I have to admit I was nervous. I mean she is funny. Funny funny. The kind of funny where jokes fly out of her mouth effortlessly and often while you’re left thinking, “I have no witty comeback for that. So I will just listen and enjoy. Hope she doesn’t expect me to talk or anything.”
And she was coming to visit with her daughter for the weekend. So that was going to be a long time of me not talking. Also, what does one feed a really funny person? Do they like sandwiches? Mixed nuts? Mexican?
Furthermore, I was pretty sure she couldn’t sleep on regular bedding. Not plain white anyway. Funny people prefer color and patterns. My husband agreed, sort of. “That bedspread is older than the Shroud of Turin!” he said and set off to find a proper funny-person comforter. He texted me photos from Home Goods, “This one?” “How about this?” I hemmed and hawed until the last text came through with irritable tonal subtext: “Forget it.”
I washed our decrepit comforter and hoped for the best.
Then I stocked the pantry with funny people snacks like Chex Mix and Kettle Corn. I threw some apples in the mix just in case, and avoided the eggs. Funny people and eggs? Doesn’t work at all.
By Saturday morning I was set. Ready! I could have this funny person over and it would be good. I still wouldn’t talk much, but I’d laugh a lot. It’d be OK.
Also! Chex Mix!
She arrived about 2. I made her a turkey melt. I settled in to listen to her comedic brilliance.
But it didn’t happen that way. Instead, she asked about me. Where I met my husband, what I like to do, why the hell did I buy Chex Mix.
In an hour, we were very nearly sitting on each other’s laps.
By nightfall, we were professing love.
The next morning, we couldn’t stop talking or laughing.
The next evening at 11, she ran upstairs and sat on my bed for 30 minutes, confessing and sharing and supporting.
At 5AM the dawn of the second day, my daughter came to my bedside, sobbing. “I don’t want them to go!”
My husband cuddled her until she calmed down and relaxed enough to rest.
My new friend packed her suitcase in between writing next to me at the dining room table. Soon enough, it was time to leave.
We parted as old college roommates might, full of stories and our ups and downs.
Still. Most probably picking up on my trademark insecurity, she didn’t leave before she told me — in essence — “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” Or more exactly: “I will not stop telling you how fucking funny, kind, beautiful and all around wonderful you are until you believe it.”
I was “gotten,” which in all my worrying about the not talking, the bedspread, and the Chex Mix, I didn’t expect.
Funny people like cupcakes.