Tomorrow, Ima see my friend Jo, and it got me thinking about women and friendships and love languages and why I prefer men. No offense, Jo. (In case you didn’t click on the link that I placed on her name, up there, in case you just stampeded along this post and picture Jo with a giant man part swinging, Jo is, in fact, a girl.)
I adore Jo. We met when she sent me her book years ago, along with a note saying she read my blog and that we were kindred spirits or soulmates or would I like to see her giant swinging member or something. I don’t recall. I didn’t save the note, and of course now I wish I had.
For probably a year I didn’t read her book; I was very busy getting divorced. But one lonely afternoon I opened it, and I realized she was right and we were kindred spirits and I wished she’d sent nudes.
So I–I don’t know–called her or emailed her or something, because next thing you know we were friends.
Jo has lived all over the place and was a DJ in New York City. She’s met the Bee Gees AND Howard Stern. If she’d met Laura Ingalls Wilder I’da have to’ve married her.
That was seven or eight years ago, and in that time, Jo has moved maybe 60 miles away. But when she lived here, I went to all her BookUps. (Every month, at some restaurant or coffee shop, she’d hold a BookUp, where people would gather, bring a book, say a perfunctory hello to one another, and read. The very first picture I have of Ned and me was taken by Jo, at one of her BookUps. Both of us huge readers, Ned and I never read a word cause we liked each other so bad. I’m sure the other BookUp attendees wanted to kick our asses.)
Anyway, I also went to all her future book-readings and hello-I’m-an-author events, attended her parties–once all the dang way to her new place 60 miles away, on New Year’s Day, all hung over.
I went to her brother’s funeral and to her yard sale.
I showed UP for things, is the point.
And that is my love language–time. That’s why I drove all the way to Michigan for my ex-boyfriend Steve’s father’s funeral, even though I hadn’t seen Steve since 1996.
That’s why I flew to Seattle when Paula had breast cancer.
I mean, that’s my thing. I show up. Or I try to, anyway, and I feel terrible if I fail.
But while I’ll always show up, I will not bring a gift. It just doesn’t occur to me. I’m leaving work, screaming home and feeding everyone, leaving my house again 7 minutes later, driving to your thing and spending an evening with you even though I’m exhausted and will have to cram all my nightly chores into one sweaty 45 minutes when I get home.
I’m not stopping off at Charming Charlie’s and getting you a bobble as well. It just never even dawns on me.
So when I saw Jo at her latest book reading, she had a really cute necklace on that her other friend had bought her, and it was PERFECT for the theme of her new book. I mean, I can’t imagine how long it took her friend to find something like that.
“That necklace is so cute,” I said to Jo. “I never think to get gifts.”
“I know,” she said.
And right then I knew.
I’m not sure that all that showing up means nothing to Jo, but it didn’t mean as much as it would had I gotten her lava lamp from Rite Aid on the way. For gifts are her love language.
And while I said earlier that I prefer men because they aren’t as … concerned with stuff when you’re friends with them (my whole friendship with Hulk: “Hey.” “Hey.” “Fuck you.” “Asshole.” “Okay, bye.”), they still have goddamn love languages.
Back when I liked Ned and we were living together, he left for work every day before 8, stayed till 6, then almost every night went to the gym after, THEN he’d go to the grocery store and come home and cook something
like, boil-the-beans scratch
and THEN at like 9:30, be ready to talk to me. I go to bed at 10:30.
See. Time. That’s my love language. This drove me berserk. And he’d be all, “But I get up every morning and feed your dogs for you. I change the litter boxes before you’re awake. I swept all the floors and WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?”
He really couldn’t see it. Acts of service were his love language.
And Marvin. Oh my god. Touch was his love language.
Marvin was on me like a barnacle 24 hours a day. I’ve tried to find this one picture and can’t, but it’s us at some event — maybe my stepsister’s rehearsal dinner. Anyway, I’m talking to my friends and there’s ol’ Marvin, standing behind me, LAYING HIS FOREHEAD on my shoulder while I TALK TO PEOPLE.
Even now I want to jump out of my skin. I think touch is my very last love language. Get in, do your business, get back to me in a day or two.
I wonder why I’m single.
The point is, knowing this helps you tolerate people when you don’t fucking understand them.
What’s your love language? What’s your person’s love language? How does it screw you guys up? Do you know each other’s and make up for it? Once I understood Ned’s, I tried hard to empty the dishwasher and make biscuits and so on. I remember standing in that kitchen early on a Saturday making goddamn biscuits.
And by the way, Jo and I are going makeup shopping tomorrow at this beauty supply near my house that she tells me is fabulous.
I got her a little gift.