Monday, June 29, 2009

On Friendship and Getting Older

There was the time Gayle ended up at a titty bar and had no idea. She had called me one evening from her cell phone to chat when it came to my attention.

Gayle: Yeah, I was out all day and decided to eat before going back home.

Me: Oh, you're calling from a restaurant. I can barely hear you, where are you?

Gayle: I'm at that restaurant with the "o's" that are owl's eyes. The restaurant with owls.

Me: What? Owls?

Gayle: Their sign has two "o's" in it.

Me: Hooters!?!

Gayle: Yeah, they have good burgers.

Me: Gayle, that's a bar for dudes!

Gayle: Really? You know, I couldn't understand why there were so many sailors here.

Honestly, she had never heard of Hooters.

Then there was the time Gayle moved into her new apartment and coined the term "I now know." Let me explain: In the kitchen of her new apartment there is a fake drawer. The kind that serves no other purpose except for aesthetics. I had tried to open it myself once, only to lose footing and have her cat look on disapprovingly. But while I gave up on the thing shortly thereafter, Gayle continued to be its victim. One day, I arrived at Gayle's to find the drawer looking slightly off-kilter. "What happened here?" I asked. "I tried to open that drawer again. But I now know, it's fake."

About a month ago I called Gayle for an afternoon chat. During the time she had to spare before going to a surprise birthday party, I asked her a question I have never cared to ask anyone before.

Me: What are you wearing tonight?

Gayle: (slightly thrown off) A pair of jeans and a top because I now know, when an invitation says Dress Casual, it does not mean rags. I learned this at Joie's engagement party.

Gayle went on to inform me that she showed up to the engagement party in a pair of jodhpurs, a t-shirt and a pair of sandals; something akin to a scene in David Copperfield I'm sure. Everyone else? In dresses.

Gayle: I really don't know where I get my information from Amanda. Once, I was getting ready for something and put on earrings. Right before I left, I removed the earrings because I remembered the invitation had warned to Dress Casual. I thought the earrings were too fancy.

I lived with Gayle for three years. First, in a one bedroom where the door to our sleeping area could not open all the way; rendering us acrobats just to get in. Then later, in a two bedroom Co-op where she had to endure possible food poisoning from a boxed turkey dinner I took from downstairs when no one claimed it. (I now know that Co-op does not equate to safe handling of poultry.)

With her I have gone on location to shoot a feature film; moved a queen size mattress several blocks by hand to the Salvation Army; taken in a rodeo; experienced some of my most productive years artistically; arrived to clubs as early as 9:30 p.m.; learned how to swim; explored other religions; stayed at a luxury hotel in Atlantic City for fifteen dollars by agreeing to listen to a timeshare spiel; met and dated two guys who were also roommates; failed at online dating; quit eating so much sausage and sugared cereal; discovered the importance of wine after a two show day; cried uncontrollably when she was diagnosed with cancer; and laughed harder than I could have ever expected to.

Today marks my best friend Gayle's fortieth birthday. Certainly no minor feat when thirty is considered forty and forty is the new, or should I say, old fifty. (Damn you Hollywood!) So today, this post is dedicated to my friend of twelve years. A woman I adore for being sweet, honest, genuine, kindhearted and loving; and, for giving me so many reasons to laugh.

So, with that, Happy Birthday Gayle. You are truly one of a kind...and so very, very loved in return.

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