"If writers possess a common temperament, it's that they tend to be shy egomaniacs; publicity is the spotlight they suffer for the recognition they crave." Gail Caldwell, from her book "Let's Take The Long Way Around"

"To look life in the face, always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. . .always the years. Always the love. Always the hours." From the movie "The Hours", based on the book of the same name by Michael Cunningham

"Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly." Baz Luhrman, "Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)"

"A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls." Walt Whitman

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant or talented?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson

Monday, March 5, 2012


There's not a lot I've had to confess about in my life; I mean, anything of great significance I could probably count on one hand.  Maybe.  But we're not talking about, okay, yes, I ate the last of the ice cream kind of confession, although, that particular one has come out of my mouth more times than all my body parts combined.  No, this particular confession seems just about the right place to pick up where I left off with my life chronology, way back in 8th grade at Sequoia Junior High.  And this has nothing to do with a crush on a boy, but everything to do with a friendship so casually tossed into the wastebasket, I might have claimed 2 points for it.

This one's for you, N.  Shall I keep it anonymous because it is your story, too, or shall I use your name in order that I am held fully accountable for my actions and insensitivity?  We'll compromise; first names only.

It was sometime after Tami and I had founded our best friend status when we started spending time with our friend Nicole, whose own best friend had sadly started turning on her.  We are so fickle as adolescent girls, aren't we?  And fickle is the perfect word for the subtle bullying that it really is.  As grown ups, we don't just wake up one day and decide that it's time to ditch the loyal friend for some other group because we'd rather go to their parties or share their clothes, or maybe, just maybe...someone pointed out that being around that one person made you the slightest bit less cool.  I don't know, and I'll never understand it, the same way I'll never understand why Melinda Lee bullied me so brazenly in fifth grade.

We, the three of us, had a great time.  We got along so well; I still laugh at some of the running jokes we had without quite remembering what started them ("I'd buy that for a dollar!"); but as every teenage girl knows, best friends in threes never work out.  Think about it.  You go to Disneyland, someone has to sit by herself.  It's really as basic as that; and the next thing you know, you - meaning me - and Tami are talking separately about how we'd really like a more monogamous friendship, one in which we didn't have to share our time with someone else and just really get to know each other better.  In other words, we wanted to be exclusive.  And so in a carefully planned conversation (which unfortunately will turn out to not be the first one I'll have), we gently explain to Nicole that we don't want to hang out with her anymore, and so there it is.  We still like her, of course, but she may no longer be a part of a trio since we are turning it into a duo.  Third wheel, and all.  And just like that she is cast out.  She's me, the new person, wondering who will eat lunch with her or talk to her between classes.  Of course she knows other people in our grade but we tricked her into thinking we were best friends.  We just didn't tell her that Tami and I were bester friends.  (Yes, I  know I wrote bester, not better - I did it one purpose.)

Nicole was devastated, not that I paid any attention back then.  It wasn't until years later that we met again, and she taught me a life-changing lesson about forgiveness and friendship and we remain friends now after 20 years.  Odd thing is that Tami and I had a falling out about 11 years ago and haven't been able to renew our friendship since.  But that's for later.