when i was twenty five i shopped around for a therapist for all that ails a gal in her quarter life crisis. anxiety, depression, panic attacks, a touch of the eating disorder.
so i tried a gestalt therapist. interviewed a freudian. did one session with a cognitive psychotherapist. even got my chakras manifested. nothing clicked. nothing seemed particularly helpful.
when i went to a “blended” psychotherapist i remember he asked me a half dozen questions. one of them was “who is your best friend?” i said, well, it’s actually two people. they’re married to each other and i can’t really separate them. not that i want to. . . and they’re seventy-ish and they’re retired and well they’re like parents to me. dick and vivian eastman. he taught me english in college.”
the therapist put down pad and pen and stared at me in that woeful, soulful, doleful sort of way that therapists are wont to.
“don’t you think it’s a sign of a . . . problem . . . that you consider your best friends a couple who separated by so many years from your peers and . . .”
he didn’t get the whole question out before i moved on. and i never found that perfect therapist. and, sadly, both dick and vivian passed on a few years ago. i felt honored that they considered me a friend.
i find it strange that american culture assumes you are friends with people who are roughly your own age. your own grade. and i have reached an age at which i am honored particularly by young than me people who consider me their friend.
this weekend i went to visit my facebook friend taylor jordan. she is not even twenty years old and all the adjectives apply: beautiful, enthusiastic, energetic, fun! i am not her best friend but i am included in the circle of people she counts as that word.
taylor was the eighty-fifth facebook friend i visited last year. she is the granddaughter of my friend suzanne’s husband. although i had often interacted with her in the context of seeing my friend suzanne, i had never really spent time with taylor as a friend unto herself. last year, i went to her school in wisconsin to visit and discovered a way nuanced, intelligent, funny galpal. this year, i went to her school in central illinois. next week, she is going to join a sorority, but first there’s an initiation rite that i tried to help her with. . . uh, well, maybe i’m not the friend you want at your side when you do that. . .