It’s been raining for a few days straight here, and as I sat on the balcony drinking coffee this morning I got to thinking about friends. And the term “fair weather” friends. This morning’s coffee comes courtesy of a Frosty mug. (Not like it’s spiked or anything since people usually think of beer being served in frosty mugs. Totally sober here. For real.) I won this mug at a bunko game back when we actually PLAYED bunko. Looking at Frosty, as I have now named him since he is a snowman and I am  clever, gives me a toasty, warm and fuzzy feeling because he makes me think about My Girls. Now we just get together at a restaurant. And rest. And rant. Usually we talk about what’s going on with who and laugh over cocktails. Bunko has kind of become like the game Marco Polo because there isn’t really any rhyme or reason to when it gets called. Sometimes I call bunko when I can’t really “see” things right and want to reach out to my girls. Don’t look for a picture of the Bunko Girls yet. I doubt I’d get that many women to agree on one picture where everyone’s hair looks nice and nobody thinks they look fat. Check out Frosty below mugging for the camera though. He’s sitting there for me, with the dark clouds behind him and the communication tower of some kind just off in the distance. Don’t correct me if I’m wrong about that big thing either. Because then I’ll look stupid and the rest of this won’t make sense so just go with me here.

Even on rainy days when the sun isn’t so bright, I can send out a signal to some girlfriends and see who’s up for a game. I don’t always hear back from all of them, but that doesn’t mean I should assume they are fair weather friends. They just may not be able to communicate what they’re thinking when the clouds are blocking the signals. Some people may actually be those fair weather friends, I guess, and don’t want to get out in the storm lest their hair frizz. I get that too. I know I don’t always want to walk around with frizzy hair either. Occasionally, most of us do put on our hats and stylish rain boots though and just prepare for a bad hair day. Donning that rubbery soled footwear and choosing to brave the storms to help out a friend can be good for the soul. I’m speaking in metaphors here, but sometimes girlfriends can just appreciate a really great pair of shoes too, and it’s as simple as that!

“I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.”

– Steel Magnolias

I could go on and on and onandonandonandon with the Steel Magnolia quotes since it’s one of my total faves, but Annelle says that to Truvy in the beauty shop when she’s trying to explain some of the gossip around town regarding her past. It’s really none of their business. The girl wants a job and wants to prove she can be professional. I love it!  I think I may be looking for a job myself with this writing gig, but I also see it as a shout out to my girls to let them know that I’ll be there for them even if I have other things going on myself.  And all of us will always have good hair! You know, I went to high school in the same town that Steel Magnolias was filmed. From what I’ve heard, that scene from the beauty shop was filmed at the home of a school employee. I went to a school for the “gifted and talented.” Some girls, that SOMEHOW I never managed to talk to at that high school, have become GREAT friends now and encouraged me to share my “gift” and “talent.” They’ve been a gift for ME for sure. Perhaps they saw my knack for writing and forecasted the rainy days to come in the present. We connected through Facebook, and I have gotten to know some of them really well. Lovely ladies – all of them gifted. You don’t have to attend a school like that however to discover your own gifts. We all have them. My writing didn’t start until one week ago. That gift sat in a box I guess, like moving boxes often do, and I just now dusted it off and unpacked it. Maybe I didn’t see it because this particular box wasn’t wrapped up in the sparkly kind of paper I love. There wasn’t even a ribbon.

That high school was a boarding school, and I chose to go when I was accepted because I thought it was going to be like Fame (I was a dancer at the time. Like the “real” kind. Nothing “exotic” about it) and a boarding school sounded FANCY to me. We lived in dorms and ate together, played together and did LOTS of studying together. Some of these people are back for me now. God puts the right people, in the right place, at the WRITE time, doesn’t he? I wrote a note to those girls a couple of months ago, and some day I’ll share it with them. It was kind of like one of my old “proper” Southern thank you notes, but I thanked them for something they didn’t even know they gave me. I haven’t even gone back to look at it since I wrote it.  I moved on and didn’t look back. Literally.

I got a call yesterday from a friend that used to get together for Girls’ Nights, but got busy after having her babies. I guess she got busy which CAUSED all the babies too, huh? (She’s going to KILL me if she sees this and figures out I’m talking about her, too! Whatever. She can wear a hat.) She was feeling bad about having not communicated enough over the years because she thought that’s what a “real” friend is supposed to do. It’s the friends that you can talk to, sometimes with long distances between, like there hasn’t been any time passed at all, that will always remain close. I’ve gotten a few of those calls and messages lately. That communication tower in the distance can pick up the signals when they’re sent.

Hey!! OMG!! You know what? Julia Roberts played in Steel Magnolias which was filmed where I went to high school. She also played in EAT, Pray, Love which I just happened to see. I thought of this over coffee and then went in to EAT breakfast. Turkey BACON! I’m like 4 degrees away from Kevin BACON!! And maybe some day, they’ll make a movie about ME and Ms. Roberts herself could play the part. Ah! A girl can dream!