The Trusted Words of a Friend

In my experience, the humans who run in my usual circle of friends do not seem to like the idea of me writing stories about their personal lives. Weird, right?! Since my literary debut I’ve had a plethora of acquaintances utter the words, “this better not go in your column Lindsay” on several different occasions. So I’ve come to accept the fact that I simply cannot use the real names of the people I write about.

None of this however applies to my friend Janelle. We’ve been through way too much together to worry about details like that.

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Janelle and I have been friends for longer than Justin Beiber has been alive. We endured all of the embarrassing moments of puberty side by side. We’ve fought over idiotic things. We’ve cried together for no reason at all and nearly wet our pants during adolescent laugh attacks (who am I kidding we were well into our twenties and still peeing our pants laughing at one another). We were there for each other’s pregnancies and the aftermath of birth. We have surpassed many of the milestones that lifelong friends ought to.  I’ve always been the eccentric one that on occasion tends to blow run of the mill situations sky high. And she is the reasonable one who usually pulls me back to earth.

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So a few weeks ago when I had had a headache for three consecutive days I decided to phone her to dictate my Last Will and Testament. Yes, I had one foot securely plunged in the grave. The doctor I had spoke to about the situation told me that if the migraine meds that had been prescribed did not work our next course of action would be a CT scan—to rule out a brain tumor. Well, obviously this was not my usual doctor and she did not realize my, I’m going to be kind and say “slight” case of, hypochondriac tendencies.

I literally wrote out the first paragraph of my own obituary. It was good. You would have cried.

“Stop being stupid, you’re just getting old.” Maybe those weren’t Janelle’s exact words, perhaps she was a tad nicer (probably not) but you get the gist. I proceeded to tell her my entire list of woes and exactly why I thought I was probably going to die of a brain tumor or meningitis or some other fatal brain related doom. How could Jamie raise the kids alone? How could he handle work and our full time school and extracurricular schedule? What about Sophie’s particular hair-do requests? What would become of mine and Lars’ wacky breakfast conversations? What of the hopes and dreams for the future that I may never get to witness!?

“Look, you probably just need a massage.” Might I add Janelle is a massage therapist. Sometimes I think she thinks that massage will solve ALL of life’s problems and this was one of those particular times. I didn’t want to hear that a massage would relieve all my fears of an untimely death; I wanted her to wallow with me in my preconceived misery!

“But the doctor said…”

“There are tons of reasons that could cause a headache. Book a massage and if it doesn’t help you at all then you can start to worry.”

So I booked a massage. And yes if you were picturing me to be that awkward first-timer who asks if they need to take of “all” their clothes and then proceeded to make inappropriate and very unfunny jokes throughout the entire process then you are pretty much right on the money.

But after it was done, my headache was considerably less. My back felt better even though I didn’t know it was hurting in the first place. I have now been back to the massage therapist several times and the headaches are almost all gone and for all intents and purposes I now know where they were coming from in the first place. I am indeed getting older and a combination of dreadful posture and a bit of stress has managed to wreak havoc on my upper back and shoulders.

So I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it’s beneficial to have those levelheaded comrades in our life. And if Lars and Sophie inherit this particular worrywart trait of mine then I will have to make sure they have a few friends like Janelle around. Because everyone needs that special someone in life who’s not afraid to tell you you’re simply getting old.

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