Friendship Is Not Taxing

One thing I will say about tax day that I actually do like, is unlike another April holiday that bounces around from year to year, springing up wherever it wants, tax day is always April 15th.

Lots of time to prepare and plan and be organized with your forms and your money, or if you are like my husband, you can wait year after year until just about the last possible second and squeak in at the deadline. Whatever, it isn’t like your wife will stress about it or anything.

My real favorite thing about April 15th is that it happens to be the birthday of one of my besties. You know the friends who come along in your lifetime, and you think to yourself, well, even if it means hanging on to the bumper of their minivan while they attempt to drive away, I am NEVER letting this person go. The true friend, nothing fair weather about them at all, pure, honest, good girlfriend through and through.

Now, I am super lucky because I actually have a handful of these kinds of women in my life, some going all the way back to high school and some who came along during the baby mommy phase and then my friend Lisa, who happens to be the subject of this post.

Our girls bonded in Junior Kindergarten, thanks to our clicking and have been besties themselves ever since. I think I have told her this before, but Lisa was the chair of the Lower School Parent’s Association when Emma started school, so I first really noticed her at back-to-school night when she introduced herself. I remember leaning over to Robert that night and saying how totally fantastic she seemed and that I hoped I could get to know her. Lucky for me, I stalked managed to run into her enough places that we struck up a friendship.

She and I talk every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, about everything under the sun. We email so much it is a wonder that we even have anything left to talk about over the phone—but we do! Thank God for unlimited text messaging or my kids could never go to college!

I greatly admire the way she mothers her children and since becoming her friend, I look to her for advice at pretty much every turn because I know that she will tell me the truth, but never in a way that would be hurtful or unkind. She is the validating kind of girlfriend, and I cannot say this enough, if you don’t have those kinds of girlfriends, this marriage and motherhood gig is going to break you.

She makes me laugh to the point that if I was not a regular Kegel practicing mom, I would probably need to hit up Lisa Rinna for some of those Depends. Her emails alone can have me sitting at my computer laughing out loud by myself. Someday, when she is not expecting it and I am not actually trying to give her a non-embarrassing birthday gift, I will totally share some of them here. Ssshhh, don’t tell her, let’s let it be a surprise!

More than all of the good times, though, what makes a true friend, well, true, is how they fare when the weather gets rough in life. How when you can be sitting in an emergency room waiting room on a Sunday night, having just been called by your mother’s nursing home because she was found unresponsive and look up and there is that friend to wait with you. How she can know the deep dark reality of exactly how you feel about your mother, so complicated and overwhelming in the complexity of feelings and emotions, and still a year later take you to lunch on the anniversary of her death armed with cards and candy. Because she knows, she knows, that is exactly what you need.

One of my 2012 goals is to tell the people in my life more often how much I care about them, because, you just never know, right? And because honestly, people should hear that they matter, that what they are doing does not go unnoticed, that their presence in your life is essential. So, today, I choose to say to Lisa…Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people on the planet! I hope you know that you are loved.

P.S. In addition to all the other fabulous things about “Miss Weesa”, as Abby calls her, she proofreads all my blog posts to make sure I don’t do something stupid like leave out a comma or forget a word. Since I obviously couldn’t show her this one, I am having to throw caution to the wind and hope for the best!



Friendship Is Not Taxing — 24 Comments

  1. Oooooh! Am I the first commenter here?? YAY! Well, that was a beautiful post Ashley!!! I loved it all! Lisa sounds like such an awesome woman and friend! Can I be friends with her? I might need to uproot my family and move …..hmm….guess I will stick to my own “Lisa”s here in Columbus! But so glad you have a handful of besties and Lisa sounds like the cherry on top of that sundae of friendships!
    My favorite line is: “if you don’t have those kind of girlfriends, this marriage and motherhood gig is going to break you”- AMEN SISTER!!!!!!

    • Congratulations on being the first commenter! Wish I could say it came with luxurious prizes, but alas just the satisfaction of being first! 🙂
      So glad you have some “Lisa”s in your life, too! They are the best!

  2. Loved your post. She sounds like a wonderful friend. You guys are lucky to have each other as I am sure you are just as fabulous a friend to her. Loved her show of love and friendship on the 1 year anniversary – I know what a difficult day that was. We are all so busy but it is so important to make time for girlfriends – these special relationships enrich our lives so much!

    • Thanks Jenny! I happen to know you have some pretty great besties down where you are, too! 😉
      I agree about making time for these relationships, because they really help us keep all our balls juggling in the air!

  3. Oh, ASHLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    I am absolutely overwhelmed and flabbergasted!! What a most *wonderful*, totally *surprising* surprise to awake to today! (We talked several times yesterday…and I just got off the phone with you this morning 10 minutes ago! How did you keep this a secret?!!! How did I have no idea you were doing this??!! 🙂 )

    I'm typing through tears, my friend…yes… of the ugly cry variety. It's a good thing I can't get on the computer until everyone leaves for school/work in the morning or else they'd think I was having a crisis instead of being touched to my core by your beautiful words. *sob*. I need a minute to compose myself.

    This is one of those times that I wish beyond wishing that I could write as eloquently as you do because I want to tell you back from the bottom of my heart how much I love and adore *you*. You are the absolute epitome of what it means to be a "good girlfriend". I can't express how much you mean to me or how blessed I feel that you are in my life. Through all the ups & downs, the good & the bad, the car raffles & 4 pony birthday parties…I am grateful I have such a fun, smart, loving, hysterically funny, kind, capable, and awesome woman to call my friend. I'm completely sure I want to be just like you when I grow up (shhhh..don't tell anyone that I'm way older than you are…I'm like the real version of your fake aged photos!)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you SO MUCH for this fantastic birthday present. I still can't believe it. I'll be grinning from ear to ear all day. Who knew 44 would be my best birthday ever?!! Love you!

    • Lisa, thank you so much for loving Ashley and “getting her” the way I do! I am so glad she found that one true best friend (and I know she has several!) that will be with her forever – I was lucky to have that friend in her Mother, Dana, which makes reading this article so very difficult for me today. I had so many good years with her, and I miss her so much every day. Cling tightly to each other and celebrate your love and friendship every moment you can…..and Happy, Happy Birthday! (I’m a little late but still wanted to post – and you can celebrate the entire month of April – it’s your “birth month!”)

      • Ladies, now you are both making ME cry! Totally unacceptable, you know. It is only I who should be handing out the tears on my blog! 😉
        Seriously, though, Lisa is the best and Debster you are right, she definitely “gets” me…and still talks to me, which is super awesome! 🙂
        Thank you both for these GREAT comments!!!

  4. April 15th was my grandpas birthday too! Your friend sounds amazing. I have found it hard to be in constant contact with my friends. We all have so much going on but it is nice when finally can see each other. Btw, I liked you on FB as my page and as myself 🙂

    • Thank you so much Krystle! 🙂 Happy April 15th birthday to your grandpa as well! Clearly a good day to be born!
      So glad you read and commented!

  5. What a wonderful birthday surprise,… mine is July 24th btw ;)!!!! Lisa, I hope you had a wonderful birthday! Ashley as ever, this was beautifully written!

    • Did you notice how you were snuck into my references about good girlfriends I have had since high school?? 🙂
      Thank you my sweet friend for reading and commenting!

  6. Love the column love for the friend, but when you’re finished gushing about all the people you love, I’d love to hear about the ones you don’t, because that would be fun, too. I know, I know, we’ll do the love ones first.

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