Monday, December 29

Of Gingers, Tribes, and Pancake Breakfasts

I don't think there are any words to say how much I'm going to miss The Roomie. The words are sticking behind the lump in my throat, have been for weeks. Oh, that sassy ginger!

She makes me laugh so hard I snort sometimes. She saved me. When I was at the very lowest point, she scooped me up. Gave me a place to start breathing again after the wreckage.

She is brilliant and fascinating to talk to. She is one of the most tenderhearted people I know, even though she protests and says her heart is black. She gives great advice (wanted OR unwanted); and is mostly right, most of the time. She lets me alone when I need it, which is often. I would say she mocks me unmercifully, but I know she does show mercy... She's great to just hang around town with, and great to quaff coffee on a Pancake Saturday with.

She is my friend and my goddaughter, and my life would be wholly incomplete had I not known her.

Because I have not gotten married, I have had five or six friend groups that functioned on the level of a family for years at a time. (Five or six different tribes?) Being friends and living with The Roomie is the last incarnation of a pattern I have lived many times due to moving, but she is amazing; one of the very best.

People that started dating their spouse in college were just never really single. Singleness is a completely submersive experience where you learn to make family of non-family. More importantly, you learn to make family of yourself. (And even in this, I know I'm wrong. Heather started dating her spouse while she was in college; and she's definitely a tribeswoman!)

Living in tribes is an experience like none other.

I am going to miss being single.

There are certain rights and privileges that go along with being single in the style I've been accustomed to:

* I got to keep up with all my college friends better than most because I had more time and because I stayed in my hometown. When people would come home to see their parents, they would see me, too.

* Time to read.

* When I lived alone, it was easy for me to think I was a pretty great person. For instance, if I got tired or a little grouchy, I could just withdraw and go home. It is harder to realize you are tired or grouchy when you are alone. You can do just what you want when you are with yourself. It's easy to think you are pretty easygoing, fairly virtuous, non-temperamental.

* I love sleeping alone.

* I love sleeping with my Hannah Kitty. A decade-long bed partner is a precious thing.

* Unlimited Mermaid Time!

* I had time to go to all the college I wanted, cherry-pick a religion for myself, help start a school, travel and see even MORE friends, more parts of the world...

* Having true heart fellowship with those friends who become family because you know that you HAVE no family of your own. To see others rise to the occasion of loving you up tight is humbling beyond words; and to get to return that favor? Salvific.

* Time to sit around with the aforementioned friends and be terribly, terribly witty due to all the time, books, travel...

I have always said that when people change marital status in life, they are really just trading problems. It just helped me keep track of the fact that even though I sometimes got frustrated or tired of my single girl problems, changing status would not save me from problems.

So I'm going to get married now. I am going to trade problems.

Some of my friends that got married (not most, a few) figured out how to keep me in their tribe.

I hope I do that.

When my friend and former roomie Heather got married, she missed her tribes. I think it was hard for her to move away from me. She always kept me as part of her tribe. Saturday Morning Breakfast. It became the cocoon of time and space our friendship existed in.

It is hard, so hard. It is harder than I knew it would be to move away from The Roomie. My only solace has been that Heather knows how it feels, has done it, has set a good example for me.

So I will lose old problems, gain new ones...

I hope not to lose the memory of this beautiful life I've had.

I hope to keep my tribes.

And I hope that I always, always have Saturday Morning Pancake Breakfasts.

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