one of those few friends that just doesn't know about deja yet. But eventually, of course, amid all the talk about things that old friends talk about (particularly about her new gay friends and their fun adventures together), I jut had to bring it up, didn't I?
The moment came when I mentioned that I had been in her home city (Chicago) every year and she immediately asked why I hadn't been in touch!
"Are we still good friends?", I asked. "Of course!" she said.
"Do you respect me and the choices I've made ?" I asked. "Certainly! You've always been honest and truthful with me.", she replied...
So, as I had done with my gf and her adult daughters a few years ago, I told her about my trips to Be-ALL and then showed her pictures of me and my many friends there last year.
Her reply to all that? "Well, I'm a little disappointed that you couldn't have told me about this before, but I certainly understand. And I'm very glad that you told me now. When you come again in a few months, you'll just have to come and stay with me for a while after and we'll go all over the city doing the tourist thing. That's gonna be a lot of fun!"
The rest of the week was a great joy. I gave her Clare Winter's marvelous book "On Being Ourselves" to read and our conversations were filled with the serious questions of someone new to our lifeway and also the joshing and kidding about our respective sizes (she's a tall skinny girl and i'm a few inches shorter) and preferences in music (she likes sad ol' Leonard Cohen, I like political and rowdy Pink), styles (she's a total beige and black fan, I like black, but it's gotta be edgy) , interests (she weaves and reads, I ride my motorcycle and paint) and how all of these things have been influenced by our lives and secrets.
At the end of her stay, today, we went shopping for her and she bought me a cute little tiger strip silk purse and reminded me to bring it when I visit her in June.
So .... another small step for truth and freedom, a giant step for self awareness and the loving acceptance of friends...