I hate to disappoint you, but this post isn’t about sex. You already know all the details on my sex life, (and if you need a review, you can click here to read my post “Sex Night: Beyond Blue Balls.”) Of course, ever since I told Eric that Charlotte, the happy stay-at-home mom in “Sex and the City” has sex with her husband two to THREE times a week, he’s been insisting we add one more night to “the schedule.” I have been reminding him what a friend of ours said when he read that post–that in his house sex happened twice a year: January and July. Good thing July is almost here!
This post is about friendship. Which is what I think the movie “Sex and the City” and the series is all about. With some hilarious sex stories in between.
Last night I went with five of my girlfriends to see it, and I walked out of the movie theatre remembering why friendship is so important: a true friend keeps you honest with yourself, and honest with others.
I almost didn’t go to see the movie because I had deadlines, like always, and was behind on my work, like always, and I was afraid that leaving the kids with Eric might do bad things to his personality–as stress can do. But I made myself go. Because friendships–making them and sustaining them–is crucial to my recovery program.
Friends keep me real, and hold me accountable.
Like earlier this summer when my friend Grace gave me instructions on how to let go of something that was obviously hurting me.
Like three years ago, when my friend Joani stormed through our front door on a hot September afternoon and told me to pack my bags for the hospital, because if I didn’t she was sure I’d be dead by Halloween.
Like three weeks ago, when Michelle called just as I started to cry in a fit of anxiety that had me so scared I was going backwards, toward the Black Hole.
And three days ago, when my friend Priscilla told me to chill out on trying to be the perfect mom to David and Katherine–to take a breather and try to enjoy them every now and then.
As I watched the movie and admired the courage of all four women–Charlotte, Samantha, Carrie, and Miranda–of being totally real with each other, and at times saying and doing the unpopular thing that was best for each other, I was reminded of the sacredness of friendship.
Friendship is a value Jesus believed in, you know–although he taught its value in a language and context a little, well, different than the “Sex and the City” foursome. In the Gospel of John, we read:
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have hear from my father.
So yeah, God calls us to be friends to one another.
Which means when the groom of a friend (Carrie) bails on the wedding day, all the friends cancel their plans for the week (get a babysitter for the kids, find a way out of work commitments) to be with the friend during the prepaid vacation package in Mexico that was supposed to be her honeymoon in order to nurse her back to life.
Which means telling a friend (Miranda) that she’s making a mistake by leaving a good and loving husband because he slipped one night and had sex with someone (because he hadn’t been laid by his wife in over six months), that maybe the best thing for all of them would be to go to counseling and try a little forgiveness.
Which means confronting a friend (Samantha) on her emotional eating, pointing out her growing gut and urging her to get to the source of her pain, and if it’s because of a bad relationship, to end the relationship instead of gain another 30 pounds.
Which means being there for a friend (Charlotte) who is pregnant after years of fertility treatments, who is terrified something bad will happen, because she is finally pregnant–to encourage her to run like she always does, and not to end her life in order to protect this baby-to-be.
Those are just a few of the sacred shots of friendship that I caught in the movie.
They reminded me why I absolutely HAVE to make time for friends, even though that is always the first thing to go when I get busy–the coffee dates, the lunches, and the long-distant phone calls–that I need to commit to friendships just as I did my marriage.
I remembered, after watching the movie, that friends serve as the security net in the circus of our lives. When plans shatter and the stuff holding us together seems to have evaporated, that’s what friends are for.
To keep us real, and to help us heal.