Do you have a drop in anytime friend? Perhaps you are one. Awhile back we moved into a townhouse complex in the suburbs on a cold New Year’s Day. Our eldest was two, and our newest was eight months old. It was SLICK that day. I’m in Canada and so, we expect ice.
As a new mama with two chickadees I stayed in the house and pushed boxes around while my husband and friends moved everything in. It was dark by the time we were done. There’s a greenish glow to inside lights when you’ve no curtains for the beams to bounce off of, add that to a familiar echo of new rooms, fresh paint and nothing touching the walls, and everything feels eerily right.
Somehow I remember a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken sitting in this green glow on a half unpacked box. Okay so this was over a decade ago and it’s possible that I’m just nostalgically making this up – but – somehow it rings true. I haven’t eaten KFC with full on gusto since I was a kid. It must’ve been pay day when my parents would bring it home because a bucket of chicken was a lot for our family. Oh my, how I loved those biscuits. I’d slather them up with margarine (yup, that’s how long ago it was. Who eats margarine these days?), then dip them by hand into the gravy. Oh that was nine year old decadence right there.
So there we were, standing amidst the boxes, the KFC, talking through the echo, chowing on drumsticks and cold french fries when a shadow came across the green glow and I turned to the kitchen window.
Our townhouse kitchen was just below ground with the window at eye level to a patch of grass which we later used to track the feet of our kids. For now though, this was still foreign land, so when a pair of snowsuit baby feet appeared as if they were suspended in mid-air at the window, I had to check it out. It was dark out remember? It’s hard to see into the night when you’re in a lit room. It’s a good thing the baby was wearing a light coloured snow suit or I would’ve missed him entirely. As quickly as I looked up, they vanished.
…followed by a knock on the door.
…followed by the creak of the door opening.
…followed by a boisterous HELLO NEIGHBOUR!
This is how I met my new friend Sue. She had her son, an 18 month old Kai strapped to her front in a snuggly type thing. He was a little baby so his feet still kicked and dangled when she moved.
Sue became my Drop In Anytime Friend, because that’s just who she is and that’s who I am. Meeting her reminded me of how much I love that quality in people and how as much as my husband is a private kinda dude, I want to hold on to that part of me.
Drop in anytime friends are:
- not appropriate, they’re real.
- they leave your favourite food in your fridge because they saw it on sale and thought of you.
- they don’t knock, they sing hello through open doors instead.
- they always have a hot pot of tea ready for you (or they’ll make one).
- sometimes they turn up in your living room before you’re even there. Sometimes they’re already crying and they need you to just sit with them.
- they climb through your kitchen window when the door is locked. “You can’t make me wait to meet your new baby Tina. I came in quietly…”
- they show up at the best time during the holidays so you can both escape the madness for twenty minutes.
- they trade magazines.
- they eat your cookies.
- they feed your kids.
- they buy the slurpees when you won’t.
- they kibitz with you about the neighbours who think your collective gaggle of children are too loud.
- and they shout back “Play! It’s 10am! Anyone sleeping at this hour needs to get a life!”
- they argue with you over the phone and then show up in their sneakers at your door.
- their door is always open for you – too, just as yours is open for them.
They are your Drop in Anytime Friend.
I hope you have one, and if you don’t, then I suggest trying on becoming that kind of friend for someone else. It’s usually mutual anyway. A drop in anytime friend reminds you that you belong to someone’s life – that you matter – that you needn’t be anything other than exactly what and who you are in this moment. You are always welcome, and there is always a seat at the table for you. At least, that’s how it feels for me. There’s a quiet, peaceful place for friends of this kind – it’s called HOME.
When we moved out of that complex and away to our ‘dream’ lifestyle on an island by the water, what I missed most was that friend. I missed Sue’s voice coming through the door, her eyeballs looking at me over a cuppa coffee through the kitchen window, the sound of our kid’s feet kicking off their shoes in her narrow hallway, and that feeling of being known, loved and held in the bubble of I’m always here for you. I wouldn’t even say we were best friends, we were a richer kind: one without expectation, or comparison or place. We didn’t have everything in common. We weren’t in the same career. We didn’t share the same opinions – but we had one value in common, and we still do.
Having a Drop in Anytime Friend is the Living Story of COMMUNITY.
I find as life gets easier, as the kids get older, as the marriages and divorces and hook ups calm down, the finances build, fall, adjust, and build again, and the dramas become the art of our history, somehow transforming into wisdom, my drop in anytime friends are the ones who never age, never leave and will never die.
TinaO is a writer, speaker and the founder of TinaOLife – a hub for all things worth living for, the workshop Live Your Best Story, and her coaching practice: Tall Poppy Living. She’s also a professional network marketer with a decade in the industry. She teaches: selling isn’t slimey and marketing isn’t make-believe. You can be yourself and be successful in Direct Sales.