Tuesday, January 08, 2008

32 Things I Love About Lisa

One of my oldest (as in, I've known her for a very long time - she's not even touching the hem of Old's garment as far as her age is concerned) friends is soon to have a birthday. She's had a rotten few days, and a rotten few months before that due to a Very Bad Person giving her the worst kind of hell. She's far away and I can't go to her, give her a hug (and then find the VBP and tear their throat out with my teeth) and say Happy Birthday with cake, so here's the only offering I can give her. There are more than 32 things going right about her, but I'm limiting myself to this particular number, for no particular reason:

1. She and I weren't friends to begin with. We didn't like each other much at all.

2. She has lovely pale eyes.

3. Lisa is a philanthropist. A real one.

4. She has lived in countries I can barely spell.

5. She taught me not to call Sudan 'THE Sudan'.

6. She is open minded to a particular cherished vice of mine.

7. She's my highest-educated close friend. She almost has an eff-dah.

8. We clearly have many inside jokes.

9. She has a beautiful lilting, throaty singing voice and uses it without fear.

10. She and I can actually ask each other for things. This sort of friend is so very rare.

11. She and I accept things from each other without too much fussing and 'I don't know'-ing. This is even more rare. Are you listening, Lis?

12. She has caused me to break my self-imposed blog blackout. For that I thank you, my dear.

13. She knows the proper Latin names of plants and birds (especially birds) from many and varied regions of the world.

14. She has a special smile for me when I'm being an ass.

15. She is a brilliant, emotionally piercing writer. Someday she'll be spoken of by kings and society ladies. I've kept every scrap - soft AND hard copies - of writing she's ever vouchsafed to me.

16. She'd be able to tell me without pausing if I just used the word 'vouchsafed' correctly.

17. She runs. She's a runner.

18. She's not afraid to go play indoor soccer with a bunch of men.

19. She's not afraid to gloat when she runs said men into the ground due to her superior fitness.

20. Lisa has extraordinarily graceful hands.

21. She's quirky. I like quirky even better than I like nice. She's really nice, too, though.

22. She loves traveling on motorcycles. She buys them sometimes and names them things like "Markham".

23. She's a cat person.

24. She's more compassionate than almost anyone I know. Her brand of compassion means action - going somewhere and actually doing something, sometimes unspeakably hard somethings, to help those she loves best.

25. She's not afraid to laugh at me when I'm being an idiot. And manages to avoid making me feel like shit in so doing. I treasure this in a friend (no, really). So rare, so rare.

26. She is going to be a professor soon.

27. She speaks Khmer.

28. She taught me that it's pronounced "Khmaye", not "Khmairrr". You should see the faces of people when I'm talking about Pol Pot and the "Khmaye" Rouge. [snicker]

29. She thinks I'm smart. I think. Reasonably intelligent. Since she's brainy enough to write up dialogues between disparate tribes of people whose village names I can't even, as I said before, pronounce, I feel honored. OK, well, I don't know if she thinks I'm smart, but she gets in a temper when I call myself stupid, so...

30. When certain shitbags are behaving really, really badly and trying to blame Lisa for their pain, she (instead of, say, tearing them to bits with her mighty brain and quick mouth) joins in and asks me what she should do to make things better. For them. It's infuriating, as her friend, but endearing as well. As long as she STOPS IT RIGHT NOW.

31. Her idea of fun is trotting around in the wilderness looking for birdies.

32. She loves incredibly generously. She conducts herself with honor. She leaves people better than they were.

33. (one more!) We were completely different people when we went to school together so long ago. So different that we kind of couldn't stand each other for a good while. We've been in and out of contact since then and changed - both on our own and in how we relate to each other. We are very different. But she still calls me 'friend' and writes me long, luscious emails (even when she's angry, broke, avoiding everyone and at the end of her rope) to tide me over until we see each other again.

34. BONUS! I nearly killed both of us driving in snow once. We survived, but her opportunity to stop and take breathtaking pictures of Snoqualmie Pass snowed under didn't thanks to my negligence. She forgave me.

[raises pint] Here's to you, good friend. May your loving friends circle around you this week and may everyone else be tipped into the rubbish bin by a grouchy maid.


Blogger ~quoting beth said...

Beautiful! Has she read it?

1/09/2008 8:56 AM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

First, I'm glad you broke your blogging strike.
2nd, you are amazing. When you love, you love deep. It is an honor to be friends with you.


1/10/2008 10:41 AM  
Blogger Cerise said...

She did. Thanks for the compliment, Beth.

Chrissy, love, heartfelt ditto on all points to you. I pick extraordinary friends who are easy to love.

1/12/2008 12:22 AM  
Anonymous el gato gordo said...

**Pint Glass Raised**

32 Flavors of Lisa could be an alternate title...

1/24/2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger nuttycow said...

Lovely post cerise (I pinged over here from White Africa) - Lisa sounds cool.

As Chrissy says, glad you stopped your blogging strike - another regular read to add to the list!

2/14/2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger HASH said...

I pinged over here from WA too... :)

Great post, Lisa is definitely cool peeps. One day I'll be the proud one stating that I knew her since I was 3 years old.

2/14/2008 12:13 PM  
Blogger Cerise said...

Gato, I think that she of all people would be inordinately amused by that title.

NuttyCow, I'm SO flattered! Lisa is, as you say, the coolest of women.

Hash, better get in good with her now while she's still accessible and we don't have to contact her through her 'people', right? [smile] Oh, she's gonna kill us.

2/14/2008 1:38 PM  
Blogger KatieJ said...

Beautiful thoughts on an amazing woman! Lisa has always been an inspiration to me! Like Hash I have known her for ages, since age 5, very privileged people.

3/07/2008 8:25 AM  
Blogger Cerise said...

Katie, darn it, thank you SO much for giving it a read! Any of these points you'd like to dispute? On a public forum? You HAVE known her longer than me, after all.


3/07/2008 10:24 AM  

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