Thursday, March 29, 2012

dream a little 4x4 dream


I met my friend Dena for lunch today. I don't think she realizes how much I respect and admire her. A couple years ago she left her asshole husband and moved herself and her two kids back home to STL. She's got family here, but she's definitely on her own. Girl's got some serious cajones.

She enrolled her daughter in preschool, and by luck and happenstance Niya was placed in Zoe's class. It didn't take long for Dena to introduce herself around, and I liked her instantly. She's like me: shy and retiring and introverted. (note: that is what we call sarcasm, my friends)

Since then, we've celebrated milestones like the finalization of her divorce, and her purchase of a home nearby. I have never seen Dena without a smile, or a sharp-witted comment, or a funny story about one of her blind dates.

She invited us over for a barbecue Monday night, and Zozer and I went and had a blast as usual. Later that night, long after we were home and Zoe was asleep, Dena pinged me. "We need to go out for lunch." We had caught up a bit at the BBQ, but she had other guests and I didn't want to monopolize her. We made plans to meet at noon today.

At 11:30 she pinged again. "Can we do 12:30? I'm buying a new car!" On my way to the restaurant my phone beeped again. "Look for big white."

Oh boy.

I got there first, and stood on the sidewalk scanning the lot. I saw a big white plumber's van. Nope. A giant old-lady Cadillac. No way. Then, I saw a kick-ass shiny white Toyota Tacoma extended cab round the corner with a huge grin behind the steering wheel.

I threw my arms up and returned the grin. She honked and waved maniacally while I ran to greet her. "Holy shit! This is AWESOME!" She smiled and looked relieved. "You really think so? You like it? It's a truck! I got myself a truck!"

She told me later over buffalo nachos that she's always wanted a truck. It's been a dream long-held. Her ex finally paid off the little Mazda hatchback, and she felt the urge to shed yet another tie to him.

I am so happy for her today! She was positively glowing and couldn't wait to pick up Niya and Zayd from school to show them. She texted me late in the afternoon: "Sittin' in the back of Betty!" (She named the truck Betty White. Which is SO Dena.) I could picture her reclining in the truck bed, soaking up the sunshine while waiting for Niya to finish play rehearsal. And it made me smile.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my own little trials and tribulations that I lose all sense of perspective. And then someone like Dena comes along and blows happiness and sunshine all over the place and I can't help but be thankful for the random circumstances that bring really great people into my life.

Here's to Dena, and Betty White. May you keep blazing new trails, spreading joy and laughter, and taking the hard, off-road path when you know it's the right thing to do.


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