Maybe it’s my cynical nature, or maybe I’ve become too hardened over the years, but the more I look at the generation behind me, and the one following them, it feels like something is missing. Well, a lot of things to be honest, but none more than the ability to value others above yourself, or to put it plainly – friendship.
I feel like my generation is the last that will truly know what it means to be friends with someone; real friends, not just the kind of friends social media has created. We’re the last generation who can truly say we were raised pre and post internet, when you actually had to invest in building relationships. I know, this is sounding like I’m just seconds away from screaming, “Get off my lawn”, and I’m sorry for that. But this is the one thing I can’t seem to reconcile about the younger generation these days, especially when I look at some of the people in my life and see what a true friend looks like. It saddens me to thinkthey’ll never really know that feeling.
One of those people, and quite frankly probably one of the best people I’ve ever met, is my friend Alexis. Well, she became my friend later, so let’s call her what she was first and foremost – my Wife’s closest and most dearest friend, Alexis.
My Wife and Alexis met and became friends
all the way back in elementary school when they were kids. They both grew up (for a time) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, until the Wife and her family eventually relocated to Concord, Massachusetts. With the relocation barely 45 minutes away (that’s like 10 minutes in New England time), the two girls remained close all through their youth. I’ve heard story after story about their adolescent adventures, from the pretend travel agency they set up in one of their basements, to harassing the Wife’s younger sister by reading her diary and teasing her about a boy she liked, to pranks played on one another, like the time one of them soaked the other’s bra and stuck it in the freezer (not gonna mention who did what). But most of all, I’ve heard stories filled with laughter, good times, and love.
An essential part of growing in a relationship with a significant other is getting to know their friends. When the Wife met my friends – at the time she was “the woman who refused to be my girlfriend but only wanted to be with me” (I was so confused. Good lord, I’m glad would were able to shorten that title for clarity sake), I knew they were going to love her. My friends are my family, but we’re also doofy-dudes, even as we approach 40. It doesn’t take much to impress my friends. I, on the other hand, was so scared to meet Alexis.
It was Christmas 2006. The blow up and separation from my family had just happened, so I went to Massachusetts with the Wife for the holidays. I could not have felt more welcome, except for when my future father-in-law called me fat, but that’s story for another time. On our way up to Maine, we stopped by Alexis’ family home for their holiday open house, a tradition the Wife’s family had been doing for years. As we approached the front door my nerves and anxiety began to spike as all the stories the Wife had told me about Alexis, the stories of her straight-forward-take-no-shit-tell-it-like-it-is attitude, came flooding into my head, and feared this might be the last weekend I ever spent with the Wife.
Alexis immediately picked up on my nerves, and offered me some eggnog, after 2 more glasses of said eggnog, I felt no anxiety, in fact I felt nothing at all, except being high as a kite. I later found out her family is famous for their eggnog recipe, which is something like 2 parts eggnog and 98 parts alcohol. Long story short (too late, I know), I was 3 sheets to the wind, and that’s when I do my best work. We had a bunch of laughs, my Wife made sure I didn’t pass out mid-sentence, and in the end, Alexis said I could stick around and date her friend.
As the years went by my relationship with Alexis grew, but I always knew, no matter how close we ever became, the Wife would always be #1, and rightfully so. I guess we kind of had that in common. Come to think of it, the Wife is pretty damn lucky to have 2 people see her that way, lol.
But I also knew that Alexis cared for me too. She told me as much back when the Wife and I were going through a very scary time in our relationship. Just after Ferris was born, Alexis came to visit and could instantly see we were barely hanging on by a thread. As I drove her back to the airport after her visit, she told me she was worried for us both, and emphasized that she loved us both dearly and didn’t want to see either of us hurt, and that if I needed someone to talk to, I should call her. Normally I feel like people just say that because they feel like they have to, especially when they are the friends of your SO first, but I knew she meant it. Alexis is one of the most genuine people I have ever met.
Alexis has also been there for me through some very difficult times in the last 10 years, because we share some similar traits, and issues in our past. But, for the sake of privacy, I’ll leave it at that…but she’ll know, and that’s what matters.
I could probably write a novel on reasons why I admire Alexis, but again, many of them are private reasons. So, I will say this, Alexis is what a real friend looks like. I think so highly of Alexis, appreciate how she has cared for the Wife all these years, and value her opinion, that I asked her permission when I proposed to the Wife. And of the 3 people I did that, her consent meant the most (sorry MIL and FIL).
Alexis is the only other person in the world I trust that would go to the ends of the earth for my Wife. That is not a knock on my in-laws, or her sister, but you can just see it in people. I told the Wife last night, “I’m fairly sure you could murder someone in cold blood, and Alexis could witness it, and she wouldn’t rat you out”. The Wife didn’t quite appreciate the weight of the analogy – she doesn’t share my love for gangster movies.
I will be forever grateful to have Alexis in my life. I love her for all that she is, strong and scared, grounded yet lost at times, smart beyond words, compassionate for all around her, and another awesome figure for Skully to turn to to learn how to be a strong woman.
Thank you Alexis for everything you’ve been, everything you will be, and all you are.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy these: