“Friendship, Friendship, such a perfect friendship,
When other friendships have been forgot,
Ours will still be hot”
It’s not often that I meet people with whom I am in perfect harmony. I have a wide variety of friends, from all walks of life and from various stages of my own development. I am lucky to still count the men who have been my partners amongst that number, but there is no-one else with whom I can go on holiday, other than Pat.
We’ve known each other since we were fifteen and have been close friends since our early twenties. Time and distance hasn’t changed the friendship, although obviously it has changed us. But what makes Pat special to me is that she shares my weird sense of humour, isn’t fazed by my illness and she knows how to manage me. We laugh at the silliest things that no-one else gets and behave at times like naughty schoolgirls. We have great fun together and can change adversity into an adventure, some story to tell the grandchildren, at the drop of a hat. And this holiday has been no different.
Pat lives in Kent and I’m in Dumfries and Galloway. We see each other once or twice a year and keep in touch via e-mail and the odd telephone call. She has been married for over 40 years, is responsible, does all their finance and never overspends or takes risks. I, on the other hand, have several broken relationships to my credit, live alone by choice, take far too many risks with money, health and relationships and have a self-destructive streak that unfortunately re-surfaces every now and again. On paper we’re incompatible, but together we’re invincible. She knows how to rein me in without telling me what to do (which would result in me doing the exact opposite anyway) and I get her to break out of her security bubble and face challenges, eg confronting fears about claustrophobia and heights. This is only the second ‘real’ holiday we’ve had away together – the other was to Hawaii 9 years ago and the next probably won’t be for another 10 years or so. But that doesn’t matter, what matters is that some things remain unchanged and until either of us gets Alzheimer’s I think it will stay like that. For someone like me, with massive abandonment and rejection issues, that’s priceless.