Tuesday, March 21, 2017

17 years

Whoa, how did that happen!

In a couple of days Jeaux and I are "celebrating" 17 years as friends.

It's not a nice round milestone or anything. And we don't really do anything special on our anniversaries, though sometimes we call it our 'versary and go to a slightly nicer restaurant or something. (This week we'll be shopping for comics. But we always do that.)

But it's pretty neat to think about. This person has been in my life for 17 years. We've had a predictable schedule of meeting about once a week and doing fantastic friend things together. We can help each other out in times of need. We can text each other frustrations and cartoon theories. We can have someone to go to things with if we want a someone.

I have a lot of friends who don't really have longtime friends. And they find it AMAZING that I have some friendships that are over twenty years old. My friends Meghan and Victor have been in my life even longer than Jeaux--for Meg we met in 1993, and for Victor we met in 1996. I have friendships that are more than two decades old.

I've said this before and it's probably starting to get tiresome now, but I'll say it again as Jeauxversary approaches: I find it obnoxious that people assume those who don't have a romantic partner do not have meaningful partnerships at all.

My connections with these other people are not romantic, and they are not committed with any ceremony, and they are not what you'd call "partnered" relationships, but they are worth celebrating on anniversaries and worth celebrating daily. We have such a weird fixation in our society on relationship permanence only working in one particular way, even though everybody knows tons of divorced people. And if you asked people, of course they wouldn't say friendships can't/don't last or that lifelong friends don't exist. So, if marriage is not a guarantee of permanence and there are other types of relationships that are known to last a lifetime, why is it that when I say I'm single and/or not married, people immediately respond with pity and thoughts of "oh wow, she's alone/lonely"?

Jeaux and my other couple of lifelong friends make certain I'm not lonely if I don't want to be alone, but furthermore, they understand my boundaries well enough to know when they're needed/wanted. Jeaux has been known to say it's nice to have a friendship where the other person isn't needy and clingy but is reliable and available, and with whom outings and visits are predictable. We both value being able to know what to expect, and so we fit very well together.

Hooray for Jeaux. :) 

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