Metatalktail Hour: Favorite People August 11, 2018 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, Deezil has a super-sweet request: "Talk about the good and positive relationships in your life, people who make you smile when you think of them, and you're always quick to reach out to them, when there's good times or bad."

As always, this is a conversation starter, not a conversation limiter! We want to hear whatever's up with you (excluding only politics!).
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:36 PM (33 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

My sister is one of my favourite people on this planet. She's a successful sonographer who works in a fertility clinic. She's strong, confident, beatuiful and fearless. Her laugh and smile are something I always look forward to. If something happens that I need to talk about, I reach out to her because I know she'll always be there for me, and I for her.
posted by Fizz at 5:45 PM on August 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

Baz Luhrmann's "Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen" has been somewhere in my music collection for almost 20 years, the kind of song that I come across every few years and listen to a few times and let go. This latest re-listen popped a line for me: "The older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young." The person who has known me since I was young, and making bad mistakes around men, she's the one who has seen me most completely. That best friend has made me jealous of her effortless vivacity and personal style, made me walk the floors over her troubles, made me laugh fit to burst. She was beside me in one of the worst moments of my life. She has seen me in my rage and pettiness, and in moments when we both just sat in silence together, thinking about what one of us just said. She has reached out when I couldn't. She has taken my advice (much of it from you folks originally), and each of us has driven many, many miles to see the other for a few restorative hours. She's the one who understands the most and longest context, and continues to be my best friend anyway.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:22 PM on August 11, 2018 [9 favorites]

I'm not sure how many close friends I have; it's somewhere between 3 and 5. One is someone I've got to know sort-of-quite-well, in a fragmented way, over the last six or so years now. On paper - we are quite different in more than a few ways - this friendship shouldn't work. But it somehow does, and that's good enough for me. And at the core of why it does is her unusually and relentlessly positive attitude to life, and opportunities, and things that happen (both planned and random or unexpected). Certainly not a naive positiveness - my dear friend turned one extremely difficult situation into an opportunity and progression, whereas other people would have chosen to flee - but an unstoppingly positive force of nature.

She's also super-smart, always interesting, and extremely funny, far wittier than I ever am or can be. One example of many is that an offhand, but devastatingly funny, comment she sent me once made me cry with laughter. Unfortunately I read it just before going into a funeral service, so I had to pretend they were a different kind of tears.

I'm not entirely sure what she gets out of our friendship, but I make a solid point of always being contactable and available if there's ever a dark day or bad time so hopefully I'm useful in some or several ways.

+ + + + +

I haven't done much the last week, due to the current ongoing work project. Though I did slip away for a few hours today to visit a monastery or abbey, where the monks brew ale and then sell it in their gift shop (along with some expensive honey).

Oh, as several MeFites messaged me for more detail - the thing where I clonked a burglar. That was a few years ago; it was someone else's house and he was trying to get in through a skylight. I shouted and told him to "smile for the camera" as I tried to take a picture for evidence. This doesn't go down well, and he rapidly descended towards me. So, as said, I thwacked him with my flask and then sat on him in the middle of the road (it was a quiet residential street and about 3am), rang the police and had some tea. The noise woke up someone nearby, who came out to help, and also provided some biscuits to accompany the tea, which was kind.

This has reminded me to check up and see what happened; a policeman did call round the next day to ask more questions, but nothing after that. As I didn't get called up to be a witness, I suspect not very much. The annoying part of it was the large dent that the burglar's head made in my flask, and it had to be replaced. Such is life, I guess.

Important details: the tea was Earl Grey, and the biscuits were nice chocolate ones from Waitrose. The failed burglar's name was Gary, and he probably walks around (or paces the prison yard) now with a slight dip in one part of his skull.
posted by Wordshore at 6:32 PM on August 11, 2018 [29 favorites]

My goddaughter is one of the most astonishing people I know. Since I coaxed her into the world (my sister was 48 hours into her labor; I leaned over her belly and said "Hey Anna, hurry up, I have to leave for work at 4." She was born 20 minutes later, at 3:52. My sister "Why didn't you do that a day and a half ago!?" ) we've been each others favorites. We may be a clan of ne'er do wells, but she's the one inducted into the NHS, and taking part in the local March for Our Lives, and starting a Gay/Straight Alliance at her middle school a few years back, and whipping up gourmet meals and showing off a dry, cynical sense of humor way way beyond her almost sixteen years. While part of me wishes she were a little less aware, knowing how hard it is to carry the weight of seeing what an unfair shitshow the world is at this young of an age, I also couldn't be prouder of her. I consider it one of the crowning achievements of my life that I get the 3 am texts from her, whether it's a random musing or an existential crisis.
posted by jacy at 6:46 PM on August 11, 2018 [9 favorites]

I love my dog.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:22 PM on August 11, 2018 [21 favorites]

My mom is my most positive relationship. She's always there for me. Its been a trying time lately, and she doesn't flinch, she just supports me. She's also the only reason my garden still lives during my 3 week no lifting time, she babied the garden like I would until I recovered. I owe her a lot.

Turns out I jumped the gun three weeks ago declaring myself endo free. My post op was this week and it turns out I *do* have endometriosis. It's kinda the best possible news though. It's stage 1, which is why they couldn't visibly see any and told me after surgery I was clear- BUT they did take a biopsy and the tests showed I do have it. So that explains my really bad dysmenorrhea. Now I just have to be on medication until menopause basically, but I'm responding well to what I'm taking, so ok I guess. It's just really really really great to finally have a diagnosis even if its not the best news. As long as I'm taking the pills my symptoms should be 90-80% gone, and I shouldn't have the sort of complications you can get. Basically it was just beginning to turn into stage 2, and if I'd waited a decade to deal with this it would have been a lot worse. So glad I live in SF where we have a really good woman's health center that takes people like me seriously. I know from reading other threads over the year+ I've been at this site that several mefites haven't been so lucky.

I am just throwing myself into the garden and the blog- which will deffo go up on projects this week, as I have 15 posts now. I made dilly beans with my bounty, and uh... have more beans to make into stuff. The fava beans are flowering which sort of makes them look like *fancy* triffids. I'm still highly skeptical of my tomato plant- it got overwatered at a crucial time and the leaves look a little not great. But it's a cherry and those bounce back so we'll see.

I'm getting the greatest cards from the card club and I want to thank everyone whose been sending them. I really enjoy sending them out too- but it was really great when I was in recovery last month when mom would call up- "you got mail!" and I couldn't wait to see from whom. Metafilter rocks!

Also- someone on imgur is tagging me in "what is this plant?" type posts like I'm some sort of botanist and I'm pretty sure they're a mefite- but maybe not. Anyways I'm here to confess- the latest mystery plant if its not a weird sage has me stumped- and the first one which I got right I only got right because of a reverse google. Don't get me wrong I am down for this- I've been in Uni a while and I am good at research type things- but I don't want to inflate my credentials- I'm just a doofus who gardens not a botanist XD
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:26 PM on August 11, 2018 [7 favorites]

Not much to say on the friends front, and that sounds way sadder than it is. I have good friends, but at the moment I have 3 little kids and don't really have the time or energy to socialize often.

But I do want to share something that I found a few days ago and have literally been dying to comment about. Take a look at this! Note the flavor, note the font (!!!), note the color, and note that it cost me only 50 cents!

I have a secret to share. If I see something and the price is 50 cents, I will buy that thing. Don't care what it is. There are several museums near my apartment that charge 50 cents for admission (ok, 500 Korean won, but close enough), and it literally must cost more to have someone sell the tickets than they earn, right? Funny enough, if they were free I would probably never go, but 50 cents? I gotta see what's in there!
posted by Literaryhero at 9:24 PM on August 11, 2018 [7 favorites]

If I see something and the price is 50 cents

Yeah I’m the same way. Yesterday me and the fam went to Japan town and oof. Between Daiso and Ichi Ban Kan I got some weird shit. My favorite between what I got was some origami paper with succulent patterns. I think some people next month in the card club are getting some weird cranes.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:40 PM on August 11, 2018 [5 favorites]

My brother arrived in town for a week with his family. What I appreciate most these days is his clear appreciation and affection for my son .
We used to fight as kids and were different in many ways, but the years have brought us together and visiting with him is one of my favourite things.
posted by chapps at 11:15 PM on August 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

Currently watching my wife clear out space in the drawer because Ticky wants to climb inside and the conversation is hilarious. This brings me joy. Love to you all today.
posted by arcticseal at 1:12 AM on August 12, 2018 [6 favorites]

My sister is my favourite person and she got engaged this week! I am going home in 10 days and cannot wait to congratulate her in person! I’ve also been feeling better the last few weeks so have caught up with more people, including lovely Fraula (and the cats!) for a very nice picnic, where we had a toast to kmennie.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:39 AM on August 12, 2018 [6 favorites]

Sergeant Hulka; and the Fluor contractor that just mopped the floor in the MWR. Heroes; one and all.
posted by Afghan Stan at 4:45 AM on August 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

My wife and my mother-in-law are the best people I know, and I'm grateful every single day for their presence in my life. I don't really have the words to do them justice. I'll just say that my wife holds me accountable for doing the right thing and being true and kind to the people I encounter in my life, and by example she shows me the importance of making time for the people I love, and pouring love and effort into the relationships in my life to keep them healthy. And her mom--well, I'll just say that my wife learned those values somewhere, and whenever I'm with her mom it's clear she learned them from her.
posted by duffell at 5:52 AM on August 12, 2018 [9 favorites]

I've written about this on another Metatalk, but it bears repeating: somewhere along the way, when I wasn't looking, I grew a community. Some of that community is transient - my fellow phd buddies will scatter over the next couple of years - and some of it isn't, but it's still there. We have people we can call when our roommate is in emergency dental surgery and I'm his ride and it's taking longer than expected and we're closing on our house that day (true story, sigh). I have people I can call when I'm overly optimistic about what will fit in the Prius (thank goodness for geographers who drive Subarus). I got a couple of end tables that we badly needed when I ran into a couple of phd buddies who had been picking up stuff from another phd friend who was packing up to move for their new TT job.

In turn, I drove one of our younger friends out to the local community college Thursday because they just have math left for their degree and it's going to be a lot cheaper at the CC (and at one class, they weren't going to draw fin aid at the university and it's been a whole thing), and paid for the class (they're going to pay me back at $25 a month for the next year), and convinced them they could go do the placement test when they were about to have the vapors. We got back to campus where their car was parked and they about cried on me and said that it's amazing, having the support from adults in their lives that they haven't gotten from their parents.

We had lunch yesterday with a friend who is getting ready to go through what's shaping up to be a nasty divorce, and I realized I've known her over a decade and we're still talking to each other - and some days, I don't want to talk to me, so I'm continually surprised anyone who has known me that long and well does. ;) We've got adopted cousins who come to Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, and as soon as one holiday is over, my family is like "they are coming back next year, right?"

I am so so lucky. If this is middle age - roots and found family and social networks I can rely on - then I'll take it, gladly and whole heartedly.
posted by joycehealy at 6:23 AM on August 12, 2018 [16 favorites]

This morning I woke up to a Facebook friend request from the wife of the family I rented rooms from for a year during my dissertation fieldwork in a working-class Bolivian neighborhood. There was some awkwardness toward the end of that stint involving an ill-advised romantic entanglement with someone who has continued to try to contact me and rekindle that relationship for the past 20 years, and so in addition to my normal shittiness and maintaining long-distance relationships there are reasons I did not make an effort to maintain contact with all my local friends from the field. When we met Maria had two young children and I had one; we were both pregnant and she gave birth about 6 weeks before me. She and her family were actually pivotal in shaping my dissertation to look at gendered expectations for men and women in that context in a way that went beyond "machismo" or "patriarchy." I also got a friend request from her middle child, who was 5 when I left the field! So unexpected and precious an opportunity for reconnection. It's popular these days to focus on the dark side of social media, but there's a very important baby in that bathwater.
posted by drlith at 7:01 AM on August 12, 2018 [10 favorites]

Man, my wife is my favorite human being, by quite some way. In the seventeen years we've been together, beyond all her other wonderful qualities, I have been all but continuously awed by her deep-seated decency, compassion and kindness.

I mean, she's taught me so much on the intellectual and practical levels, but beyond that knowing her is a constant spur toward ethical seriousness. I love her dearly. She is the absolute North Star of my life.
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:17 AM on August 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

It's gone viral this week, so not sure about an FPP, but the (Italian) Pasta Grannies video series is delightful.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 8:18 AM on August 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

At the moment my favorite person in all the world is my three-year-old grandson. He is a super chatty, super enthusiastic kid who has more energy than a regular three-year-old and can be annoying as a result. I personally am annoying for other reasons so he has my empathy.

After my weekly home Al-Anon meeting yesterday, I decided to be someone who actually honored spending time with family rather than just claiming to honor time spent with family and fetched the kid for a plum-picking adventure. This involved taking a subway train and two buses to a local, small island that is part of central Stockholm.

It was so fun and he was so charming. We were a little late; a bunch of the plums were at the tops of the trees because the bottom ones had fallen off or been picked. So I asked him in my flawed Swedish (luckily, he is too young to understand yet and tease me about it but that time will come ) if he wanted me to shake a tree for him so he could pick plums off the ground. “Can you?” he asked. “That would make me so glad!”

There were quite a few plum trees in the park on this island. The playground included two long wooden crocodiles, which were awesome to play on. This kid is going to have no idea until he’s older that many playgrounds do not have water views.

On the way back he sat next to a 30-something guy on a bus who guessed that he was five and then complemented my grandson on his speech after he found out the kid was three. On the subway train, he sat next to a couple of 20-something guys who patiently fielded his many questions and asked a few of their own. Young kids are usually not allowed to sit on public transit and pester strangers here. But he was being super well behaved apart from chatty and I knew he was desperate for attention from additional adults.

There was also a dog on the train and at some point the kid noticed the dog’s nails and said, why do dogs have claws? Why don’t they just have paws? A couple of people laughed and one of the guys said that was an excellent question, he could not answer the question, but maybe the kid’s parents could.

Now I want to take him on every single bus line in the city and let him sit next to strangers and listen to the conversations because it is so fun to observe private Swedish people Interacting with this kid. I do ask if it is OK before I let him natter on. So far people not related to me have also found him charming. I moved to a different country to be close to this little guy and his sister; guess it’s working out.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:43 AM on August 12, 2018 [18 favorites]

My friend Kay from High School. 50 years later we're still in touch. Just a good person, smart, funny, kind, interesting... (the only person I know who had to have rabies shots after spraying herself with blood while removing the brain of a corpse, but that's another story).
posted by HuronBob at 10:04 AM on August 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Kid Ruki.

My teenage years were bad. I wasn't a bad kid, didn't get into much trouble, but I had untreated clinical depression, and I was not the best me. Anyway, for all my life, whenever I pissed off my mom or sassed her, she'd say "I hope you have a daughter just like you."

And I did. But the curse was a blessing because Kid Ruki ended up being just like the me I WANTED to be, the real, best me hidden under all that darkness, the me I've come close to becoming after years of therapy and medication. I mean, we have the same mannerisms and finish each others sentences and look so much alike that people who have known me all my life sometimes get confused when I post pictures of her, but she's also strong, smart, confident, brave, passionate, and above all, the kindest person I know. (wenestevedt, she also always uses her blinkahs.)

I have a daughter who's just like me, but better. Thanks, Mom!
posted by Ruki at 10:22 AM on August 12, 2018 [13 favorites]

Didn't know it was going to be my topic this week!

My partner is my special person. She's kind, hilarious, and just all around great.

Since she's in an open relationship (and so am I, because I see that polyamory is the thing I always wanted in relationships) it's a little difficult for me to introduce her or even the concept of her to family and some friends. It's tough for her too, because it's hard to be "out" about this in a lot of places in society. But we have each other and our other partners, and we can make our own family for support.
posted by deezil at 10:59 AM on August 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh man, this thread. Once again relevant to current events in my life.

I am surrounded by people that fit this topic, and I can't just pick one or two, or even a dozen. At this point there has to be about three dozen local people I regularly reach out to and check in on, and they're all close enough to talk about almost anything.

Just the other day I was realizing my mental home base has entirely shifted. It's definitely no longer solely focused on my life long friend's house in Seattle. It's here.

I can't talk about individuals right now, and there's a huge reason why.

Remember how I was complaining about the stress of my cool non profit job? Well, we're closing the venue and selling the building it's in, possibly permanently. The decision was announced last week.

I thought I didn't care, but I do. I care so much it's tearing my heart out in a way unlike anything I've ever felt before, and thanks to HRT these emotions are FUCKING HUGE WORLD SHATTERING WAVES OF GRIEF.

I've basically spent the last week on point at the cafe telling and retelling and re-retelling the said story and logistics. I have cried and openly wept so much I ended up dehydrated and exhausted and stopped even being able to cry about 12 hours ago. I have hugged and been hugged by so many people my ribs hurt.

So, I'm completely and utterly emotionally exhausted. I never had any idea I could even cope with this much grief and still comfort so many people and keep my head up. I'm home for the first time in three days - I just slept at work on one of the couches for a couple of hours each night. I would have stayed again last night but I needed a proper 8 hours of sleep and fresh socks and stuff, and some real alone/quiet time.

So, in closing I wish to share the love letter I wrote to the community. It's the best way I can share what's going on, and it'll save my emotional labor reserves. This letter is being handed out to family/community members, and is also open posted to the window of the venue. (And yes, I'm audacious and even sometimes fearless. You wouldn't have it any other way, would you? No, you wouldn't.)

Letter follows:
Dearest Boiler Room,

I love you so much, I really do. All of you. You are the Boiler Room.

The Boiler Room is not this building. It is not the espresso machine.
It is not the free food. It is not the Boiler Books.

It is not even the act of writing in the Boiler Books,
but that would be a great metaphor.

The Boiler Room isn't even actually a belief or a way of life.
It isn't a political belief nor system.

The Boiler Room is really about solidarity and the real work it takes
to create real solidarity - and the place it creates to hold space in
your own heart to remember to be kind, to break and share bread,
to slow down and listen to others - no, ourselves, and what we all say.

You may or may not know me, or my origin story and struggle with
homelessness and mental health, and it's like a lot of your stories.

You might like me, you might not. Either is ok.

You may know that part of my story is ending up in Port Townsend and in the
Boiler Room before I realized or remembered reading about both this town and
this crazy "free coffee shop and restaurant" concept in peace punk zines
and hearing about it through word of mouth.

I never intentionally aimed for this town or the Boiler Room.
I ended up here accidentally, happily, and often wonder how it would have been
had I discovered it sooner.

I stand before you as a relative outsider and newbie and I have been
many, many interesting, unique and loving places.

I have had the incredible good fortune to have had some very close
and loving friends over my gathering years and decades that sometimes
I feel like the wealthiest person alive.

Even things were really shitty, including me and how I often treated
other people.

I have been to some amazing places.

I have never seen any place as loving and as amazing as The Boiler Room,
the people who built it, the people who work and volunteer at it.

I have never seen anything so daring, impossible and gentle in this harsh,
selfish and frequently mean and hungry world.

I have never felt so accepted, loved, supported and cherished
anywhere in my entire life. I have never felt so safe, wealthy and secure.

Not so unconditionally, readily and sincerely, and never so soon and easily.

And I have never, ever experienced so much love and outpouring of emotion
and sharing and deep connections and raw emotional intimacy as I have with
so many of you over the past few hours, days, weeks and months.

I am deeply honored to be counted among your wild and gentle ranks, to have been a part
of this incredibly audacious, impossible thing that has spread so much love
and healing and comfort to so many thousands of people.

I am deeply honored to be here to help turn the page,
to help eat the poison and feel the pain of a chapter ending.

I sit here at home writing this and weeping heavily with loss, with joy,
with worry, and also a lot of hope.

You have all done an impossible thing. I would like you to know it and
cherish it, and feel proud.

It has brought hope to many who have never seen it or even set foot
through the doors.

It has permanently changed the world for the better.

We will rebuild. The Boiler Room is an idea, a seed for a better way to share
that exceeds charity and demonstrates the real strength - and challenges - of
practicing real solidarity.

If we do not rebuild here - I will follow you all to the next best,
if not better thing. If you want me to help and be involved and help steer
another impossible, audacious thing to awesome places, I wish to be there.

I will be empty and lost without it, and I will miss practicing the work of
solidarity with you all terribly.

All of the love, all of the chances,
all of the impossible things for you,
you glorious, beautiful people.

posted by loquacious at 11:01 AM on August 12, 2018 [13 favorites]

Last Saturday, I lost my friend of 20 years,(he put me up after my divorce) to drugs.

I've lost so much in the last year. But I got a raise today and got my grandniece this neat
Bookcase and cool Syd Hoff book. We looked over the sunflowers and tended the garden today.

I'm discovering what really matters in this life.
posted by clavdivs at 5:57 PM on August 12, 2018 [13 favorites]

My sister was in town last weekend (with our parents and her kids).

On the day the left town, I had a crummy experience in Boston & Cambridge, MA, and I posted on Facebook under the heading, "I hate Boston." She replied with a note saying all the things she loved about her visit, and then I felt bad because I had let small things (and,honestly, not so small things) distract me from the fact that I got to hang out with my big sister, who I love and who reminds me that you can be teflon and not let the little stuff stick, if you don't want to.

*waves* Love you, Katie Babe!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:39 PM on August 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm a loner who woke up in my mid 60s realizing that most of my close people had slipped away for various reasons, including death. But I had made a new friend of a younger generation (about 30 years younger) and she's been a stalwart person for me. She allowed me to live in her backyard for years in my RV, and then gave me a piece of her yard to put my She-Shed on, and put in her will I can live here till I die. It's a great relief to me to have that stability. I can tell her anything, though she'll accept a "no I don't want to talk about that" too. I feel immense gratitude for her place in my life. Her name is Amy.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:24 PM on August 12, 2018 [26 favorites]

I love my sister. She's so like me in a lot of ways, and also so different. We have a castle-in-the-sky plan to retire to a small farm together and share a house, hopefully with our husbands. I consider her a true, close friend. I'm also really close with my brother, and I'm so proud that the fiction that he writes is full of well-rounded, varied female characters.

My husband is fantastic, and I don't want to talk on and on, but I can be so absolutely myself with him and it's amazing. And he pushes me to be the best possible version of myself. Between him and the cats, I feel like my life right now couldn't be much better, even though I'm unemployed and we're sort of broke. Any time spent with him is worth so much to me.

My niece (my husband's sister's kid) has completely charmed me. She's nearly 5 now. She is very out-going, she's really serious about sharing, she is so creative - she makes dresses for her dolls out of various household items that are super impressive for her age. We live a flight away but I desperately want to be present in her life in a way that my own far-away Uncles and Aunts were not. His parents are also lovely. Visiting his family is always a joy.

My relationship with my parents isn't all smooth sailing, but I know they will always have my back and do what they can for me. We spend a lot of time going to auctions and looking at antiques together these days, and it's so nice to have a hobby with them.
posted by stillnocturnal at 5:08 AM on August 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Especially right now, it is 100% my husband. I went to the A12 counterprotest yesterday as a Care Bear and it means I've asked a lot of my family because it involved going to a certain number of trainings and meetings ahead of time as well as the event itself. I know it's really hard on my husband logistically because it means he's had to do a lot of solo parenting -- picking up the kraken from daycare by himself, making dinner and feeding her and putting her to bed alone, and dealing with and entertaining a toddler without any help all day yesterday which is exhausting -- but it was also hard for him knowing I was going into a physically, legally, and emotionally risky situation. I am thinking a lot about how to balance my responsibility to my family with my responsibility to my conscience and to doing the right thing and figuring out that balance involves asking a lot of my husband. I know it's not easy for him and I cannot overstate how much I appreciate his openness and honesty and support as we negotiate how to make this work for our family.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:14 AM on August 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

I have a couple of very important people. But this question is bittersweet for me as I cut off contact with my family and I literally have no blood family left who speak to me, so there's that. It's not the worst thing, but it is difficult to be a person with no family to count on.

My numero uno is definitely the husband. He is my rock and I am his. I love him more every day and he and I are having more fun together now than we did when we were kids and doing things that seemed fun like getting high and dancing all night. Now we do puzzles in our pajamas and make each other laugh.

My dearest friends are three women that I can count on for just about anything. Each one is a completely different personality and type. Not a one of them would borrow any of the others clothes, except on a dare, but they are super loving. Two of them, I have known for more than 25 years and the other is a relatively new friend of just 3 years, but I adore her.

I also have a small coterie of friends (maybe 15 including partners) that I made back when I was working at an AIDS service organization where I met my husband and two of the women above. We get together 4 or 5 times a year and laugh our asses off. We are some of the few that survived, we all have a well worn sense of gallows humor and we have seen each other through marriages, drug addictions, divorces, new houses, babies, dying parents, dying partners, everything. Each one of these people, I treasure and if I needed something, every one of them would be at my side in a heartbeat.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:45 AM on August 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

I am fighting a compulsive emotional disorder whose symptoms mimic addiction and which was just added to the DSM V. I attend a couple of weekly 12-step meetings (8 months of sobriety tomorrow), and have a core group of close friends outside of that fellowship who know what I'm dealing with and remind me, almost on the daily, that I am Loved and Worthy. I know that, if I'm having a Bad Time, I can reach out to any of those people for support, love, and understanding.

(Conversely, it's Really Weird, and yet deeply satisfying in a way that I have never before comprehended, when fellowship members reach out to me for support)

I have two kids (20 and 7, currently). I don't see either of them as often as I would like to but I think about them every day, and they always always always make me smile.
posted by hanov3r at 2:09 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Welp, that was definitely the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my entire life, so far.

It's also possibly the most awesome thing I've ever done.

And, honestly, I really hope it was the hardest thing, ever. I have sincere doubts I could do this twice. Not like this

I'm just now home from closing the doors on this iteration of the community space I've been working on all summer, and I have the bittersweet honor to be the last person officially in the building during the very last official operating hours.

I can barely begin to describe how deeply I've been moved and touched. I've never wept so much in my life while still feeling so loved and wanted. I've... been hugging a building and a building full of people all night amid the most intense maelstrom of emotional chaos and love I've ever experienced or have ever even heard of.

Hey, friends? You know all of that good talkin' I do around here? I just applied all that to real life and a couple of hundred people in person for almost ten days straight in ways I can barely even begin to describe.

I've been doing non stop deep emotional labor and grieving for 10 days. I can't actually humblebrag about this that's how deep the work and effort has been. I can probably barely accurately describe the depth of the labor and impact.

My sleep schedule for the past ten days has basically been 48 hours awake... 3 times in a row. No really.

48 on, 2-4 hour power sleep, then a regular 18 hour day and maybe 6 hours sleep, then 48 hours awake again. Then another 2-4 hour power sleep, then another regular day and about 6 hours of sleep. Then a third 48 hours awake.

Well, no, wait, it's actually been like 56 hours awake now. Truthfully. I've been fueled entirely by hugs, love, coffee, tears, panic and grief roughly in that order. FFS, I'm getting close to 50 years old and I'm... still more energetic than 21-22 year olds and I have no idea where I'm getting most of it. (Hell, I capped all of this off biking me, my computer, work bag and office stuff and a weeks worth of groceries up a hill like I was biking out of town on a tour.)

Yeah, I'm basically hallucinating at this point, and that's cool. I can deal, I'm used to this from years of music festival craziness with more physical effort.

This hasn't just been the most I've been awake for anything, ever, anywhere, but the most emotional labor and grieving I've had to do for anything, ever, and so much raw emotional intimacy with so many hurting people, and keeping an even and loving keel with so many different and often difficult people.

I just did an incredible, impossible and loving thing for an impossible thing itself, and I've never felt so loved and so deeply connected to anything or anyone or any community, ever.

I have learned so, so much about community building and negotiating. My week has involved meetings with city council members and deputy mayors and board members, and outfoxing them and drawing them out of complacency in hugely uncomfortable ways. Not for me, for them. I've never been more comfortable in conflict, because I've never been more right or correct or community supported.

It has involved driving the truth home to people who needed to hear it, people who tried to intimidate me, people who I sent reeling and flinching back from a relaxed body language position as they loomed over me, just with my truthful and calm words and questions and laser-beam eye contact. "Yeah, try posturing over me, mofo. I'm all over your program like glue on stamps. Walk that shit back."

I have been called a community builder, a snow-baller and an unstoppable force by my... well, not adversaries, but defensive, entrenched problems. I'd call them a detractor if they didn't also praise what I've been able to do and negotiate, because this isn't an adversarial conflict, but a constructive one.

I appear to be learning leadership with a great deal of grace. It feels amazing to do good work and have it be seen, and to still feel very, very humble and accommodating.

Today I held space for dozens, helped heal at least a dozen rifts between pairs of individuals and brought together the largest, most diverse house this community space has seen in many, many years.

I am humbled and honored to have worked this hard, for so long, for so many people, for so little physical tangible results. I have learned so much from all of them and our shared grief and stress and sharing.

Tonight? Tonight I sleep the sleep of the honest and loved. I have never been so completely and utterly exhausted and spent on all levels. I feel like I'm returning to base camp after climbing Everest, except we had a funeral and a wake on the summit. Then a huge dysfunctional family had a group therapy session. Then they got drunk and cried and hugged until they bruised their ribs. Then? Then they cleaned up a huge mess from a party... and walked away from a home and locked the doors.

I.... locked those doors, then dropped my key. My keychain already feels weird, sounds weird and is too light.

And I'm weeping again... and I have a cat who wants my attention, so... good night.

Thank you, MeFi, for teaching me emotional labor and caring for me. I have gone into the world to spread what's good.

And after all this? I'm a mote, not ego. I am the earth, always beneath. I don't care where I am, but supportive and good. Working, dirty, plain. Beneath, not above.

heh, cat is not amused by raining tears. it's ok, cat, i wanna sleep until like thanksgiving.
posted by loquacious at 3:21 AM on August 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

My favorite person is my fiancee. She is sweet, and hilarious, and good at making up ridiculous lyrics to pretty much any song. She always makes me laugh even when I'm totally depressed. Last night I found out that my closest bosom friend, my oldest friend, will not be able to come to our wedding due to a combination of odd but very necessary job-related reasons. There is 100% no way that she can come, and there is no way to change the date at this point, so I am faced with having to come to terms that my best and most dear friend won't be at my wedding. I was sitting on the couch trying not to start sobbing, and my partner said:

"It's okay, we'll just ship our dresses to her house, then go down and visit and do a re-enactment of the wedding! We could even wear our dresses to the airport to save on shipping!"

Of course I laughed. She's there for me in all the dark times and worst moments and also in all of the best moments of the last 11 years. I love her endlessly.

Edited to add: If I wanted to actually do that - she would probably be on board. She's the best.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 10:44 AM on August 16, 2018 [4 favorites]

My friend who lives in China texted out of the blue Friday night to ask what the swell was like at the Wedge in Newport Beach. We’ve known each for 30 years - work colleagues, roommates, travel companions - although we don’t see much of each other lately. I told him the surf was up and working due to a tropical storm down south and he said that’s what he’d heard and that he’d be down there in the morning to bodysurf.

You’re in town?

Yeah man I had to come back to get my girls’ passports fixed. His young daughters’ citizenship stuff is complicated.

So in the morning we met up and watched the board surfers and caught up with each other and it felt like the easiest thing to just fall back into our easy old togetherness and understanding. It was like that for a couple hours until the lifeguard raised the black ball flag which meant the board surfers had to yield to the body surfers and my friend put on his flippers and went in for a few sets. (I’m not confident enough in the water to tangle with the Wedge, so stayed on the beach and watched. )

When he got back he said it’s good to get out there and see if you still have it, even if it’s been a while.

Yeah man. It sure is.
posted by notyou at 8:23 AM on August 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

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