Many of my girlfriends are single. In fact, when I got married I was the anomaly.
So when Valentine’s Day rounds the bend, many of my friends don’t have a significant other—they don’t have a Valentine.
Yet for me, though my dearest friend is my husband, I think of my friends.
“In the cookies of life, friends are the chocolate chips.”
I am blessed to have a few chocolate chip friends, sure and steady.
I love chocolate chip cookies; but I also love shortbread, Pecan Sandies, peanut butter cookies…in fact, it is rare I find a cookie I don’t like.
My oldest friend I have known since I was six years old; I am not sure what kind of cookie she is, but I know she can be whatever I need.
I have friends who are like peanut butter—they stick to the roof of my mouth and at times are challenging to digest, but when you pull out the milk they’re there for you.
Others are like oatmeal cookies. They talk a little too much, give you more than you need in a sitting so you have to chew a little longer on what they say, but they listen to you when you have a bit too much to offer as well.
Others are like shortbread, for when you see them your heart melts a little, like butter, and you smile deep inside.
Some friends aren’t really cookies but more like the odd cracker that gets put in the cookie jar. You know them—you may call them on a blue moon and they may call you. Need and use defines the boundary.
Then there’s the Oreo; they’re best when you go to the inside and ignore what shows on the outside.
Fig newton friends tell you what you don’t want to hear but need to know.
I always like Pecan Sandies and can never get enough of those—I have a friend who is like that for me—I can talk to her any time and at great length.
When I was in high school, my parents told me if I had one good friend I was blessed.
The fact is, I am more blessed than many. Some friends I have known a long time. Some I am just getting to know.
Others I talk with often and others, on occasion.
And now, I have virtual friends via Facebook and elephant journal and we get to know each other through our sharing.
What I have learned is this: when I expect a peanut butter cookie to taste like oatmeal I’m in trouble.
When I see who is in front of me and get my stuff out of the way, I can learn and grow.
And what I keep learning is this:
“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently, allows you to grow.”
~ William Shakespeare