Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


  In Honor Of My Best Friend...

One fascinating aspect of Tall Poppydom is the way that Young Tall Poppies (girls who "stand out from the crowd"--and get pummelled for it--at a young age) cope with their difficulties in finding loyal friendships with girls (who tend to become less loyal the more accomplished the Young Tall Poppy becomes). Rather than huddle alone in the corner, Tall Poppies tend to form VERY close platonic friendships with guys from a very early age. I have heard of this phenomenon from virtually every woman I have spoken to about life as a Young Tall Poppy. And, I have personal experience with this oddity, having begun forming those sorts of very close friendships with guys in sixth grade, when other girls were playing "kissing games" and passing silly "I Like You" notes.

When I was a teenager, I had lots of "girlfriends" in whom I confided and for whom I would have crossed oceans to be a good friend. But honestly, with only a few exceptions, those girls proved to be HUGE disappointments in the "True, Loyal Friend" department.

However, I had OTHER friends who never failed me. They earned my loyalty and trust. They were "my guys"--my close guy friends. They listened when I needed to talk, but didn't feel the need to tell everyone else what I had said. They invited me to "hang out" with them when I was alone and in need of company. They always made sure that I had a "date" to football games, formals and any other events I wanted to attend. They supported me in everything that I wanted to do, and they celebrated with me when I was successful. They were my fans, my friends, and my favorite sources of entertainment. They loved me unconditionally and always made me feel like I was the most important person around.

We've discussed before whether or not you can truly have great opposite-sex friends without amorous feelings getting in the way. And we'll perhaps pick that topic up on another day for further examination. But today I want to tell you about My Best Guy Friend--whom I never dated--Dewey.

When I was in college, I had lots of REALLY great guy friends. Most of my favorite memories from college involve "my guys". Sure--I had boyfriends. Even a couple of serious ones. And "my guys" all had girlfriends, on occasion. But our friendships were always separate and apart from our love lives--and we never attempted to mix the two. And, unlike my boyfriends, my Guy Friends were always around when the romantic relationships ended.

When we graduated from college, and many of "my guys" got married or moved away, Dewey was still there. And so was his family. His sister and brother are my dear friends. His parents are like my "second parents"--and mine, his. Dewey and I have remained close through his relationships, my relationships, long-distance moves, job changes and, eventually, my marriage.

Dewey has been my rock. He's been one of the few constant's in my life for over 20 years. He is seemingly always in the right place at the right time. Dewey is my own personal "Forest Gump". He's been there through all of my tragic break-ups. He has moved my clothes and furniture in and out of more apartments than I can count. He has been my closest confidante. He has met EVERY member of my very "colorful" southern family--and loves me anyway. He knows that he can ask me anything and I won't laugh at him or think he's looney. And I know that I can tell him crazy stories from my life and he won't even flinch from the shock.

As I leave for Dewey's wedding, I recall the wonderful times we've have shared. I think of the everyday, ordinary things that were fun or eventful only because we did them together. I think of the times that he picked me up when I couldn't get back on my feet alone. And I think of the many weekends when I drove 700 miles just to sit on his couch and watch TV with him. Whenever I'm with Dewey, I feel safe. I belong. I'm "home".

I hope that as Dewey marries his bride this weekend, it will be the beginning of a wonderful friendship between his new wife and me. Just as my husband understood that when he married me, Dewey came along as part of the package, I hope that Dana will become a part of my world, and will allow me into hers. Dewey and I are separated by thousands of miles. And we don't get together very often anymore. Our phone calls are less frequent, and our conversations shorter. But when a baby is on it's way, I hope I'll be among the first to know. And when the babies arrive, you can bet that I will be stitching Swiss batiste baby gowns and silken Christening garments. I hope that we'll spend summers visiting over cool drinks while we watch our children play on the beach. And I hope that as we grow old, we'll still enjoy our time together just as we always have.

Because, though time has passed, I've been fortunate to find truly fabulous, loving and trustworthy "girlfriends", there is something about my friendship with Dewey that will always be a necessary component to my soul. It's partly the perspective that comes with a long, shared history. It's partly having access to a masculine point of view with "no strings attached". But mostly, I think it's just that we have been friends for so long that we are now, quite simply, a part of one another. When I think of Dewey, I think of the beautiful passage I once read:

Some people enter our lives, stay for a while, and then quietly go.
But others come into our lives, and leave footprints on our hearts,
And we are never, ever the same...

And so it is, with best wishes for wedded bliss and lasting happiness, and with hope for many memories yet to make, that I leave for Dewey's wedding. And I hope that in honor of My Best Friend's Wedding, that those of you who have Dewey's of your own (I KNOW you're out there) will pick up the phone this week and let your Best Guy Friend know just how much they have meant to you--and have influenced, for the better, the person you've become....

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