By Debra Dolan
PROMPT—I am grateful for ...
We never know where, or under what circumstances, a “bestie” will come into our life. In 1981, I met Mary—a crazy, adventurous, purple-wearing, rainbow-loving, daring individual. I was enroute to the South Pacific from central Canada when I stopped in Vancouver. Both hired by Mothers Pizza at the same time, we laughed privately at the hideous uniforms. Given that Mary had traveled previously in Australia and New Zealand, it seemed logical to connect and share information. What a wonderful surprise to discover that we both loved McDonald’s, playing tennis, and were mutually ready to break out from our sheltered, shy ways. Alcohol and men were on our agenda that summer, and those experiences sealed a four-decade friendship. Every day we did not get fired it was a victory, as we liberally accessed the wine keg before, after, and during shifts, frequently arrived late visibly drunk, and flirted incessantly with every single (!) male patron.
Mary remains the most independent and fearless person I have ever met. She has traveled extensively, lived, worked, and loved on her own terms, and has a deep, deep joyous appreciation of life: “When I wake-up, I get to have peanut butter and toast. How fabulous is that?”
She has loved me and valued our friendship through my best, my worst, my meanest, my most confused, my most unlovable times. Some of the wildest times in my life have been us together. She was with me the night I met Glen and when our eventual marriage turned oh-so-sour and I was scared, sad, and betrayed, Mary comforted me as I trusted her with my deepest realities. When I retreat into solitude and have not been available in her time of loss or injury, she forgives. When I cancel plans because life feels so overwhelming and I am pained, she is never angry. When I contact her in an hour of need or sharing happy news, she is always available. Her laugh is infectious, her storytelling and birthday parties legendary, and her hugs— long, meaningful, and sincere!
Everyone needs a Mary; do you have one?
Debra Dolan lives in the beautiful seaside walk-able community of Ambleside, West Vancouver in Canada. She is a self-described pluviophile, avid reader of women’s memoir, and a private journaller for over 50 years. Debra enjoys enlightening conversations over red wine, solo nature hikes, and traveling. Her writings have appeared in numerous North American publications.