Tomorrow my dear friend, Esther, packs a car and drives across the country to move to New York. So today is the day we say goodbye. Truth be told “goodbye” means nothing in our techno-intraweb-face-a-gram world. But it’s still hard. So today, let’s talk about goodbyes.
Goodbyes are hard. They imply finality. Goodbyes mean change, and nobody’s good at change. I like comfort. It’s the reason I more often choose flats over heels and would stay in my pj’s for days on end if you let me. Change is uncomfortable at first. Really it’s the IDEA of change that is uncomfortable. Think about it. Once the change is made you settle into it 9 times out of 10, right? You realize that the thing you were scared/nervous/anxious about is perfectly fine and now that it’s changed you gotten used to it. But it’s that 1 time out of 10 that I’m worried about.
I met Esther in college. We were doing a production of “Into the Woods.” She was Little Red Riding Hood. I was the tree. Literally. I played a spirit in a tree. Esther was feisty and kind of weird. She was everyone’s favorite, which meant that I wanted to be HER favorite. I kind of stalked her to be friends and one night we bonded over White Russians and….well, let’s just leave it at White Russians.
We were hooked on each other. We did girly things like stay up late and eat ice cream and Doritos. We developed a keen eye for identifying, and a shorthand for talking about crazy looking people, or sometimes just a weird pair of shoes that walked into the room. We tried to be roommates and then we figured out that was a bad idea and we went back to being just friends. But then we tried to be roommates again, only to confirm that no, that really was a bad idea and we were right the first time. We’ve been through relationships, break-ups, job turmoil, rejection, illness, weddings and house buying.
Esther is a very good friend. And we are really lucky to have found each other. Ours has been a friendship that has grown. We have both gone through big changes. I used to be fat, now I’m skinny. Esther used to be an intern at her job and freak out if Madonna came into her office, now she’s a VP and says things like “Hey, I have to bone out tonight because Stevie Nicks refuses to go on if I don’t see her before this show.” Changes. Somewhere along the way, we stopped fighting the changes and just rolled with them. We allowed each other the space to be who we are NOW, in the present, while still appreciating the dorky college girls we once were.
But goodbyes are hard.
And as I stare down the barrel of this goodbye, I find myself trying to wrap my brain around the fact that it is even happening. I mean, I sat on her porch yesterday while the movers packed boxes with everything from giant vases filled with Jordan almonds (“just tape them shut,” she said) to a bazillion pairs of shoes, to gorgeous works of art commissioned by artists “she knew once.” It’s happening. She’s moving. I pillaged the house, searching for things she did not need – an old vintage school map, bookends, mirrors – that I could fit into my home. She’s really moving.
But I don’t want her to.
Even though we rarely see each other. Even though I now have a swanky SoHo apartment to stay in when I visit New York. Even though she’s moving to marry an amazing man and start her life with him.
I just don’t want to say goodbye to one of my oldest friends.
But I’ve done it before. So….in honor of Esther’s departure, here are some things I have officially said goodbye to:
•McDonalds #2 Meal Supersized for lunch
•Eating without thought or care
•Leading a sedentary lifestyle
•Plus Sized clothing
•My desire to be the next Bernadette Peters
•An open jar of peanut butter in my house
•Needing everything to go exactly my way.
That last one is a doozy and I still have to say goodbye to it constantly. Because here’s the thing – goodbye is never really goodbye. I didn’t just wake up one day having lost the ability to see McDonald’s. I can still see you, McDonald’s, you’re not fooling anyone! I have to say goodbye to the same things over and over again. Usually I find that a nuisance – why can’t McDonald’s just disappear from my vision?! But in this instance I’m ok that goodbye doesn’t always mean goodbye.
Because if I know that I’ll spend the rest of my life saying goodbye to Esther, then it’ll make the one I have to say today just a little easier. Not a lot easier. But a little easier.
So, goodbye, dear friend! Bon Voyage! Bonne chance! Collop Coki! This is my spelling of a Hungarian phrase that Esther taught me which, roughly translated means, “May you have all of the shit in China in a hat.”
It means, good luck. But you’re not going to need it.