I’ve been thinking a lot about an old friend of mine lately. Heads are like that, aren’t they? You’ll be walking down the street and someone you haven’t thought about in a long time pops in there and you smile or you frown or you laugh or maybe you cry.
I think this friend came to mind because I was just out for the evening with my friends this past weekend, for our Christmas dinner. These are all women that I know because they are the mum’s of Adam’s friends. We always have a great time when we are together, whether for a coffee or drinks or dinner. We laugh and we lament and we talk about our kids and our spouses/partners/whatevers and we dance and we drink and we have a great time.
So I guess I was thinking about friends in general and this old friend of mine popped into my head. She was gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. Someone people look at when they walk down the street. Someone who part of me still thought ‘she’ll never be my friend’ about, even after we were good friends. She always exuded such confidence you could never imagine her being insecure about anything.
But she was. Like this past weekend, we were heading out in a group one night. We were not mums. We were just friends going out for drinks and dancing and to see what might happen. Yes, we were all single.
My friend rang me just before I was about to leave (This is before mobile phones. Yes, I am that old.) freaking out. Why? Because she had just coloured her hair and she wasn’t sure she liked it or that it suited her and oh my god what had she done, no she wasn’t coming and so on.
A freak out I’d bet every woman, and some of the men, reading this have had. Whether about their hair or their make up or their LBD. Moments of insecurity. Yes, even my gorgeous, so confident friend had her moments.
I calmed her down, told her to meet me and told her she was gorgeous (and she was) when we met up.
And I was grateful I had stomped on my own insecurity long enough to get to know this woman who I at first thought ‘would never be my friend’. Who I still sometimes thought that about. Even when I was the one she called when she was having a crisis of confidence.
And now, about 20 years on, I look at my friends, my son’s friends’ mums, and know they are my friends. And I am their friend. And we can call when we have a crisis of confidence. Or have a child who needs picking up. Or a cup of sugar or help moving house or anything really. And I hope no one is judging any of us.
Because none of us are our covers.