If you have a moment, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Gena. Today is her birthday.
Sometimes I tell people that Gena is my best friend. This is ridiculous, because Gena has legions of closer friends who see her every day, remember her kids’ birthdays, RSVP to her parties, call her on the phone, and do all sorts of friend-type things that are much too hard for me. I mostly just think about her a lot, and send her emails. So maybe it’s more truthful that Gena is my favorite friend.
I bet a lot of people fraudulently call Gena their best friend, though. She’s blonde and beautiful and fiercely stylish and bubbly and classy, like champagne. She’s the type that had already made the high school cheerleading squad before trying out. Like when she was five. She has a big, fancy home that is always full of beautiful people and food that looks like it was really hard to make. Her family worships the ground that her perfectly pedicured feet walk upon. People with this sort of charmed existence are supposed to be shallow and mean, just out of general fairness. I kind of thought this was the deal.
Gena has ruined this theory for me.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to share a few things about Gena that she’ll never tell you herself. Not even by fake accident.
Gena’s the sun… and those she loves revolve around her and soak her up. She’s her daddy’s girl, her husband’s rock, her childrens’ everything, and her friends’ favorite.
She helped create a volunteer group that matches local kids with community service projects. They cheer at the Special Olympics, decorate the Ronald McDonald House for holidays, and throw parties at homeless shelters.
She is in a wedding every weekend.
The neighborhood girls show up giggling on her doorstep and she drops everything to help them prepare for cheerleading tryouts.
She takes really good care of her grandparents.
Her son is some sort of anomaly. He’s kind, gentle, and strong, with more than a touch of intellectual and athletic genius.
Her priest visits her frequently for dinner. Everyone visits her frequently for dinner.
She has unshakeable faith and audacious courage. But she’s vulnerable, too
There’s so much more, but I know you’re busy. I’ll just end with this suggestion: If you see Gena today, don’t be intimidated by her fancy shoes. Go say Happy Birthday. She’ll take off her sunglasses, cock her head to one side and hang open her mouth slightly…and even though she’ll have a baby on her hip and another tugging on her shirt, she’ll smile, and make time for you. She’ll LOVE you. And a few minutes later, you’ll want to call her your favorite friend, like I do.
Because you’ll learn that Angels Wear Prada, too.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Gena.